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Archive for  December 2013

Tuesday 10, Dec 2013

Doping In Tennis Not A Problem

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Doping In Tennis Not A Problem

World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman has surprised all by remarking that tennis does not has a problem with performance enhancing drugs. In recent times, Viktor Troicki and Marin Cilic have received suspensions for testing positive and the anti-doping program of tennis has been criticized by several top tennis stars.

Big names like Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic have urged tennis’s governing body to do more testing. Howman applauded the demand for more stringent anti-doping measures but said the sport doesn’t have a major problem. Howman remarked he doesn’t think tennis has a problem, per se and he thinks tennis has a high profile issue in that the athletes at the helm are saying ‘we want more’ and he thinks that’s a good thing.

The WADA director general remarked he thinks if you have athletes praising the fight against doping and asking to be tested more, then the response from the national federation will be: ‘We will do it,’ and added if they don’t, they’ll be risking the wrath of their top players which he doesn’t think any international federation would want. Howman said having athletes speak out is the best possible progress we could make from our perspective and having athletes support what we do is even better and when we recall some of those tennis players, Andy Murray in particular, three or four years ago, he was very critical of anti-doping in general and now, he’s one of the ones calling for more, which shows a very good shift.

Howman, while referring to anti-doping measures in Jamaica, said he has gone through the recommendations that we’ve made, to make sure that their program returns to the robust program it was several years ago. He added that Jamaica’s Minister with responsibility for Sport, Natalie Neita Headley, has agreed entirely with the recommendations and some of those are strong and we have asked her to review the legislation in the country, we’ve asked her to review the governance of the body responsible for overseeing it and several other operational matters. He went to add that Neita came to him and said we are committing eight million Jamaican dollars to the program immediately and are hiring the people you suggested. Howman also added that he communicated to her that WADA will be monitoring and will get the country to work with one of the strong anti-doping agencies, so you get mentored properly and we’ll be reporting back to the board on that progress next year.

In a statement released in Kingston, the country’s minister with responsibility for sport recently said the Commissioners of Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission have taken a decision, in the national interest and in order to facilitate the re-structuring of JADCO, to tender their resignations which will take effect on December 31, 2013. JADCO has been under fire since former senior JADCO official Renee Anne Shirley said the authority had carried out just one out-of-competition test from February 2012 to the start of the London Olympics in July.

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Sunday 08, Dec 2013

Second Positive Test For Paget’s Horse

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Second Positive Test For Paget’s Horse

The B blood sample taken from Clifton Promise, ridden by Jock Paget of New Zealand at the Burghley International Horse Trials, has tested positive for the banned substance Reserpine (a long-term sedative that is extracted from the root of Rauwolfia serpentina or Rauwolfia vomitoria plants), according to a confirmation by the International Equestrian Federation.

Paget has remarked that it is disappointing to learn that the B sample has tested positive, but added it was expected as the blood in the B sample was taken at the same time as the A sample. In a statement, the New Zealander said he will continue to work closely with my team to provide a full explanation to the International Equestrian Federation.

At the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September, the horse of Jonathan “Jock” Paget and another horse (Clifton Pinot, 14th at Burghley) ridden by his mentor, Kevin McNab, tested positive for the banned sedative Reserpine. The two horses are both from the team owned by Frances Stead and were housed in adjacent boxes in Burghley’s temporary stables. On October 14, the Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) was notified of the positive test from the A sample and Paget and his horse since then have been provisionally suspended from FEI and national competitions. Clifton Promise is the first New Zealand horse to fail a dope test in any FEI sport.

Paget, the New Zealand equestrian, won a bronze medal in Team eventing at the 2012 Summer Olympics and became only the second rider after fellow New Zealander Mark Todd to win the Badminton Horse Trials on debut. Paget became a professional eventer in Australia before moving to the United Kingdom and is now based at Dunsfold.

The New Zealander is now expected to submit written documentation to the federation for explaining the presence of the banned substance in the horse’s bloodstream. Equestrian Sports New Zealand chief executive Jim Ellis remarked that Jock Paget must now provide a plausible and satisfactory explanation to the FEI over the coming months as to why that banned system was in Clifton Promise’s blood.

