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Archive for  May 2014

Saturday 31, May 2014

Foreign Agents Blamed In Kenya Doping Report

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Foreign Agents Blamed In Kenya Doping Report

A probe into allegations of widespread doping in Kenya sports has blamed lack of education, ignorance, and manipulation by foreign agents as the main reasons behind the serious incidences of drug use by Kenyan athletes.

The report says all sports bodies in Kenya are aware of anti-doping policies as propagated by the respective international federations and WADA, but none of them have elaborate programs targeting education and testing.

The government-appointed commission however did not uncover evidence of doping among its record-breaking distance runners. The commission completed its work earlier this month and has presented its findings to the Kenyan sports minister, Hassan Wario. The report said foreign agents have brought an upsurge in cases of athletes testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, including the blood-booster EPO.

The head of the taskforce, Professor Moni Wekesa, said we have left our athletes in the hands of foreigners and added that Athletics Kenya (AK) only organizes the national events, including the African games and Olympics and have given the foreign agents the free hand to manage the athletes in the Diamond League and other international competitions. Wekesa added these are the people who have the greater control on what to give the athletes and said any drugs which we found to have been used by the athletes was only through the influence of the foreign agents and remarked that these are the very sophisticated drugs only the agents know how to administer. The country had every reason to worry about the surge in drug use, according to Wekesa. Out of the total of 37 athletes suspended in the last two decades, 17 tested positive between January 2012 and June 2013. Wekesa added the report, yet to be made public, calls for all national sports associations to be mandated to comply with the policies of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Running great Kipchoge Keino, Kenya’s National Olympic Committee chief, said it is important that doping in Kenya should be stopped to ensure that no Kenyan athlete of a similar caliber to Tyson Gay or Asafa Powell is lured into using performance enhancing drugs. Keino added we need to educate our athletes. We need to sit down together and give them seminars so they can understand and said we have to show them in practical terms that this is not the right way.

According to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), eight Kenyans have been suspended in 2012. All the blood samples taken in Nairobi are flown to Johannesburg, Barcelona, or Paris for tests because the country does not have a single IAAF-certified drugs testing lab.

Before London Olympic Games, the German national television broadcaster ARD aired allegations that doping is widespread in Kenya. Initially, Kenyan officials were furious but they soon started to acknowledge the problem. Colm O’Connell, coach to Kenya’s Olympic champion and 800 meters world record holder David Rudisha, said we are in a very hazy situation about this whole drug situation with recent developments. O’Connell added that the Kenyan federation has to get on top of doping issues to maintain its credibility.

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Thursday 29, May 2014

Fans Have Right To Doping-Free Rugby League World Cup, Says Wilkin

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Fans Have Right To Doping-Free Rugby League World Cup, Says Wilkin

Jon Wilkin, Athlete Committee member and England International, has emphasized on the importance of clean sport.

The English professional rugby league footballer who plays for St Helens RLFC of Super League remarked that he was appointed a member of the newly-formed Athlete Committee of UK Anti-Doping in May 2010. Wilkin remarked that this appointment offered an opportunity for athletes and players such as him to feed into anti-doping policy and decision making for, like it or not, anti-doping is part and parcel of life in elite sport.

Jon Wilkin was named as the first chairman of the newly founded Super League Players’ Association in January 2012. He was recognized for his good season in 2006 by being named in the 2006 Super League Dream Team and was selected for the England squad to compete in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament.

Wilkin, who won The Observer’s first Community Champion Award and previously played for Hull Kingston Rovers before moving to Saints, said the hours of training on the pitch and in the gym and the responsibility to compete clean is constant and essential amidst all the preparations for this month’s Rugby League World Cup. The rugby league footballer added that our sport has been under public scrutiny since the Australian Crime Commission report was published back in January, and fans have a right to watch, support, and believe in a doping-free World Cup. Wilkin remarked that one of the key developments in anti-doping that has been seen by us over the last few years is the use of intelligence to inform programs through a risk-based approach.

He went on to remark that every player coming to compete in the United Kingdom should be prepared for a stringent anti-doping program. Jon Wilkin added he had learnt firsthand of how such an approach works and how important this approach is to anti-doping through the Athlete Committee. Wilkin also remarked that the Intelligence Team of UK Anti-Doping gathers all kinds of information and use this to inform their testing and education programs and added that the Education team has been working on a bespoke ‘Win Clean’ campaign to ensure that all players are made aware of their anti-doping rights and responsibilities. Wilkin also remarked that he hope we can inspire a few more to take up the sport, and importantly, be encouraged to do so without the temptation of performance enhancing drugs.

