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Archive for  October 2013

Friday 11, Oct 2013

Lord Stevens Appointed To Investigate Equine Doping Revelations

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Lord Stevens Appointed To Investigate Equine Doping Revelations

The former Commissioner of the UK Metropolitan Police, Lord Stevens, will undertake an inquiry into the global racing and endurance operations of Sheikh Mohammed. This was after stables and a private jet owned by the ruler of Dubai were targeted this summer in drugs raids.

Lord Stevens said we will study events surrounding the seizures at Stansted and Moorley Farm, including the chain of custody for the medications in question and their intended purpose. This investigation will also be looking into organizational structures, internal communication, and veterinary practices throughout the equine operations of the Sheikh and will cover his Darley breeding empire and Godolphin stable in Newmarket.

Princess Haya of Jordan, the wife of Sheikh Mohammed, had already started an internal investigation into the seized veterinary banned drugs. Haya issued directives to staff setting out for auditing medical supplies, and requiring staff to uphold the good name of the Maktoum family at all times. Lord Stevens had already assisted Princess, in her role as president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), for establishing the clean sport initiatives that formed the central plank of her FEI election manifesto in 2006. Haya’s proposals have proved to be effective across a range of FEI equestrian sports but not so much in endurance racing where her husband is the major player. But the lines of accountability may become complex with Lord Stevens assigned the task of investigating alleged malpractices within the personal sporting entities of Sheikh Mohammed.

Many believe this investigation will serve no purpose as Princess Haya, the wife of Sheikh Mohammed, is the president of the International Equestrian Federation and the head of the investigation. Moreover, the five-man body set up by Princess Haya has members including Saaed Al Tayer, a senior employee of Sheikh Mohammed, and the endurance trainer of Sheikh, Jaume Punti Dachs, whose Newmarket yard was the subject of one of the drugs seizures, is a senior member of the endurance committee of the FEI. Lord Stevens claims that Sheikh Mohammed is adamant that any evidence of violations of law or regulation in any jurisdiction should be shared with the appropriate authorities. He said our primary focus is on preventing any future systemic failures and we will identify best practices and develop protocols and procedures to streamline and improve management and operations. Lord Stevens emphasized that all sporting concerns of Sheikh Mohammed, including the racing yards of Godolphin, will come in his remit. The British Horseracing Authority in the last few days has actively distanced thoroughbred racing from endurance racing.

Recently, Princess Haya of Jordan announced that she will not seek a third term as president of the FEI after opponents flagged up her alleged “conflict of interest” as wife of the ruler of Dubai. She added that we through thick and thin have achieved more than 80 per cent of all pledges laid down in my manifesto and program in an open, democratic, and transparent manner. The FEI president also said she suggested the two-year limit because it is essential to ensure fresh thinking and avoid a sense of entitlement within the leadership of an International Sport Federation.

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Wednesday 09, Oct 2013

TDU Race Director Launches Defamation Lawsuit

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TDU Race Director Launches Defamation Lawsuit

Mike Turtur, the man behind Tour Down Under, has launched Supreme Court action against Australia’s multicultural broadcaster SBS over allegations that he covered up doping in professional cycling.

The Tour Down Under race director has sought unspecified damages, costs, and interest. Turtur remarked in his statement of claim that an online story titled TDU officials cover up doping positive was defamatory. He further alleged that this story suggested he practiced, participated in, or engaged in a cover-up of a positive drug test that was returned by Italian cyclist Giampaolo Caruso after his 2003 Tour Down Under stage victory. The 55-year-old Turtur also asserted that the story’s updated headline TDU officials criticized as going easy on doping positive further suggested the TDU race director did not take seriously the problem of illegal drugs in professional cycling.

Turtur also asserted that the comments of readers about the readers suggested that he was bringing shame on the image of Australia as a drug-free sporting nation and he deliberately concealed a positive drug test by a cyclist from the public. Turtur also expressed displeasure over a statement made during a television broadcast by Cycling Central co-presenter Anthony Tan.