Meanwhile, Paget is very much confident of offering a comprehensive explanation that will be considered at a hearing. Paget may have lot of time to build his case as the hearing is expected to happen as late as February and March but he may be stripped of his Burghley title no matter what the outcome. Ellis also remarked that the rule violation makes that automatic and clearly the FEI tribunal will consider a period of suspension and, taking into account the evidence and facts of the matter that Jock will put to them, and said he really can’t pre-empt what that will be. This would mean that fellow New Zealander Andrew Nicholson who finished second in the prestigious event in September could now be promoted as the winner of the Burghley title.

Paget’s case is the second biggest scandal of the year after the systematic doping case of racehorses that are owned by Sheikh Mohammed and trained at New­market by Mahmood Al Zarooni.

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Friday 06, Dec 2013

NBA Should Study The Potential Benefits Of HGH, Says Dallas Mavericks Owner

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NBA Should Study The Potential Benefits Of HGH, Says Dallas Mavericks Owner

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has remarked that the National Basketball Association (NBA), the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world, and other sport leagues should take a closer look at the prospective benefits of human growth hormone (HGH).

Cuban remarked the issue is not whether he thinks HGH should be used and the issue is that it has not been approved for expediting an athlete’s return. He also remarked one of the reasons why human growth hormone has not been approved is that there have not been studies done to prove the benefits of prescribing HGH for athletic rehabilitation or any injury rehabilitation that he is aware of and the product has such a huge public stigma that no one wants to be associated with it.

Cuban’s comments echoed the same he made this summer while making an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” While discussing about the season-plus-long PED suspension of MLB player Alex Rodriguez, Cuban said it’s never been proven that HGH helps a baseball player or a basketball player and HGH is just been so tainted that players shouldn’t take it that it’s become banned for no good reason.

The Dallas Mavericks owner said he believes that professional sports leagues should work together and fund studies to determine the efficacy of HGH for rehabbing an injury and working together could lead us from the path of demonizing HGH and even testosterone towards a complete understanding. Cuban said it could allow us to make a data based decision rather than the emotional decision we are currently making and if it can help athletes recover more quickly, maybe we can extend careers and have healthier happier players and fans.

Under the 1990 Anabolic Steroids Control Act, use of human growth is illegal without a prescription. The distribution and possession of the hormone for any use other than the treatment of a disease or other recognized medical condition, where such use has been authorized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and pursuant to the order of a physician is classified as a felony, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. HGH is classified as a performance enhancing drug by the World Anti-Doping Agency and International Olympic Committee and the agencies ban athletes from using it. Human growth hormone has the ability of promoting and increasing the synthesis of new protein tissues. It also has the potential of improving sleep patterns and sexual performance. HGH is also found beneficial for improving the quality and duration of heart and kidneys and is equally effective for building stronger bones. Supplementing human growth hormone can raise the metabolism and energy levels of an individual, which in turn makes people, feel energized and burn fat at a faster pace.

In the past, the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association agreed to the appointment of a panel of experts for studying the issue of human growth hormone testing as part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement but no findings were reported as yet.

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Wednesday 04, Dec 2013

Masters Racer Suspended For Doping Violation

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Masters Racer Suspended For Doping Violation

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has suspended Richard Meeker, the U.S. masters racer who tested positive for a banned substance last year, for a period of two years. This was after Meeker provided a urine sample on September 6, 2012 after competing in the masters road championships in Oregon that tested positive for 19-norandrosterone and 19-noretiocholanolone, which are metabolites indicating the use of a prohibited anabolic steroid.

The Masters racer however has claimed that he is the victim of a tainted supplement and added he has the proof. In a statement to the media, Meeker’s attorney Howard Jacobs, who represented athletes such as Floyd Landis and Marion Jones in their doping cases, remarked that Richard Meeker discovered which supplement contained 19-norandrostenediol, an anabolic steroid prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The statement further revealed that the Masters racer tested many supplements he had been taking and kept USADA informed of his progress. Meeker shared the final results with the United States Anti-Doping Agency but was still suspended for two years for the doping violation.

