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Archive for  May 2013

Tuesday 21, May 2013

Armstrong Has Evidence Against UCI, Says Tygart

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Armstrong Has Evidence Against UCI, Says Tygart

Travis Tygart wants disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to come forward with information detailing the alleged complicity of the governing body of cycling in his doping.

Speaking at a French government hearing in Paris to discuss ways to improve the fight against doping, Tygart said he had “evidence of the UCI’s involvement in this affair,” and Lance could hold the key to revealing the extent of that involvement.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from elite sport for life after a damning report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency on systematic doping by Armstrong and his teams. The UCI, cycling’s governing body, has been accused of covering up suspicious samples from the cyclist and accepting financial donations from him and helping him avoid detection in doping tests.

“Armstrong led us to believe — during the course of our interaction with him — that he had evidence of their complicity in this situation, and of course we’ve developed additional information that will come out through our process, that I can’t comment on right now,” Tygart said in an interview. The USADA chief hopes Armstrong changes his mind and details what happened during his reign as the undisputed superstar of cycling.

Tygart said after speaking before the Senate that he is hopeful at some point Lance will come in and be truthful and added that he could provide a lot of information.

In a statement, the UCI said it categorically rejects allegations of collusion and said the fact is that Tygart has no evidence of any wrongdoing and has chosen to make headlines on a convenient interpretation of a conversation he had with Lance Armstrong. The UCI, in the statement, added that Tygart should establish the facts before jumping to conclusions and the governing body of cycling welcomes any assistance and clarification that Lance Armstrong may wish to give Tygart on the matter.

Tygart thinks there is still much more to come after Armstrong openly confessed to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January and said we are hopeful that (the UCI) are going to take decisive action and we’re fully prepared to participate in a meaningful process, not a setup, a self-scripted outcome. The anti-doping chief answered many questions concerning the UCI’s alleged role in covering up doping practices by Armstrong. He said the UCI was clearly aware of several (suspicious) samples returned by the cyclist in the 2001 Tour of Switzerland and 2002 Dauphine Libere race, and the six positive EPO samples from the 1999 Tour — first reported by sports daily L’Equipe in 2005 — but had failed to proceed on any of this data. He went on to add that 30 percent of samples from the 2010 Tour were not tested for the blood-booster EPO and said these holes give dirty athletes a runway to fly their planes through.

In a separate briefing, Tygart told reporters that the only decisive action they’ve made is to disband the independent commission right at the moment when the independent commission was finally taking off the blinders and undoing the handcuffs to truly act independent.

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Monday 20, May 2013

Anti-Doping Allies Recruited By ACC

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Anti-Doping Allies Recruited By ACC

The Australian Crime Commission has gone all guns blazing and is now looking for a range of high-powered law enforcement bodies to help embattled anti-doping officials deal with drugs in sport.

The ACC has been building a broader network of police and government officials behind the scenes to help safeguard the integrity of sport, with the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority under pressure to demonstrate the results of its investigation into the major football codes. The Commission has been distributing intelligence briefs to stakeholders and has convinced the government to allow even more sensitive information to be shared in the future.

In its bombshell report, the ACC alleged widespread doping and illegal drug use among Australian athletes and the Commission found that the use of banned drugs had been “orchestrated and condoned” by coaches, sports scientists, and support staff across multiple sporting codes. It was also found that crime groups were involved in the distribution of banned drugs including hormones and growth-hormone releasing substances called peptides. After the report was released, Jason Clare, the national minister for home affairs and justice said the findings are shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans and added that it’s cheating but it’s worse than that as it’s cheating with the help of criminals and we’re talking about multiple athletes across multiple codes.

The Australian Crime Commission report caused disbelief and controversy in February after the agency issued a warning that sport was under threat from cheats and criminals. The agency has distributed a classified strategic assessment on Project Aperio to state and territory police, Customs, the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, the Attorney-General’s Department, and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization.

The pursuit of ACC towards organized crime figures led investigators to the National Rugby League and the Australian Football League more than a year ago and officials from those codes were only briefed on the threats and not read the assessment prepared in February. The assessment included a series of confidential recommendations to clean up the major football codes and is less diplomatic than the shorter and sanitized version made public a few months ago. The assessment, while the new legislation aims to give stronger powers to the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority, suggests that the government consider leveraging the powers of law enforcement agencies, including the coercive powers of the ACC, to enhance and strengthen the anti-doping arrangements of Australia.