The Great Britain and England international representative forward said players cannot escape punishment by saying they are unaware of how a drug gets into their body. He added that principle of strict liability requires every player or athlete, whatever your sport, to take responsibility for what goes into their body. Jon Wilkin added that the Athlete Committee has discussed the issue of supplements on a number of occasions, the high number of positives these products cause, and the possible risks to health and added that there are education programs in place to raise awareness and provide assistance to prevent inadvertent doping.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Fans Have Right To Doping-Free Rugby League World Cup, Says Wilkin

Tuesday 27, May 2014

Clean Sport Commitment Statement Signed By Kelly Holmes Education

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Clean Sport Commitment Statement Signed By Kelly Holmes Education

Kelly Holmes Education has become the latest organization to pledge its efforts for supporting doping-free sport after developing their Clean Sport commitment statement.

With this announcement, Kelly Holmes Education has adopted stance of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) that cheating, including doping, in sport is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport and undermines the otherwise positive impact of sport on society.

In 2004, double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes established the Foundation that has created and delivered education programs and mentoring to the next generation of elite sports performers ever since then. In 2012, more than 2,000 athletes, parents, and support personnel were educated face-to-face through the 100% me program of UK Anti-Doping. All the participants in the expanding Kelly Holmes Education programs will now be part of this commitment to Clean Sport.

The 100% me program is an initiative by UK Anti-Doping to help athletes being true athletes and emphasize on hard work, passion, determination, integrity, and respect.

For supporting this commitment, UK Anti-Doping will deliver education workshops to athletes and their parents taking part in the whole range of programs delivered by Kelly Holmes Education.

 UK Anti-Doping Education Manager Amanda Batt said that educating athletes at all stages of their development about the values of clean sport and the dangers of doping forms an integral part of our long term prevention strategy. Batt added that we can only do this successfully by working closely with organizations that provide support to the next generation of athletes and went on to remark that this  partnership with Kelly Holmes Education shows how much they value the importance of clean sport. The UK Anti-Doping Education Manager added it will also provide these talented young athletes with the education and support they may need to stay away from doping as they progress through their sporting careers.

Dame Kelly Holmes said that clean sport is at the heart of our core values at Kelly Holmes Education, and we are delighted to be working with UK Anti-Doping to show our commitment towards developing the next generation of clean athletes. Holmes added our athletes will be the role models of tomorrow, so we encourage them to support the 100% me attitude of being successful and confident while retaining the values of clean, fair competition.

In 2012, the National Trainers of UKAD delivered an interactive 100% me workshop to 22 athletes taking part in Dame Kelly Holmes’ ‘On Camp with Kelly’ and ‘Future Stars with Kelly’ mentoring and education initiatives.

Dame Kelly, who participated in the quiz as a contestant, said it is of the utmost importance that all sports people are fully up-to-date with anti-doping regulations and procedures and for that reason she ensures that all participants in my mentoring and education programs take part in 100% me workshops. Kelly added the workshop at our Aviva-sponsored ‘On Camp with Kelly’ Get-Together last weekend was an important refresher session for the athletes to ensure their knowledge is fully up-to-date and added it was a good interactive workshop, with all participants adding to their knowledge on this important topic.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Clean Sport Commitment Statement Signed By Kelly Holmes Education

Sunday 25, May 2014

Juan Manuel Marquez May Be Doping, Says Conte

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Juan Manuel Marquez May Be Doping, Says Conte

Mexican professional boxer Juan Manuel Márquez Méndez, a five-division world champion, may be using banned performance enhancing drugs, according to Victor Conte. The presence of acne on the chest on Marquez was rated as a sign of doping by Conte who remarked elevated testosterone levels in teen males can cause acne.

Conte made these comments after Marquez scored a sensational win over Mike Alvarado in their 12-round welterweight clash. Marquez booked a 117-109, 117-109, 119-108 win over Alvarado. Several boxing enthusiasts started criticizing Marquez after his chest was seen filled with pimples and acne.