The TDU chief remarked both the website and the program attracted a large audience of visitors and viewers, particularly having a special interest in the sport of cycling. He added the report and the published comments suggest he was corrupt and rotten to the core, practicing or participating in a code of silence about drug cheats in professional cycling, and deliberately concealing from the public a positive drug test by a cyclist.

In the past, Turtur has remarked he did not believe it was his duty to publicize Giampaolo Caruso’s positive test for Nandrolone. At that time, Turtur said he doesn’t believe it was up to the Tour Down Under to publicize the fact that Caruso returned a positive dope test after winning the Willunga Hill stage in 2003. The cyclist tested positive for a banned drug and fined $2000 and suspended for six months. His name later emerged in Operación Puerto but he was acquitted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Turtur while defending himself said race organizers don’t go around publicizing or advertising or making a point of any doping infringements because it’s not their job or their responsibility and the positive drug test story would have been published on the (International Cycling Union’s) UCI website that he was found to be in violation of the code and that’s how it’s dealt with.

Turtur added at that time he can’t see the point in making any other public comment in regard to anything that might happen in that area other than the process taking its natural course with the UCI and the anti-doping agencies. Turtur was criticized in the past for not backing away from his support of Lance Armstrong and he defended himself by saying he didn’t believed in anything what Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis said as they have no credibility whatsoever.

Meanwhile, SBS has denied the allegations and remarked the story, comments, and broadcasts are “not capable of being, and are not, defamatory.”

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Monday 07, Oct 2013

Alex Rodriguez Sues MLB

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Alex Rodriguez Sues MLB

Alex Rodriguez has sued Major League Baseball accusing the league of allegedly buying the testimony of an important witness in the doping case built against him. The filing was made by the New York Yankees star in the New York State Supreme Court.

The filing made by Alex Rodriguez claimed that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and others in the organization are making attempts to improperly marshal evidence that they hope to use to destroy the reputation and career of Alex Rodriguez. The baseball star claimed MLB paid $150,000 for records from the clinic and is paying Anthony Bosch, who ran the now-defunct Miami anti-aging clinic accused of selling banned performance enhancing drugs to many baseball stars, $5 million for his information against Rodriguez

The 38-year-old third baseman was recently banned for 211 games by the MLB for his involvement in the Biogenesis doping scandal. MLB commissioner Selig said A-Rod tried to impede the investigation in which 13 baseball stars including 2011 National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun were suspended for at least 50 games.

Rodriguez, with 654 home runs to his credit, appealed against the ban and was able to take part in the final weeks of the season. A decision on his case is believed to happen before the start of 2014 pre-season workouts. The Yankees’ star didn’t mention his team in the lawsuit that seeks damages that would be determined at trial. A-Rod, in his lawsuit, remarked the MLB commissioner wants to make him an example to gloss over the past inaction and tacit approval by Selig of the use of performance enhancing substances in baseball in an attempt to secure his legacy as the ‘savior’ of America’s pastime.

Rodriguez also said Selig turned a blind eye to doping in baseball to help it recover from a labor dispute that wiped out the 1994 World Series and reversed course only US lawmakers put pressure in 2006. The star baseman also remarked MLB has league damaging information about Rodriguez to the media, which is a violation of confidentiality agreement and that investigators have bribed and intimidated witnesses and even impersonated police officers.

In response to the lawsuit by Alex Rodriguez, MLB issued a statement claiming Rodriguez has violated confidentiality agreements as well as doping rules. The statement reads that this lawsuit is a clear violation of the confidentiality provisions of our drug program and it is nothing more than a desperate attempt to circumvent the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The statement also said that while we vehemently deny the allegations in the complaint, none of those allegations is relevant to the real issue: whether Rodriguez violated the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by using and possessing numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years and whether he violated the basic agreement by attempting to cover-up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.