The recommendations were confirmed by Sport Minister Kate Lundy and Justice Minister Jason Clare and included law enforcement bodies and government agencies forging permanent working relationships with ASADA and the newly established National Integrity of Sport Unit.

The Commission is also looking for consistent laws making the supply of drugs banned by the World Anti-doping Agency a criminal offense, punishable by at least an imprisonment of three years, and suggests tighter regulation of the supply of sports supplements, which the Australian government has yet to commit to. A few months back, Opposition spokesman Michael Keenan said a Coalition government would direct the ACC to get back to “chasing the most serious criminals”, but the Australian Crime Commission regards the potential for sport to be infiltrated by organized crime as such a serious threat it wants to re-examine the drug issues within three years.

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Sunday 19, May 2013

Strict New Anti-Doping Laws Introduced By AOC

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Strict New Anti-Doping Laws Introduced By AOC

The Olympic boss of Australia, John Coates, has introduced the strictest anti-doping laws in Australia that would make athletes and officials to truthfully answer any questions put to them by the anti-doping body, the Australian Anti-Doping Agency.

Speaking at an Australian Olympic Committee meeting, Coates remarked that his organization was watching the investigation the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority was undertaking into the National Rugby League and Australian Football League and wanted to make sure that any investigation into the use of drugs in Olympic sports was not hindered. He added that it would be naïve to not expect that some Australian athletes and officials in Olympic sports have so far fallen through the net because of inefficient (drugs) testing. The AOC chief also said he had no problem with information from “phone taps, surveillance and credit card receipts” being used to assist any anti-doping investigation.

The announcement came as Sports Minister Kate Lundy announced new funding of $3.46 million in the 2013/14 Budget for the Australian Anti-Doping Agency and the National Integrity of Sport Unit. A total of $1.7 million of the funding will be provided to the National Integrity of Sport Unit and $1.76 million to ASADA. Senator Lundy, in a statement, said this funding was being provided to help the Australian Anti-Doping Agency with its present investigations and to help individual sports strengthen their integrity systems on the back of the Australian Crime Commission’s Project Aperio Report. Senator Lundy added the investigation resources of ASADA have already been doubled in the wake of Project Aperio and this funding will see those resources maintained until at least 2014/15, to ensure ASADA can explore all possible avenues of inquiry. Lundy added that from grass-roots participation to elite sport, the Australian government is committed to Australian sport being played clean and fair.

All athletes and officials, under the new AOC Anti-Doping By-Law, would be required to give a statutory declaration upon taking up positions or membership in the team agreeing to fully cooperate with any investigation by ASADA and they must fully co-operate with ASADA even if to do so might incriminate or expose them to a penalty. The new law also obligates athletes and officials to give information, produce documents and answer questions as required by ASADA.

The Lance Armstrong case in which he categorically denied use of banned performance enhancing drugs and managed to pass all doping tests, had given more weight to amending the AOC By-Law, Coates remarked.

Coates added that failure to co-operate with and assist ASADA, in every way, can result in an athlete or official being ruled out of an Olympic Team and they may be ineligible for membership of or selection to any Team, or to receive funding from or to hold any position within the AOC for such period as determined by the Australian Olympic Committee. He also added that it was important to uphold the integrity in Olympic sport and Coates “welcomed” the assistance that Customs and the Australian Crime Commission were offering to the Australian Anti-Doping Agency.

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Saturday 18, May 2013

Senator Wants To Give USADA Power To Police Horse Races With Simulcast Wagering

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Senator Wants To Give USADA Power To Police Horse Races With Simulcast Wagering

U.S. Senator for New Mexico, Tom Udall, wants Congress to be even more aggressive in trying to stamp out performance enhancing drugs in horseracing.

A few weeks back, Udall announced that he would sponsor a bill that could authority to the United States Anti-Doping Agency to police all races with simulcast wagering. In an interview, Udall said there is so much corruption in the industry and they make noises about changing, but they never do. The Senator said putting testing in the hands of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency would clean up the sport and makes it more interesting to the public and more successful economically and added that it was USADA that cleaned up bicycle racing with Lance Armstrong and the Olympics.