Conte, the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative or BALCO, spent four months in jail after his company was found guilty of producing and distributing anabolic androgenic steroids. He also served a four-month house arrest after he pleaded guilty for conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering. Since then, Victor Conte has made every possible attempt to be seen as a big supporter of drug testing in sports. Nowadays, Conte is involved in research for producing legal ways of making athletes perform better including hypoxic training.

In a statement, Conte blasted drug testing methods performed by the state commissions, inability of the media to report it, and the lack of interest of boxing promoters in cleaning up the sport. Conte went on to remark that promoters of boxing are enabling and promoting the use of performance enhancing drugs in boxing and this is all because of money. He continued that a dark cloud will hover without random testing and added random testing hopefully will become the standard for elite boxers in the near future.

Max Kellerman, the host of Face Off and one of the voices of HBO boxing, also raised his doubts about Juan Manuel Marquez. Kellerman said he is always highly cynical when he sees a guy who gets faster when he gets older and added that we live in a time where even before you get in association with people who have been caught up in scandals involving PEDs, there’s always that cloud of suspicion with a modern athlete who performs well and maybe differently as he gets to an advanced athletic age.  Kellerman also remarked there is always that suspicion and that has certainly followed Marquez in recent years, particularly after the (fourth Manny) Pacquiao fight.

However, John Kelvin of Boxing News 24, said the emphatic win was a result of Marquez’s great conditioning and savvy in the ring. The boxing writer said this accusation has been floating around since Marquez linked up with strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia, before his knockout victory over his great rival Manny Pacquiao. He added Juan Manuel Marquez has never failed a drug test in his career, so there is no evidence to suggest that he is doing anything illegal. In his article, Kelvin remarked it is disrespectful of some fans to throw such damaging accusations at a great fighter who has given so many great nights and fights to the world. Marquez has got to the level he is at in his career due to hard work, determination, and discipline.

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Friday 23, May 2014

Increasing Number Of Men Are Afflicted With Bigorexia

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Increasing Number Of Men Are Afflicted With Bigorexia

Colin Tyrie, public health advisor at Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust, has issued a warning of an off-the-scale demand for ‘bodybuilder drugs’ in Greater Manchester. Last year, police made 1,488 seizures of steroids across the region that is almost double the previous year’s total of 799.

The ‘needle shots’ of anabolic androgenic steroids can be made for as little as £2 and use of these drugs is extending well beyond amateur and professional bodybuilders. In the last few years, steroid use has been greatly associated with police officers, builders, and security guards. A NHS-run Pump Clinic in Ancoats that provides advice on anabolic steroids and operates a needle service for ensuring that the drugs are used safely have about 600 steroid users on the books. The NHS-run Pump Clinic is now seeing athletes from rugby, cycling, and young actors.

It is believed by some experts that men drawn to anabolic steroids could be suffering from ‘Adonis body syndrome’ or ‘Bigorexia’. Bigorexia (also known as Muscle dysmorphia or Reverse anorexia) is a disorder in which an individual becomes obsessed with the illusion that he or she is not muscular enough. The use of steroids in long-term or steroid abuse (or overdosing) can be associated with the development or aggravation of side effects like hair loss, acne, and shrunken testicles. Steroid abuse can also be a reason behind problems with the liver, heart, kidney, and fertility. Use of injectable steroids through shared needles can increase the possibility of contracting HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

Tyrie remarked the ‘trickle’ of people coming to the clinic has become a torrent due to the growing pressure on young men to have a ‘good’ physical appearance. The health expert expressed fears that the new market for anabolic androgenic steroids may create health problems and remarked when they were really easily accessible but with a smaller demand, we tended not to get a lot of problems with them. Tyrie added that the people who were using them knew a bit more about it and they researched them to an extent and they were generally athletes or body builders. He said now it’s gone off the scale with people doing it for emerging reasons and they might be less inclined to do the research required. Tyrie added the male role in society has become quite damaged and it is not sure what it is any more. The public health advisor added that men don’t have an identity like our fathers did so there’s this sense we’re trying to fulfill that. He went on to add that there is quite a strong prevalence of this amongst white working class males and it is a quick way to get prestige to say ‘yes I’m a big bloke’ and all the associations that go with that.

