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Archive for  April 2014

Wednesday 09, Apr 2014

SeaWorld Admits To Doping Whales

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SeaWorld Admits To Doping Whales

Theme park SeaWorld has been accused of administering psychoactive drugs to some of their mammals. This is not the first time that the theme park has been accused of administering drugs to their animals. A few months back, it was reported that ‘Blackfish‘ director Gabriela Cowperthwaite noted that whales are often given Diazepam (Valium) to ease the stress when separated from their mother or child.

The documentary ‘Blackfish’ exposed the wrongdoings and ways by which orcas are held in captivity at SeaWorld. This documentary revealed the story of Tilikum, a killer whale, who has been accused of killing three people but is still retained by SeaWorld. There have been many petitions filed since then against the theme park to release their killer whales.

It was reported this time that Benzodiazepine, a drug that includes components of Valium and Xanax are used for keeping the orcas from acting aggressively towards each other as a result from captivity. The critics of SeaWorld have remarked that the mental issues of orca are directly related to the way they are treated in captivity and these drugs are used for treating a condition that is caused by the stress caused by not being in the wild and captivity. These revelations were made by a sworn affidavit filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a dispute between the park company and the rival company Marineland over the transport of Ikaika, a prized killer whale, to SeaWorld.

Jared Goodman, Director of Animal Law at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said the veterinary records show that orcas at SeaWorld are given psychotropic drugs to stop them from acting aggressively towards each other in the stressful, frustrating conditions in which they are confined, instead of funding the development of coastal sanctuaries – the only human solution.

In response, spokesperson for SeaWorld Fred Jacobs said Benzodiazepines are sometimes used in veterinary medicine for the care and treatment of animals, both domestic and in a zoological setting. The spokesperson added that these medications can be used for sedation for medical procedures, premedication prior to general anesthesia, and for the control of seizures and the use of benzodiazepines is regulated, and these medications are only prescribed to animals by a veterinarian. SeaWorld spokesperson added SeaWorld’s use for cetacean healthcare, including killer whales, is limited, infrequent, and only as clinically indicated base on the assessment of the attending veterinarian and added that there is no higher priority for SeaWorld than the health and well-being of the animals and its care.

PETA’s president, Ingrid Newkirk, accused SeaWorld of pumping these marine slaves full of psychotropic drugs in order to force them to perform stupid tricks.

Ingrid Visser, founder of the Orca Research Trust, remarked that orcas show stereotypical behaviors that are abnormal, repetitive behaviors like head bobbing, chewing on concrete, and self mutilation by banging the side of their heads on the side of the tank, and there isn’t a single orca living in captivity where you cannot see one of these behaviors, and in many of them you see multiple examples of these behaviors.

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Monday 07, Apr 2014

Legendary Athlete Banned For Four Years

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Legendary Athlete Banned For Four Years

Lee Edward Evans, Fulbright scholar and winner of two Olympics gold medals, has been banned from coaching athletes for four years.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Anti-Doping Committee found Evans guilty of giving performance enhancing drugs to an athlete. A consultant to Lagos State Government, Evans was banned alongside Coach Abass Rauf who was banned for life. This was after a minor athlete told the panel that Abass Rauf took her to a medical doctor who administered her with an unknown substance despite the fact that she was not sick. It was claimed by the athlete that she collapsed after she was administered with the injection and after her revival the coach asked her to have confidence in him that he could not harm her.

It was also claimed by the athlete that Lee Edward Evans introduced her to supplements, a sport drink, and amino acid when she was in Lagos State training camp.

The panel was headed by Dr. Ken Anugweje, with Femi Ayorinde and Eric Cambell as members and James Eakyns as secretary discharged and acquitted Tony Osheku, the third accused.

Osheku told the panel that he had no knowledge that Evans provided any substance, whether prohibited or not, to the athlete. Evans admitted that he gave supplements (amino acid complete and METABOLIQ infusions) to the athlete between February and March 2013. Evans said he gave the supplements to the athletes as women need supplements for their health and she was not provided with prohibited substance. Abass, on the other hand, admitted that he took the minor athlete to their family doctor for treatment of malaria when the athlete complained of feeling fever but said she was given tablets and was not injected by the doctor. But Abass on cross-examination contradicted himself by saying that the injection was administered in the apartment of the doctor and not in the hospital.