Two Republican members of the House of Representatives, Ed Whitfield of Kentucky and Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, are supporting Udall in what is cited as the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. The bill still only in a draft form was made available to public as millions of racing fans and casual observers prepared to watch the Kentucky Derby. The chronic abuse of racehorses with painkillers and other drugs is dangerous and just plain wrong, Udall said and added that racing groups have promised drug reform for decades, but this bill would bring in real standards and enforcement from an organization with a proven record for cleaning up sports.

Last year, Vince Mares, agency director for the New Mexico Racing Commission, publicly said drugs were sullying horseracing and he favored uniform testing standards, but declined comment on the bill of Udall until he saw it in final form. In a testimony before a committee of state legislators last October, Mares said cheating was a sad fact of life at New Mexico’s five tracks and asked for hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funding to help stop it.

A Kentucky-based organization, Racing Commissioners International, criticized the forthcoming bill as one that would be a step backward for honesty in horseracing. Ed Martin, president of Racing Commissioners International, remarked we are concerned while we have the utmost respect for what the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency does in human sport that the program they deploy permits the use of prohibited substances in competition upon receipt of a therapeutic-use exemption, something we do not allow in horseracing.

The second state bill increases civil penalties for violators of doping laws, and allows for those cases to be turned over to the appropriate district attorney for possible criminal prosecutions; both bills were sponsored by Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces. Pitts, the Pennsylvania congressman, said federal legislation was required because abuses and dangers in horseracing were a national problem and added that he chaired a hearing last year that took a deep look into the problems of both legal and illegal drugs in horseracing. Pitts added that we heard testimony about how abuse of drugs is killing horses and imperiling riders and before more people and animals are hurt, we need to put a responsible national authority in charge of cleaning up racing.

Shaun Hubbard, general manager of Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino, declined to talk about Udall’s forthcoming bill.

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Friday 17, May 2013

Olympic Gold Medalist Wants Madrid Olympic Bid To Be Thwarted

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Olympic Gold Medalist Wants Madrid Olympic Bid To Be Thwarted

Olympic cycling gold medalist Nicole Cooke wants International Olympic Committee members from Britain to vote against Madrid’s 2020 Games bid following Spain’s doping scandal.

This was after a Spanish court ordered 211 blood bags to be destroyed without analysis even though it convicted Dr Eufemiano Fuentes of giving blood transfusions to cyclists.

Cooke said it is time to stand up for every one of those unknown victims of those bags of blood, every one of those robbed by the cheats. The Welsh cyclist accused dopers of bringing out the “darkest days” of the sport. She called on the British Olympic Association’s IOC members to ensure a nation that allows its legal system to act in this manner can have no part in hosting any future Olympic Games. She went on to add that we now need our representatives to send the most clear message to the Spanish authorities and it is a great privilege to host an Olympic Games.

Cooke said Madrid seeks nomination for the 2020 Games and we have our IOC representatives, who have a vote to cast and they can, today, offer tangible sanction while we athletes can do little but comment and added that Sir Craig Reedie, Sir Philip Craven, Adam Pengilly, make your views public and crystal clear as this is not an area for inaction or even for ‘behind-closed-doors’ persuasions and urged them not to be quiet on this issue.

Cooke added nothing can make good that stolen by the criminals from their innocent victims. However, by standing idly by, the authorities, both in Spain and even here in the UK, make the pain so much more unbearable and said she knows that every child in my village wanted me to do my best. Undoubtedly every single one wanted me to win, but even more, every little boy and little girl would have preferred me to lose rather than win via some weird hormone replacement therapy and Frankenstein blood recipe, said the Olympic cycling gold medalist.

In another development, British distance runner Paula Radcliffe has criticized the decision of the Spanish court to destroy evidence seized in police raids on Eufemiano Fuentes and said it was “vital” the bags of blood were preserved, adding that Spain had been given a chance to show it backed the fight against drugs. The Spanish anti-doping agency is only just bringing into line its national legislation with the rest of the world to make it a criminal offence to take part in doping and to supply doping, and that was probably done to support the bid to host the Olympics in 2020, she said. The 39-year-old is a long-standing opponent of doping, having staged a placard protest against “EPO cheats” at the World Athletics Championship in 2001 and pointed out that the court’s decision comes at a time when progress is being made in the fight against the use of drugs in sport. She suggested the decision could damage Spanish capital Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Olympic and the head of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, Arne Ljungqvist, has also spoken out against the court’s order.