Tyrie said further study was needed to understand the long-term effects of anabolic steroids and also remarked if there is a ticking health time-bomb, we are pushing users away by criminalizing them more and more and that is what is happened in the past with drugs

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Wednesday 21, May 2014

Finnish Cross-Country Skier Tests Positive For EPO

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Finnish Cross-Country Skier Tests Positive For EPO

Cross-country skier Tero Similä has tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO, according to an announcement by the Finnish Ski Association.

Mika Kulmala, executive director of the Finnish Ski Association, said both “A” and “B” blood samples provided by the 34-year-old were positive. The skier remarked he has no comment on the doping charges and he will retire from skiing. Similä has not represented the Nordic country this year and was not a member of the Finnish team at the Sochi Olympics. His best international placing was 13th in Nordic combined at a World Cup race in 2005. Similä has represented Finland in the Winter Olympics in Turin and in four world championship competitions.

The four-time Finnish cross country skiing champion tested positive during a Posio test that was administered on March 9 in a non-competition setting and the sample was tested first in Finland by the Finnish Anti-Doping Agency and was later checked by overseas experts.

 

Doping in skiing has remained a controversial issue in Finland. Last year, a troika of former athletes received suspended six-month prison sentences for perjury relating to their use of performance enhancing substances. It was found by the Helsinki District Court that Janne Immonen, Jari Isometsä, and Harri Kirvesniemi lied about using prohibited substances and the manipulation of hemoglobin levels besides claiming innocence on doping in Finnish skiing. Trial duration of the three skiers ends in May 2015 and they were asked to reimburse the state for court costs amounting to 330 euros.

The former head coach of the Finnish National Ski Team, Kari-Pekka Kyrö, had remarked in the perjury trial of ex-skiers Janne Immonen, Harri Kirvesniemi and Jari Isometsä that he ran into doping in the team as early as in 1993. The ex-coach disclosed that he first came into contact with EPO (glycoprotein hormone erythropoietin) and growth hormones in the national team in November 1993 and added he as the then B-team coach noticed major changes in the hemoglobin values of skiers during squad training in Italy. Kyrö added he believes that doping was already a cause of concern in Finnish skiing before he took over the team in 1998. The former coach however denied systematically offering EPO hormone to athletes and pointed to former national team coach Pekka Vähäsöyrinki as the principal influence behind the systematic use of doping.

Former top cross-country skier Janne Immonen admitted to making use of EPO during this athletic career and lying about the matter in the court.

In the past, Cross-country skier and Olympic gold medalist Mika Myllylä had testified in court about his use of EPO hormone between the years of 1993 and 1998. This disclosure was made during the case during the late 1990s when STT (Finnish News Agency) and an STT reporter were taken to court and found guilty of libel after a story using unnamed sources was written about doping within the Finnish Ski Association. Myllyllä revealed that he told Pekka Vähäsöyrinki and Antti Leppävuori, two defendants in the case, about his use of the performance enhancing drug EPO.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Finnish Cross-Country Skier Tests Positive For EPO

Monday 19, May 2014

Robert Mathis Admits Mistake

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Robert Mathis Admits Mistake

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis has been suspended by the NFL after he was found violating the league’s ban on performance enhancing substances. The 33-year-old was suspended for four games after he tested positive for the use of fertility drugs.

Mathis remarked he failed to check with the NFL or NFLPA to find out if the substance was on the suspended list. The linebacker remarked the union has worked very closely with me to present all of the facts and medical records for consideration of discipline that does not include a suspension because of the unique facts of my case, but the Commissioner refused the request. Mathis, who had been Indianapolis Colts’ best defender last season, had 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in 2013. He was the runner-up to the Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly for Defensive Player of the Year.

It is rumored that Mathis tested positive for Clomid, which is used for treating low sperm counts. In 2010, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for using male fertility drugs.

One of the team’s elder statesmen and most respected leaders, Mathis broke Dwight Freeney’s franchise career record for sacks and has 111 career sacks in 11 NFL seasons.

In a statement, Mathis said he is deeply saddened that this situation will prevent him from contributing to my team for four games, and he regrets that I didn’t cross check what his doctor told him before he took the medication. Mathis added he hopes that his fans will understand the unique circumstances involved here and continue to know that he is a man of integrity who would never intentionally circumvent the performance enhancing substance policy agreed to by the NFL and my union.