Meeker agreed that the positive test constitutes a first doping offense and believes his test results may have been positive due to his use of a dietary supplement that he bought and used before his positive test.

Richard Meeker, an elite Masters cyclist with many road cycling championships to his credit, holds an international license as a member of USA Cycling and the UCI. Reeker’s suspension will expire on September 5, 2014 and he will not be eligible to compete in any competition under the jurisdiction of the UCI, USA Cycling, the USOC, any other signatory of the WADA Code, any body that has accepted the WADA Code, any body whose rules are consistent with the WADA Code, or any of the clubs, member associations, or affiliates of these entities.

The 51-year-old remarked he was shocked to learn of the finding of this sanction, as he had always been a proponent of clean sport and have never knowingly taken any prohibited substances. He went on to add that cycling is his hobby and not his career and it would make no sense for him to use an illegal substance.

Meeker’s case was reviewed by the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA), according to USADA. It was found that Meeker had failed to establish the source of the prohibited substance in his sample and had committed a doping violation under WADA Code 2.1. The Masters racer was stripped of all results dating back to the Masters Road Championships and he will be eligible to return to racing next fall. Meeker remarked he return to amateur cycling competition in September 2014, and will prove through his results that he had always raced clean.

The two-year period of ineligibility for Meeker began on September 6, 2012, the day his sample was collected. The cyclist has also been disqualified from all competitive results achieved at and subsequent to the Masters Road Championships competition, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

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Monday 02, Dec 2013

Chris Froome Welcomes Tougher Doping Penalties

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Chris Froome Welcomes Tougher Doping Penalties

Chris Froome has welcomed tougher doping penalties and said he has been personally hit hard by claims of cheating. The Tour de France 2013 champion said cycling was now a much cleaner sport than it was during the notorious Lance Armstrong era.

Speaking at the end of a private visit to Kenya, Froome said to reporters that it is great that the World Anti-Doping Agency plans to extend the ban from two to four years, and that cycling is being taken as leading the way in the fight in anti-doping. He added when first-time offenders are given a four-year ban, that’s quite serious for a sport when the window is very short. Chris Froome added you can only be a professional for 15 years and it is a harsh penalty and that’s what we need to see in cycling.

The Team Sky rider added that he has no sympathy for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong but hopes that the now-banned rider will be given a chance to testify at any future inquiry into doping in professional cycling. Froome said there is still so much that needs to be explained, needs to be elaborated on in order for everyone to be able to put this story to bed and, finally, move on from this and there is still a lot of good that can be done through what Armstrong has to say and he thinks it would eventually put an end to that story and allow the rest of us to carry on with our careers. The British rider added it would be really good for the sport to know exactly what was happening at those times so that we can learn and move on from that and he doesn’t think it’s good for the current situation of the sport to be lingering on what’s happened in the past. Froome also said that he would want to see him come forward and really tell it like it is and say exactly what happened so that we can put the story to bed and it happened more than a decade ago and we need to stop talking about it now.

In another development, a new book Inside Team Sky has claimed that Sir Bradley Wiggins snubbed Team Sky colleague Chris Froome after he won last year’s Tour de France by splitting his prize money with all his other teammates, excluding Froome. In his book, Sunday Times chief sports writer David Walsh said that Wiggins eventually paid Froome the money during the week of this year’s World Championships in Florence, and on the insistence of team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford. Froome was runner-up to Wiggins in the race that would have netted him €200,000, but the tradition of Tour de France dictates that overall winner shares his prize money with all the riders who help him win. Wiggins and Froome were struggling with tension in the second half of the 2012 Tour de France after Froome appeared to attack Wiggins, his team leader, on Stage 11 to La Toussuire-Les-Sybelles. This incident sparked a row on Twitter between Wiggins’ wife Cath, and Froome’s now fiancée, Michelle Cound.

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