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Thursday 16, May 2013

Nadal Criticizes Ruling To Destroy Doping Evidence

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Nadal Criticizes Ruling To Destroy Doping Evidence

Rafael Nadal of Spain has criticized the decision to destroy evidence in the doping scandal of his country.

Dr Eufemiano Fuentes was recently convicted for his role in supplying blood transfusions to cyclists but a Spanish court ordered 211 blood bags to be destroyed without analysis. The doctor received a suspended sentence of one year for endangering public health and has claimed that he has worked with tennis players as well as runners, footballers, and boxers.

Nadal said the ruling was not positive for anyone and the only ones that benefited were those who cheated and the ones that are hurt are Spanish athletes and sports in general. The former world number one, who has won 11 grand slams, also remarked the image this transmits to the world isn’t the one we were hoping for and said he thinks it is a mistake that the names (of Fuentes’ clients) are not known, but that is what happened. Nadal also remarked that we will keep working so that sports stay clean and this doesn’t happen again in the future.

Britain’s Andy Murray had had already questioned the outcome of the case and tweeted, “Why would court order blood bags to be destroyed? #coverup.”

Murray criticized Spanish officials for their handling of the Operation Puerto trial, asking if they could be guilty of the “biggest cover-up in sports history”. “Case is beyond a joke,” tweeted Murray. He said it was essential that anyone who was involved should be named and remarked if one in 100 is doping then, in my eyes, that isn’t a clean sport and we need to do everything we can to ensure we have everyone that’s competing at the highest level and below is clean. He went on to add that he knows what goes in his body and he knows from his side that he is clean, so that’s all he can comment on.

Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria denied access to anti-doping authorities and international sports bodies that wanted to analyze the bags to see whether they implicate athletes in sports other than cycling; Santamaria ordered that the bags be destroyed.

The International Tennis Federation announced in March this year that it was to implement an Athlete Biological Passport program under which biological data will be collected and compared to spot discrepancies over time that suggest possible doping. This announcement came in the wake of questions raised by some of the sport’s top players about existing drug-testing procedures that focused mainly on urine tests.

A statement issued by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), on the Fuentes case, said it hopes this is not the end of the matter and it reads that access to this evidence motivated WADA’s involvement in this case and this would ensure appropriate sports sanction processes against the cheats who used Dr Fuentes’ services. The statement reads the court did consider that his conduct was a crime against public health. Dick Pound, the former head of WADA, added that it’s embarrassing for Spain and everybody knows we will be able to uncover quite a bit more doping if the examples are made available.

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Wednesday 15, May 2013

London Olympic Champion Faces Life Ban

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London Olympic Champion Faces Life Ban

Asli Cakir Alptekin of Turkey, who returned from a drugs ban to win the women’s 1500m under a cloud of suspicion at the 2012 London Olympics, faces a lifetime ban after she was being charged with another offence.

The Turkish athlete, who was given a ban of two years in 2004 after a positive drugs test at the world junior championships, has been charged on the basis of abnormal blood values from her biological passport. At the 2012 Olympic Games, she beat her compatriot Gamze Bulut to give Turkey its first-ever athletics gold medal. Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain was third and Tatyana Tomashova of Russia fourth behind Alptekin at the 2012 London Olympics.

The doping scandal comes as Istanbul is bidding for the 2020 Olympics, competing against Tokyo and Madrid.

In another development, the International Association of Athletics Federations has announced that another Turkish athlete, the double European 100m hurdles champion Nevin Yanit, also faces a ban after multiple positive findings in both in-competition and out-of-competition tests. A two-time European champion in the outdoor 100m hurdles, Yanit, won the 60m hurdles gold at the European indoors in Goteborg, Sweden, in March in 7.89s. Alina Talay of Belarus was second, followed by Veronica Borsi of Italy and Derval O’Rourke of Ireland. Yanit finished fifth in the London Olympics 100m hurdles final.

Both Yanit and Alptekin have been charged with anti-doping rule violations by the IAAF and have been suspended and the case of these athletes have been referred to the Turkish federation for adjudication and Cakir faces an automatic life ban for a second doping offence.

The president of the Turkish Olympic Committee, Ugur Erdener, said we fully support all authorities in this ongoing investigation. Erdener also said the IOC can be totally assured” of the country’s adherence to World Anti-Doping Agency rules. Erdener added that doping is a major global issue and Turkey is ready to fulfill its responsibilities in helping to eradicate it from world sport. The Turkish Olympic Committee president also added that the TOC will continue to intensify our own efforts to root out cheats in Turkish sport and any athlete found to have cheated will be punished to the full extent of Turkey’s comprehensive and rigorously enforced anti-doping legislation.