In a statement, Colts said we recognize the extreme seriousness of this matter and will honor the confidentiality requirements of the League’s program. It was added by the team that we nevertheless wish to assure Robert and our fans that he remains an honored and cherished member of the Colts family and that we support him as he deals with this difficult challenge. Mathis can make a return on September 29 and his team can have an exemption roster spot to replace him for the first four games.

The NFL said it was acknowledged by Mathis’s agent that his client failed to follow the protocols in the policy that the NFL and NFLPA agreed upon to address precisely these kinds of claims. The NFL added Mathis did not consult with the policy’s independent administrator, a physician jointly approved by the NFL and NFL Players Association nor did he consult with his team doctor, the team’s training staff, the NFLPA, the league office or the hotline established under the policy to give confidential information to players and each of these sources would have warned against using this substance. It was added that a cornerstone of the program is that a player is responsible for what is in his body and consistent application of the policy’s procedures is critical to the integrity of the program.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Robert Mathis Admits Mistake

Saturday 17, May 2014

NM Senator Adds Support For Steroid Control Act

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NM Senator Adds Support For Steroid Control Act

Martin Heinrich, the senator for New Mexico, has announced that he will be supporting the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA). By extending his support, Heinrich joins Sen. Whitehouse RI, Sen. Hatch UT and Sen. McCain AZ as a co-sponsor.

The announcement by Heinrich was welcomed by Mike Greene, vice president, government affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), who remarked the association appreciated Sen. Heinrich’s support of DASCA. He added anabolic steroids falsely marketed as dietary supplements continue to be an issue if you look at the warning letters from the FDA over the last four years.

Greene remarked the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act gives the Drug Enforcement Administration much needed authority to rapidly respond when new designer anabolic steroids, which are illegal drugs, masquerade as dietary supplements and we hope the colleagues of Sen. Heinrich in the Senate will join him in co-sponsoring DASCA.

The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act seeks to ensure that anabolic androgenic steroids are not misrepresented as legitimate dietary supplements. This act will make this differentiation by broadening the definition and imposing tougher penalties on firms making and selling anabolics as legal supplements. DASCA also seeks to amend the Controlled Substances Act and add more than 25 new substances to the current lists of defined anabolic androgenic steroids, and revises the process whereby new substances can be added in the future. The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act also imposes tougher penalties (up to $2.5m and up to 10 years in prison) for the manufacture, sale, and/or distribution of substances that meet the definition.

In 2012, a bill of the same name was introduced by Senators Hatch and Whitehouse, but failed to pass into law. Introduction of DASCA was welcomed by a joint statement from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA). The statement said the trade associations of the dietary supplement industry strongly support DASCA, a bill that protects consumers by empowering the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with new tools to identify and quickly respond when new designer anabolic steroids are falsely marketed as dietary supplements. The statement also said this will make it easier for DEA to identify and catalog new chemicals and DASCA will also allow DEA to respond faster to stop those criminals who create new anabolic substances closely resembling listed ones, but tweaked just enough that they are not identical to their flagged counterparts.

The joint statement also said unapproved steroids illegally sold as dietary supplements are not only dangerous for consumers, but also unfairly damage the reputation of responsible dietary supplement companies that provide consumers with legitimate, high-quality and beneficial supplements for sports nutrition and performance. It went on to add that responsible dietary supplement industry stakeholders have consistently supported congressional and regulatory efforts to enact and enforce laws that help eliminate illegal products that masquerade as dietary supplements, and to prosecute the criminals who manufacture and sell them.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: NM Senator Adds Support For Steroid Control Act

Thursday 15, May 2014

Severe Ban For Convicted Athlete Support Personnel Under New Code

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Severe Ban For Convicted Athlete Support Personnel Under New Code

Under the new World Anti-Doping Agency code to be introduced next year, any athlete-support personnel convicted of doping offences out of the Essendon-Cronulla supplements scandal will become persona non grata in elite sport for a period of at least six years.

A warning was issued to the national sports federations by Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates at the annual general meeting of the AOC. It was stated that any athlete or organization, from next year, which is associated with a “prohibited person’’ would also face sanctions. Coates, the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee and president of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport, remarked all sports that signed up to the World Anti-Doping Agency code required to be aware of the new rules.