Alex Rodriguez Sues MLB

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Saturday 05, Oct 2013

Doping Ban Avoided By Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

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Doping Ban Avoided By Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown has received only a public warning from a Jamaican disciplinary panel. The athlete was suspended after returning a positive test for a banned diuretic at the Jamaica International Invitational meet in May.

The Jamaican athlete is now cleared to make a return to competition five months after she returned a positive doping test. Campbell-Brown missed the Jamaica’s national championships and the chance to race at the 2013 world championships in Moscow. The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association said in a statement that its disciplinary committee recommended that a reprimand without any period of ineligibility would be appropriate. The disciplinary panel ruled that the athlete committed an anti-doping violation but the use of banned substance was for not performance enhancement.

In June this year, a spokesman for the IAAF said the athlete’s case appeared to involve a lesser offense of unintentional use of a banned substance.

Campbell-Brown tested positive for the diuretic Furosemide, a banned substance that is often marketed under the name Lasix. Furosemide is a diuretic which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list because it can be used as a masking agent to conceal the presence of performance enhancing drugs. The athlete and her management team travelled to Canada to have her ‘B’ sample analyzed at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal but she was notified that the second test had confirmed the original adverse finding.

Jamaica’s most decorated female athlete, Campbell-Brown is an online diarist for the International Association of Athletics Federations and a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO. In 2000, she became the first female to win the sprint double at the IAAF World Junior Championships and the following year, she was awarded the Austin Sealy Trophy for the most outstanding athlete of the 2001 CARIFTA Games. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Veronia Campbell-Brown decimated the field in the 200m finals defeating favorite American Allyson Felix to become the first Jamaican and Caribbean National to win in the history of the games to won a sprint Olympic title. She won the silver medal in the 100 m at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics and a silver medal in the 4 x 100 m relay.

The athlete from Jamaica won three medals with a gold in the 100 m, a silver in the 200 m, and a silver in the 4 x 100 m relay at the 2007 World Championships. At the 208 Olympics, Veronica Campbell-Brown defended her Olympic 200 m title in a new personal best time of 21.74 s. In the 4x100m finals, the athletics star teamed up with Aleen Bailey, Tayna Lawrence, and Sherone Simpson to win the women 4x100m. Track and Field News, at the end of the 2008 season, selected her as the top 200 m runner in the world as well as the fourth best in the 100 m (following three other Jamaicans). Campbell-Brown won her first World Indoor 60m Gold medal in a time of 7.00 in 2010 and then went on to get the time of 21.98 (200 m) in New York.

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Thursday 03, Oct 2013

Probe Into Drug Seizure Ordered By Sheikh Mohammed

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Probe Into Drug Seizure Ordered By Sheikh Mohammed

An investigation into the seizure of an illegal shipment including unlicensed veterinary goods from a private jet owned by Dubai government at Stansted airport in May has been ordered by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and his wife HH Princess Haya.

President of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, Princess Haya, will be in the charge of a comprehensive probe into the seizure of thousands of pounds that British newspaper The Guardian says include anesthetics, steroidal injections, and anti-inflammatories some of which, if used in an incorrect manner, could be harmful to horses. Sheikh Mohammed appointed former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens for conducting an internal inquiry into the drug-related incidents that have rocked his equine empire.

It was also claimed by the newspaper that Princess Haya, will meet Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan police chief for discussing her investigation and a directive has already been sent by her to those running the equine operations of Sheikh Mohammed, including Godolphin. It is done with an aim to ensure there is no breach of regulations and this may establish a centralized auditing system for ensuring strict control over the movement and purchase of veterinary goods. The report also stated that Princess Haya will also conduct investigations into a separate raid by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate at Moorley Farm in Newmarket, a location owned by his highness’s Darley Management operation when 124 products were seized on August 7.