It was concluded by the panel that Abass and Evans gave performance enhancing substances to the minor athlete and they may have been responsible for the analytical findings in her urine. The panel was convinced that the analytical finding in the athlete’s urine was not because of her fault or negligence and the athlete made the right choice by mentioning the coaches who gave her the substances and providing substantial assistance to the panel. The panel determined that Evans gave supplements to the athlete without the knowledge of the medical doctor and assistant coach attached to the Lagos State Athletics team.

The panel concluded that Osheku had no knowledge of the substance given to the athlete and added that it is not impossible that the substances he gave to the athlete could have been laced with prohibited substances found in the urine of the minor athlete. The panel recommended a four year ineligibility period on Evans taking effect from date of hearing February 17, 2014. Abass was found guilty of administering prohibited substance to a minor athlete, threatening the athlete not to reveal being injected, and attempting to mislead the panel.

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Saturday 05, Apr 2014

Doping Rules Toughened By MLB And MLBPA

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Doping Rules Toughened By MLB And MLBPA

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have decided it is time for Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association by announcing longer suspensions for violators and other reforms.

According to the announcement, a first violation for performance enhancing substances will result in an unpaid suspension of 80 games increased from 50 games. A second violation will now carry an unpaid suspension of 162 games, which would be increased from 100 games while a third violation will still result in a permanent ban from Major League Baseball.

It was also announced that baseball players suspended for doping will also be barred from participating in the post-season of that year, irrespective of when their suspension ends. Moreover, these players will not be eligible for automatic shares of the players’ bonus pool provided to players on clubs that make the playoffs. Players who face suspensions for doping will now be subjected to six additional urine tests and three additional blood tests, all unannounced during every subsequent year of their careers.

The number of in-season random urine collections beginning the 2014 season for all players will more than double from 1,400 to 3,200. Meanwhile, blood collections for detecting the use of Human growth hormone will increase to 400 random collections per year. The Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association provided the Arbitration Panel with the ability to reduce the discipline of a player, subject to certain limitations, for the use of certain types of performance enhancing drugs if the player is able to prove at a hearing that the use was not intended to improve performance.

In a statement, MLB commissioner Bud Selig said Major League Baseball is proud to announce some of the most significant improvements that we have made to our program in recent years. Selig added he is committed to constantly finding ways to improve the program in order to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from the game and for MLB to serve as a model for other drug programs. Selig said baseball continues to try to escape the cloud of more than a decade of doping scandals despite having the toughest anti-doping policies in all of US pro sports.

Players’ union executive director Tony Clark said experience proves that increased penalties alone are not sufficient and added that’s why the players pushed for a dramatic increase in the frequency and sophistication of our tests, as well as comprehensive changes in a number of other areas of the program that will serve as a deterrent.

Last year, MLB imposed lengthy suspensions and fines on some of the most eminent baseball stars, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun for their involvement in Biogenesis clinic scandal. Rodriguez, the American professional baseball third baseman and shortstop for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball, was suspended for 162 games, keeping him off the field for the entire 2014 season. This was after Alex Rodriguez, considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time, was originally suspended for 211 games by MLB.

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Thursday 03, Apr 2014

Dennis Siver Tests Positive For hCG

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Dennis Siver Tests Positive For hCG

Dennis D. Siver, the Russian-German mixed martial artist who competes in the featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

The naturally-occurring hormone in both males and females is on the banned substances’ list of many sports due to frequency in use with anabolic androgenic steroids. HCG is commonly used by male athletes and bodybuilders to boost testosterone production and may also be used to lose weight. It is used as a fertility drug by women.

According to a confirmation by Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar, an “appropriate complaint” against the mixed martial artist was being prepared. It is believed Siver may serve a temporary suspension and will have the opportunity to make an appeal against the suspension. However, he may face a full suspension, a fine, and a potential overturning of his win over Manny Gamburyan at UFC 168 on December 28 in Las Vegas to a no-contest.