The ban on Cakir will hardly raise eyebrows in athletics, despite her denying the use of performance enhancing drugs when she was questioned immediately after her London success. British middle-distance runner Lisa Dobriskey, who finished 10th in the women’s 1,500m final behind Alptekin who served a two-year suspension for doping after the 2004 junior world championships, voiced concern that she was not competing on a level playing field. She also added at that time that I’ll probably get into trouble for saying this but I don’t believe I’m competing on a level playing field and also remarked that she thinks the blood passport is catching people but she think these Games came too soon. Dobriskey also remarked that people will be caught eventually and she would be keeping her fingers crossed anyway.

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Tuesday 14, May 2013

Drugs Are A ‘Huge Problem’ In Athletics

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Drugs Are A ‘Huge Problem’ In Athletics

Scotland’s athlete of the year, Lynsey Sharp, has remarked that drugs are a “huge problem” in athletics after she was upgraded to European 800m gold following a doping scandal. Sharp is now 2012 European champion after Russian Yelena Arzhakova received a two-year doping ban.

Arshakova was banned following an abnormal hemoglobin profile in her biological passport. She came first even though Sharp ran a personal best in Helsinki in June but finished 2.01 seconds behind winner Arzhakova.

The 22-year-old Sharp said doping is a huge problem and there are a lot of people being caught, but it’s nothing compared to the amount of people getting away with it. Sharp said if you spoke to any athlete, they would say there’s a lot of people who get away with it and probably don’t get caught and she is trying to see the positives, but at the same time you’re thinking ‘what’s the point in this?’ if this sort of thing happens. Lynsey Sharp was however happy to now call herself European champion and said she was honestly happy that she was been upgraded, but at the same time disappointed that another athlete in the sport and her event has been done. Sharp also expressed her disappointment that she wasn’t able to do a lap of honour and stand on the podium and have the national anthem playing and be European champion from that day.

Nigel Holl, chief executive of Scottish Athletics, on the possible gold of Sharp, said we are delighted she will now be recognized as a European champion and added it is another boost for Lynsey’s career and a reward for last summer when she won the UK Champs, did so well a few days later in Finland and represented Team GB and NI at the London 2012 Olympics. Holl also remarked you always feel more than a little sorry for athletes in these circumstances, because the very nature of testing afterwards and retrospective bans means they are denied that wonderful and deserved moment of glory standing on top of the podium and said we would love to be involved in any formal presentation to Lynsey of a gold medal by European Athletics and make that as grand and as fitting an occasion as possible.

Scottish Athletics could host a medal ceremony for Sharp, possibly at their annual awards dinner in the autumn if Arzhakova choose not to challenge her suspension or fails with an appeal.

In another development, the Russian athletics federation (VFLA) has handed a suspension of ten years to Olympic discus silver medalist Darya Pishchalnikova after she failed a drugs test for the second time. A sample taken from the 27-year-old in May was re-tested and proved positive for the anabolic steroid Oxandrolone, the VFLA said on its website, after which the VFLA annulled all of Pishchalnikova’s results from 20 May 2012, meaning she is set to lose her London Olympic medal. The Olympic discus silver medalist had already served a doping ban from July 2008 to April 2011.

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Monday 13, May 2013

Doping In Rugby Ignored

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Doping in rugby ignored

People are turning a blind eye to doping in rugby in the same way that was once the norm in cycling, former France hooker Laurent Benezech has claimed.

Speaking to Le Monde Benezech, Benezech remarked the proofs of doping in rugby are in front of everyone but no one seems to be interested. The French hooker remarked rugby is in exactly the same situation that cycling was before the Festina affair, the infamous case in 1998 when a Festina team doctor was stopped by customs officers at the France-Belgium border and was found to be carrying various doping products. After this, several doping investigations happened and many cyclists admitted that they were doping.

The comments of Benezech come just a week after former France scrum-half Jean-Pierre Elissalde claimed amphetamines were widely taken in the sport during the 1970s and 1980s. A few months back, a high-ranking French anti-doping official Francoise Lasne claimed rugby had returned the highest proportion of positive dope tests in France in 2012.