The shipment seized at Stansted airport didn’t include anabolic androgenic steroids but are believed to be products for use on endurance horses, says The Guardian. This claim is presently being investigated by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate in conjunction with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. The Guardian also claims that it has full inventory details of the seized products that have been forwarded to Godolphin and the British Horseracing Authority.

Lord Stevens said he has been asked by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to oversee an internal inquiry that will examine organizational structures, internal communication, and veterinary practices at all of the major components of Sheikh Mohammed’s equestrian properties and operations, including Darley, Godolphin, Meydan and Janah, the equine flight company. He added we will look into events surrounding the seizures at Stansted and Moorley Farm, including the chain of custody for the medications in question and their intended purpose and will also look beyond those specific events for a wide-ranging assessment of veterinary procedures and practices to determine whether they are in support of horse welfare and in keeping with all applicable laws and regulations. Lord Stevens added Sheikh Mohammed is adamant that any evidence of violations of law or regulation in any jurisdiction should be shared with the appropriate authorities and our primary focus is on preventing any future systemic failures. He added we will identify best practices and develop protocols and procedures to streamline and improve management and operations and also added that we have agreed that we will not wait until the inquiry is finished to suggest any improvements that should be implemented more quickly.

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Tuesday 01, Oct 2013

Former Juventus Striker Hurt Over Doping Allegations

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Former Juventus Striker Hurt Over Doping Allegations

Fabrizio Ravanelli, former Italy and Juventus striker, has remarked that he is extremely upset and hurt with allegations that he is using doping at Ajaccio. The ex-Juventus star also dismissed cocaine claims as unfounded.

According to reports in French media, Ravanelli who took over as coach of the Ligue 1 club is providing banned supplements to this players. The reports also linked the claims to suspicions that the Italian used illegal drug cocaine while at Olympique de Marseille. The coach is however vehemently denying all allegations and remarked that his image is being tarnished by these allegations that are without evidence. Ravanelli added that he believes in playing clean football and there was only player who had problems with cocaine during his time at Marseille and he wasn’t that person. He went on to add that these allegations hurt him as he is someone who would hold his head up as he never failed thousands of checks and nothing has been found against him.

Affectionately known as the ‘White Feather”, the striker spent the 1996-97 season dazzling Premier League crowds and mesmerizing Boro fans. Ravanelli scored 22 goals in just 40 appearances for Boro and scored a hat trick on his Middlesbrough debut against Liverpool. Fabrizio Ravanelli won five titles with Juventus, which included a Serie A championship in 1995 and a Champions League title in 1996. One of the top goal scorers of Europe in the mid-1990s, Ravanelli scored all five goals in a 5-1 win for Juventus against CSKA Sofia. The moved to Olympique de Marseille after the relegation of Middlesbrough and Marseille finished one point behind Girondins de Bordeaux in the French Division 1 (1998-99 season).

Ravanelli also heaped praise on Giovanissimi Regionali side after their excellent 3-2 victory over Barcelona helped in securing the prestigious Internacional Infantil title in Spain. Ravanelli said he believes the impeccable attitude of Giovanissimi was the secret behind their tournament success. He added we have won an important tournament, a type of Champions League for lads of this age and it’s a deserved victory and a great source of pride for us and the entire Juventus setup. He also remarked that we faced every game with commitment, determination, character, and personality.

In another development, Malaga boss Bernd Schuster has surprised everyone by saying that doping should be permitted as long as its purpose is recovery and not enhancing performance of players. Schuster said he believes doping is absolutely fine if used for regenerative measures. Schuster insisted that he was always given “something” by the medical staff during his active time but he never questioned what type of substances they were as it wasn’t about getting us to run over the pitch with 200 percent, but rather to conquer minor injuries or illnesses. He added doping wasn’t an issue during his active time it makes sense if doping allows a player to reach his full fitness level two to three weeks faster and said he has no problems with doping as long as it is for recovery purposes.

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