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Archive for  November 2014

Sunday 09, Nov 2014

Canada Does Not Have Organized Doping System

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Canada Does Not Have Organized Doping System

An independent agency working on behalf of Cycling Canada has remarked that there is no overarching doping program in the country. The agency however disclosed in a report that Canada must improve its efforts to build a better educational platform for discouraging the use of performance enhancing drugs.

The report, entitled “National Consultation on Doping Activity in the Sport of Cycling,” emphasized on different areas of sport ethics like decision making, testing, and the culture of cycling and performance enhancing drugs. The report said there may have been isolated cases of performance enhancing drug use but they were not part of a national culture of performance enhancing drug use in elite cycling.

In a release, Greg Mathieu, chief executive officer of Cycling Canada, said we are pleased to hear that the report confirms that there is no ‘culture of doping’ in Canadian Cycling. Mathieu added we have been very clear in the past that Cycling Canada does not tolerate any athletes who try to cheat on their way to better performances and also remarked that we believe that it is possible to win at Olympic Games, World championships, or any other international or national events without the use of any doping agents.

The findings come after a series of confessions from professional cyclist from North America to using performance enhancing drugs through the “Reasoned Decision” of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The USADA repot centered on Lance Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service team.

Danish rider Michael Rasmussen in his autobiography, “Yellow Fever,” had remarked that he taught Canadians Ryder Hesjedal, Michael Barry, Seamus McGrath, and Chris Sheppard on how to use Erythropoietin (EPO). While Michael Barry admitted to using PEDs during his time on the USPS team the other two cyclists later admitted to using performance enhancing drugs on another instances.

Sheppard received a two-year suspension in 2005 after recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO) was found in his system. The cyclist was subjected to an out-of-competition urine test at his home in Kamloops on May 29, 2005. In 2013, Canadian mountain biker and Olympian Seamus McGrath admitted to doping. The cyclist had won silver in cross country at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and received bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

McGrath was placed ninth in the cross country event at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Hesjedal, winner of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, admitted to doping after accusations by Rasmussen. His team Garmin-Sharp said Hesjedal had testified to the US Anti-Doping Agency and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES) much before the story of Rasmussen came out. Barry confessed to doping after he was named in the USADA report in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. The cyclist said that he realized doping had become an endemic problem in professional cycling not long after he joined the US Postal Service team in 2002. Barry claimed he stopped doping in 2006 after he joined the T-Mobile team. Michael Barry admitted to using Erythropoietin (EPO), Human growth hormone (hGH) and Testosterone and accepted a six-month ban beginning September 10, 2012.

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Friday 07, Nov 2014

Improved Abilities Discovered For Detecting HCG Doping In Sport

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Improved Abilities Discovered For Detecting HCG Doping In Sport

A new peer-reviewed research conducted by Getachew A. Woldemariam and Dr. Anthony W. Butch may place a vital role in the day to come for detecting athletes who are taking human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to enhance athletic performance.

Woldemariam and Butch through their research developed ways to specifically measure several forms of hCG in urine. In females, urinary human chorionic gonadotropin is a marker of pregnancy. The new test, by specifically measuring the various forms of hCG in male urine, can better detect athletes who are taking hCG.

Butch remarked this immunoextraction and tandem mass spectrometry method for measuring the major isoforms of chorionic gonadotropin in urine is a significant improvement over currently available immunoassays. Dr. Butch further added that the method has superior analytical specificity and will greatly enhance the ability to detect male athletes who dope with various forms of chorionic gonadotropin.

Dr. Larry Bowers, PCC Scientific Advisory Board Chair and USADA Chief Science Officer, commented that the measurement of male urinary hCG in anti-doping has been an area of concern for many years. Dr. Bowers added this important research has not only developed a sensitive and specific LC-MS/MS assay which will help us to detect the various forms of hCG and those who use it to cheat their competitors, but Woldemariam and Butch have greatly added to our knowledge about hCG excretion after administration. It was further remarked by Bowers that with the specificity of the LC-MS/MS method, it should be possible to provide additional information about the concentration of intact hCG in male urine samples who have not doped and therefore increase the sensitivity of the test.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), based on the study results, is in the process of developing new guidelines for WADA-accredited labs for conducting tests.