In a statement, Dennis Siver accepted for responsibility, but was adamant that it was not an effort on his part to knowingly dope for the fight. Siver said he would like to issue a public statement and give his fans and supporters the opportunity to form their own opinion on how the alleged doping allegations against me came about. He added he hired an external personal trainer and nutritionist before UFC 168 and the nutritionist recommended a new diet method from the US to him, which had been successfully used by the stars. Siver added he confirmed from the nutritionist if he could safely use this supplement and it was confirmed to him but he made the mistake of not making sure through the UFC if individual substances from the supplement could have effects on the drug tests. In the statement, Siver said the B sample revealed a small component of hCG in his urine sample – a minor ingredient of the diet preparation and a substance which is banned in the UFC.

Siver added he doesn’t want to blame anyone for this result and he takes full responsibility for his gullible and careless behavior. He also remarked it was his mistake and it was grossly negligent and he further remarked that he had distance himself from any kind of doping and added in his previous sixteen UFC fights, not even the smallest banned substance has been detected. Siver said this makes the current events all the more disappointing and shocking for him and his team.

Siver is #7 in official Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight rankings. He started training in martial arts in 1994 when he started learning sambo, judo, kickboxing, and taekwondo. Dennis Siver became the WAKO amateur kickboxing champion of Germany in 1997 and was signed by the UFC after his win against Jim Wallhead at CWFC – Enter The Rough House. His victory against Nate Mohr at UFC 93 in Dublin was awarded the Knockout of the Night award where he managed to TKO his opponent via a spinning back kick and punches.

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Tuesday 01, Apr 2014

Jockey Club Wants USADA To Be In Charge

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Jockey Club Wants USADA To Be In Charge

One of horse racing’s most influential groups, The Jockey Club, has said it would be supporting to put the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to reinstate fair play in the sport.

The club said USADA can bring law and order to horse racing, a sport that has not been able to eliminate a pervasive drug culture that has alienated some fans and put riders and horses at risk.

Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of the club, remarked that efforts for reforming the sport from within had moved at a slow pace and not at all in some cases. The horse racing industry managed to come up with a national uniform medication program after some scandals but only 4 of the 38 states with racing have implemented this program fully. In a statement, Phipps said we will aggressively seek rapid implementation, including steps leading toward the elimination of all race-day medications. He added that the integrity of competition and the general perception of the sport all at risk, we cannot afford to wait any longer with the safety of our horses.

The announcement came after investigations by racing authorities in New York, Kentucky, and New Mexico into allegations that trainer Steve Asmussen and his top assistant, Scott Blasi, treated their horses in cruel ways. It was also alleged that both of them gave drugs to their horses for non-therapeutic purposes and even used the services of a jockey to try an electrical device to shock them into running faster. Ranking second in career victories, Asmussen had been on the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame ballot but his name was promptly removed after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) leveled the accusations after an undercover investigation that included videotaped recordings. Asmussen was also accused by PETA of employing undocumented workers, conspiring with Blasi for the purpose of producing false identification documents, and requiring undocumented workers to use false names on I.R.S. forms.

The allegations were first reported in The New York Times.

Phipps added it is his hope that these state bodies use all the prosecutorial powers available to determine if there is evidence of animal cruelty, medication violations — and cheating. He added like so many others, he was upset by what he saw in The Times and disgusted by what he saw and what was alleged in that PETA video. The Jockey Club chairman said any person abusing a horse or caught with an electronic stimulation device like the one described in the video should be banned from the sport for life. He went on to remark that and as much as it pains him to see our industry being denigrated in the media, there is another part of him that feels that we, as an industry, deserve every bit of that criticism because the sport’s rules and our penalties have not been effective deterrents.

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act — written by Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, and Representative Joe Pitts, Republican of Pennsylvania — has been brought to the attention of the Congress. This bill would give the United States Anti-Doping Agency the authority for developing rules for permitted and prohibited substances.

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