The new WADA code also emphasizes on “athlete entourage’’ — coaches, managers, trainers, sports scientists or medical staff who may assist in administering or providing banned substances to athletes. Coates remarked that a rule “Prohibited Association’’ would make it a violation for any athlete or organization to be associated “in a professional or sports-related capacity’’ with a support person who is found guilty of a doping offence for at least six years after their conviction. Under the new anti-doping rules, all ­personnel who work with elite athletes or organizations would have to agree to be bound by the anti-doping rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Coates also remarked that we know that doping frequently involves coaches, trainers and other athlete support personnel, and in many cases they are outside the jurisdiction of anti-doping authorities. In the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority case, Stephen Dank, the sports scientist at the centre of the supplements scandal, has refused to co-operate with the investigation team.

The AOC president added he believed anyone who is sanctioned as a result of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation into substances used at the Cronulla and Essendon clubs would also be declared a “prohibited person’’ once the new WADA code was introduced next year. This rule will bar a “prohibited person” from being a part of elite or professional sport for at least six years though there would be an exemption for athletes who have a close family relationship with the prohibited person. The AOC president also said the “prohibited association’’ rule could only be invoked if an athlete had been informed previously of the prohibition and the consequences of continued association.

In November, the Australian Olympic Committee will update its anti-doping by-law for reflecting the new WADA code and will draw specific attention to the “prohibited association’’ rule in its team agreement for the 2016 Rio Games.

In another development, Australia has named a senior police official to take the reins of its national anti-doping agency. Ben McDevitt, a career policeman, replaces the outgoing chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), Aurora Andruska. McDevitt’s appointment was welcomed by Coates who remarked McDevitt was perfectly positioned “for the new emphasis on investigations and intelligence gathering in the fight to protect clean athletes. Coates added sports minister Peter Dutton and the Australian government are clearly signaling their intention to continue to obtain, access, and process anti-doping intelligence from all available sources by making this appointment.

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Tuesday 13, May 2014

Former Pumas Captain Spreads The Word On Anti-Doping

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Former Pumas Captain Spreads The Word On Anti-Doping

Felipe Contepomi, IRB Keep Rugby Clean ambassador and former Pumas captain, was recently made the key-note speaker at an important anti-doping seminar organized for educating some of the top young players in his native Argentina.

The former Bristol, Leinster, Toulon and Stade Français player supports the Keep Rugby Clean campaign. The former Argentina rugby skipper was a professional player for nearly 15 years and capped 78 times for Argentina’s national team the Pumas. He explained the background to Rugby’s fight against doping to more than 450 young players and clearly outlined their responsibility in this context.

Contepomi said the energy that the boys exuded, their interest, spontaneity and their innocence made this an enjoyable experience for me. A qualified doctor by profession, Felipe Contepomi said he wants to pass on his thoughts on this subject, he explained how he has always believed it is right to fight for clean Rugby. He went to add that he explained to young players about the anti-doping structures and the challenge that Rugby faces today as regards anabolic steroids, social drugs, and supplements and added that we sent a clear message about the absolute responsibility for everything that enters his system lying with the player.

It was pointed out by Contepomi that players in their late teens and early 20s were most vulnerable to the temptation and false information that accompanies doping. Contepomi added he is determined to give those players the tools and information they require to make the right decisions and become successful. He said players must know that reward comes from hard work and sacrifice and it is important they consider total nutrition, not just supplements and added he thinks the message was received and he hopes it will be useful to them as they hear about Rugby’s values.

IRB Anti-Doping Manager Ilaria Baudo remarked Felipe Contepomi is an important ambassador in our ongoing fight against doping in Rugby. Baudo remarked Contepomi has played at the highest level and knows what it takes to get there and to stay there and added he is a medical practitioner who is aware of the dangers presented by doping and what a negative effect it can have on the body. He further added When Contepomi talks to young players like this, they listen and education is a crucial element of our campaign.

Uriel Cáceres, a player with Misiones, said we all of course know Felipe from Los Pumas and it is exciting for us to meet him. He added most of the things Contepomi said he did not know and he is going to spread to the rest of his teammates and further remarked we now know we are at risk whenever we take something and that we must all take responsibility ourselves.

Gonzalo Romagnoli from Santa Fe added the talk was very good and remarked at the beginning Contepomi said it was going to be boring but it was not. Romagnoli added it’s great that a person of his level can talk to us about this and it is easier for the message to reach its destination if he sends it.

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