Human chorionic gonadotropin has the ability to stimulate production of Testosterone in the body and is presently classified as a banned substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency list. It is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders with synthetic anabolic steroids. Medical practitioners recommend this hormone to young boys when their testicles have not dropped down into the scrotum (due to a pituitary gland disorder) in a normal way. Use of HCG is commonly made by athletes and bodybuilders during a steroid cycle to maintain testosterone production and testicle size. Bioavailability of the HCG injection is better with intravenous administration than with subcutaneous administration.

In the last few years, HCG has been marketed for weight loss and it is believed that it can improve mood, assist in fat burning, and reduce hunger. Many elite bodybuilders have successfully used HCG to get rid of stubborn fat and fat accumulated in the abdomen and the thighs without compromising on muscle mass. HCG abuse can result in health complications such as breast enlargement in women, sudden development of facial or pubic hair in adolescents, indigestion, difficulty in breathing, rapid weight or height gain, bloating, and nausea.

The research, which was published in the August issue of Clinical Chemistry, was funded by the Partnership for Clean Competition (PCC).

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Wednesday 05, Nov 2014

Kenya’s Rugby Sevens Team Received Steroids

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Kenya’s Rugby Sevens Team Received Steroids

A task force set up by the Kenyan government has revealed that doping substances are commonly used across Kenyan sports. It was also disclosed that anabolic androgenic steroids were given to players Kenya’s rugby sevens team and stimulants are being used by footballers. The government report also revealed that stores are selling banned substances to some of the world-beating runners of the country.

The report recommended initiation of disciplinary proceedings against Kenya Rugby Sevens head Coach Paul Treu and five members of his staff after anabolic steroids were found in player supplements in January.

Moni Wekesa, the task force chairman, said there was a concoction the coaches gave players to drink at the beginning and end of training. The report also noted that players would stop taking the supplement a few days before competitions. The team of Kenya plays on the top-level world rugby sevens series. The tests performed on the supplements were positive for anabolic steroids, Wekesa said. The Kenya Rugby Union was informed and it handed over all the supplements and stopped giving them to players. It was also suggested by the report that anti-doping disciplinary procedures should be initiated against Kenya’s 15-a-side rugby head coach and assistant coach.

The report also disclosed that there is a lot of use of prohibited substances in football. It was claimed by the report that players acquire cannabis, cocaine, anabolic steroids, and stimulants from coaches and other players. The report said there are overall no effective anti-doping controls in Kenyan sport and urged the country to introduce anti-doping legislation. The report concluded that a lot of prohibited substances, some recreational, others sophisticated, are commonly abused across all sports.

The Kenyan government commissioned the anti-doping task force for investigating doping culture in the country after it was alleged in 2012 by German broadcaster ARD that widespread doping was prevalent among the East African nation’s outstanding distance runner. The broadcaster had also revealed that the blood-boosting drug EPO and other prohibited substances can be easily sought from chemist stores in its famous high-altitude training camps. The report said investigators visited the identified shops and chemists and verified that indeed it was very easy to purchase very sophisticated performance-enhancing substances over the counter.

The report went on to add that there are no effective anti-doping controls in the African country. The government report also criticized the head of the national athletics federation for not taking doping in a serious way after he refused to cooperate with the investigation. The report by a panel of experts said Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat does not seem to understand the gravity of doping in athletics. This report has now been handed over to the Kenyan government and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Africa office in Cape Town, South Africa, the chairman of the task force, Moni Wekesa, said.

Recently, Kenya’s athletics bosses came in for fierce criticism after marathon runner Rita Jeptoo became the latest athlete from the country to fail a doping test. In the past two years, thirty-six Kenyans have been confirmed as failing tests. In February 2013, marathon runners Wilson Loyanae Erupe and Nixon Kiplagat Cherutich tested positive for banned substances.

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Monday 03, Nov 2014

Kenyan Marathon Champion Fails To Clear Preliminary Doping Test

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Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons for the past two years, has tested positive for a banned substance, according to the World Marathon Majors that represents the world’s six most prominent marathons.

The 33-year-old Jeptoo won back-to-back titles at the Boston Marathon, where she set the course record on April 21 in 2:18:57. She won the Chicago Marathon on October 12 in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 35 seconds, which was her fourth straight major marathon victory. The Kenyan runner presently leads the World Marathon Majors series. Jeptoo is by far the most prominent runner from Kenya to have failed a doping test. She won Boston marathon three times and Chicago marathon twice. Jeptoo failed a doping test a few weeks before she won her second consecutive Chicago Marathon, her agent and national federation said.