Benezech, who was capped 15 times from 1994 to 1995, remarked one just needs to look at the statistics to see the evidence and blamed the clubs for being complicit in abetting doping by authorizing the use of banned substances for therapeutic reasons. He went on to say that there is the legalization in some clubs of the use of authorizations given by the doctors, the famous AUTs (authorizations for therapeutic usage), otherwise players would test positive and added the authorizations for therapeutic usage have developed in the sense that the doctor justifies the use of banned substances for medical reasons when it is clear that they are used to improve performance.

Rugby authorities had to stop burying their heads in the sand or the systematic use of doping would continue, Benezech said and added that we will not be able to avoid endangering the health of sportsmen as long as we remain in the dark and refuse to be transparent.

The former French rugby union footballer played first at Sporting Club Appaméen, until 1985 and then moved to Stade Toulousain, where he would stay until 1989, moving to Racing Club de France, that he represented for seven years. After spending a season at Harlequins, in England, he returned to play for RC Narbonne, where he would finish his career in 2000. Laurent Bénézech won the title of French Champion with Racing Club de France, in 1990 and was also selected for the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals, playing a single game in the 54-18 win over Côte d’Ivoire. Laurent also published a book, Anatomie d’Une Partie de Rugby (2007).

Recently, the International Rugby Board Anti-Doping Advisory Committee reaffirmed its commitment to the global fight against drugs cheats and endorsed the exhaustive approach of rugby to testing and education. The IRB undertook 1,542 In and Out of Competition controls across IRB tournaments and events in 2012, including the HSBC Sevens World Series, Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifiers, men’s and women’s Tests and Age Grade Rugby and was praised by WADA for its extensive testing and educational campaign.

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Sunday 12, May 2013

Ratcliff Ban Not Valid Anymore

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Ratcliff ban not valid anymore

A few days back reports in the media were suggesting that the Langley Thunder will be without one of their leading scorers after the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sports handed down a two-year suspension to Lewis Ratcliff.

The Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport had made an announcement that the 31-year-old tested positive for Oxandrolone and Clenbuterol, two prohibited anabolic agents, as well as Oxycodone, a prohibited narcotic, while playing for Langley in the Mann Cup senior national lacrosse championship last September. Ratcliff acknowledged the violation and accepted the suspension according to the CCES and in a recent interview, he insisted that everything he put in his body was either prescribed or obtained over the counter to treat an injury.

The player also remarked that the whole process has been a nightmare and completely unfair and was surprised the CCES published a statement naming him and the substances for which he tested positive. The press release stated that Ratcliff waived his right to hearing, acknowledged the anti-doping rule violation, and accepted a two-year sanction ending November 9, 2014 in response to the CCES’ notification of the adverse analytical finding. Lewis Ratcliff was rendered ineligible to participate in any capacity with any sport signatory to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP), including training with teammates.

The CCES had banned him till November 9, 2014 that could have meant that he may not be eligible to play in the Western Lacrosse Association during that time and was prohibited from playing in the 2014 world field lacrosse championship.

However, the same is not valid as the NLL, the pro league operating in the U.S. and Canada, says its policy on the use of performance enhancing drugs is governed by the collective bargaining agreement with the Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association that allows for one random test per season. NLL said in a statement any testing conducted by any other entity is outside the scope of the CBA and is not an NLL matter.

The lacrosse player who plays for the Washington Stealth in the National Lacrosse League was drafted 49th overall by the Calgary Roughnecks in the 2001 NLL entry draft. A one-time 50-goal scorer with the NLL Calgary Roughnecks in 2007, Ratcliff, is currently the second-leading scorer for the Washington Stealth, who play out of Everett, Washington. The left-handed Ratcliff during the 2012 WLA season finished tied with Athan Iannucci with 57 points each, and topped among Langley’s Western Lacrosse Association team’s scorers. He also led the Thunder in goals with 30, helping Langley finish at the top the WLA regular season standings with a 12-6 record and was far and away the top WLA scorer in the playoffs, tallying 23 goals and 49 points in just 10 games in leading the Thunder to their second consecutive WLA title, as well as their second Mann Cup appearance in as many years. Ratcliff was acquired by the defending Western Lacrosse Association champion Langley Thunder from the Nanaimo Timbermen last April, in exchange for Langley’s first and second round picks in the 2014 WLA draft.

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