Jeptoo’s agent Federico Rosa said the athlete tested positive in an out-of-competition test in Kenya in September. The test was conducted on September 25 and the athlete’s “A” sample “indicated the presence of prohibited substances”, said Athletics Kenya. The athletic governing body of Kenya added it was disappointed to announce that we have received communication from IAAF that Rita Jeptoo failed a test.

The medical and anti-doping commission of Athletics Kenya will meet with the athlete early this week to find out whether Jeptoo wants to have her backup “B” sample tested. Jeptoo’s agent however remarked the backup test was not required. Rosa added we will legally go after the person or the people that convinced Rita to do this and added Jeptoo’s management had “nothing to do with” any doping. In a statement, the IAAF remarked it was not in a position where it can confirm or deny Jeptoo’s positive doping test. The IAAF said the case remains in the confidentiality phase although that should be lifted within the next week.

Earlier Friday, the World marathon group said it had postponed the awards’ ceremony that was scheduled for Sunday due to the positive test. The group said no athlete can win the World Marathon Majors Series title who has been in breach of IAAF anti-doping rules. Jeptoo was to receive a check for $500,000 for winning the World Marathon Majors after the New York City Marathon. George Hirsch, chairman of the board of New York Road Runners, said the stakes are so high and added it is far more money than almost anybody in that country could earn in a lifetime while referring to the temptation to use banned substances in a country such as Kenya.

On Jeptoo’s positive test, marathon world record holder and former world champion Paula Radcliffe said it shows that testing is being carried out and added maybe at least this time it comes before the (World Marathon Majors) payment is made.

Her coach Claudio Berardelli said the doping test failure of Jeptoo is indicative of a larger problem in Kenya. Berardelli, who has coached Jeptoo since 2012, said it is bad for the reputation of the sport in that country. Berardelli added if the story of Rita can be the key to open the door of the dirty system, please let Rita pay for it.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Kenyan Marathon Champion Fails To Clear Preliminary Doping Test

Saturday 01, Nov 2014

Tiernan-Locke Says He Has No Respect For The Doping Sanction

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Tiernan-Locke Says He Has No Respect For The Doping Sanction

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, the former Team Sky rider who was banned from cycling for two years in July, hits back at UCI President Brian Cookson. The cyclist remarked he has no respect for the doping sanction placed on him after Cookson described him as “foolish” for comments he made about the governing body and its disciplinary procedures.

Tiernan-Locke described the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) hearing into his case as a “Mickey Mouse court” when he appeared at the Exmoor Beast sportive. The cyclist added he will make a return to professional bike racing when his doping ban ends in December 2015 and remarked he will take some kind of coaching in the meantime.

Speaking at the Tour de France route presentation, Cookson said it is very foolish and not a wise thing for Jonathan to term UKAD anti-doping hearing as a Mickey Mouse court. Cookson said Jonathan has to look at the terms and conditions of his sanction and added that he is afraid that he is banned from coaching or any event in any capacity that has anything to do with the UCI or any national federation affiliated with the UCI. Cookson went on to add that the cyclist would be wise to accept his sanction and if he wants to return in two years, then let us see what happens. Tiernan-Locke responded by saying that he would not waste his time reading the terms and has no respect for the sanction. The cyclist added he has no faith in the governing body and said he will continue coaching and giving advice to athletes and nobody can stop him from doing that.

The 29-year-old from Devon became the first Sky rider to be banned under anti-doping rules.  The former Team Sky rider was banned for anomalies in his biological passport. The 29-year-old has maintained that the discrepancy was due to dehydration brought on by a binge drinking session 32 hours earlier. Tiernan-Locke was stripped of his 2012 Tour of Britain title after the positive test and is also stripped of his result from 2012 World Championship road race. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is ineligible to race until December 31, 2015. The contract of Jonathan was terminated by Team Sky after his anti-doping suspension was confirmed. Sky team principal Dave Brailsford had remarked Jonathan’s contract has been terminated and added whilst there have been no doubts about his time with us, his doping violation – from readings taken before he joined this team – means there’s no place for him in Team Sky. We’ve a well-known stance on anti-doping and our action is the inevitable outcome of a violation.

The UCI, in a statement, had revealed that it confirms receipt of the United Kingdom National Anti-Doping Panel’s decision on the Jonathan Tiernan-Locke case. It added that a two-year ban was imposed on the rider as a result of his anti-doping rule violation based on his Athlete Biological Passport and he is declared ineligible until December 31, 2015 and disqualified from the 2012 Tour of Britain and the 2012 UCI Road World Championships, competitions during which abnormalities were clearly identified.

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