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Archive for  May 2015

Saturday 30, May 2015

Nike Becomes Suspected Player In FIFA Bribery Scandal

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Nike Becomes Suspected Player In FIFA Bribery Scandal

The U.S. Justice Department has announced that some surprising American names have emerged during an international investigation into bribery, fraud, and corruption at FIFA. It is rumored that the list of these names includes a major U.S. sportswear firm some believe could be Nike and the Miami chairman of a popular nationwide soccer league.

On early Wednesday morning, Swiss officials arrested seven officials from FIFA at their hotel in Zurich after a request was made by the US Department of Justice. Nine soccer officials and five sports executives were indicted while four have already pleaded guilty.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a press conference the investigation into the FIFA bribery scandal uncovered bribery going all the way back to 1991. She remarked they did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament. The Swiss Office of the Attorney General has opened its own criminal investigation a few hours after the DOJ-requested arrests of FIFA on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and of money laundering in connection with the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups.

It was disclosed by the Justice Department that more than $150 million in bribes have been fueled by five “unscrupulous” U.S. and South American sports and banking executives to officials atop FIFA. Investigators claim that the five U.S. and South American businesses acted secretly, hatched intricate money laundering schemes, smuggled cash, and wired tens of millions of dollars through offshore accounts from the Cayman Islands to Hong Kong.

It was alleged by the indictment that bribes were paid and pocketed in association with the sponsorship of the Brazilian national soccer team by a major U.S. sportswear company. The indictment revealed that the sportswear firm signed a 10-year, $160 million sponsorship deal with the Brazilian team in 1996. Though investigators have not named the company, the deal value closely matches clothes, shoes, and equipment deal of Nike with the Brazilian team that year. The indictment also alleged that a sportswear-company official agreed three days later to permit Traffic Brazil, a sports marketing company, to charge additional “marketing fees.” The sports Marketing Company then invoiced the company for tens of millions of dollars more in payments over a period of next three years that investigators say were bribes.

The Brazilian sponsorship deal helped dramatically in transformation of Nike, which was previously known primarily for running and basketball shoes, into global sports giant. The soccer revenue of Nike surpassed $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2014, up from $40 million in 1994.

In reaction to the allegations, a Nike representative said in a statement that the company is concerned by the very serious allegations and strongly opposes any form of manipulation or bribery. The statement added Nike is cooperating with the authorities.

Market analysts believe there would have minimal impact on the Big Swoosh even if Nike was implicated. The investors of Nike seemed to shrug off the issue to send stock of the $88 billion giant fell less than 1 percent. Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for NPD Group, remarked what fans or consumers are going to be much more concerned about is doping of athletes, fixing of matches, that kind of thing and added he thinks they couldn’t care less who paid whom for what marketing deal.

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Thursday 28, May 2015

Gareth Warburton And Rhys Williams Back After Doping Bans

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Gareth Warburton And Rhys Williams Back After Doping Bans

Welsh middle distance runner Gareth Warburton and former European 400 meters hurdles champion Rhys Williams are ready to compete for the first time since they failed a doping test last summer. Both had to withdraw from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Williams lost the opportunity to become the co-captain of Wales’ athletics team.

Williams is now focusing on qualifying for the British team for the World Championships in Beijing. Rhys Williams is expected to contest the 400m hurdles at the South and East Wales event at Newport’s Spytty Park.

A statement from UK Anti-Doping said Warburton and Williams may have brought this matter on themselves but they are victims. It was further added that they are not cheats and they made mistakes and have paid for them heavily already. It was also commented that UKAD view that the panel should look closely at the failings of both Warburton and Williams but whilst doing so recognize that this is a contaminated supplement case.

In a statement, Welsh Athletics had remarked (when news of their doping bans broke out) that Welsh Athletics acknowledges the four and six month bans given to athletes Rhys Williams and Gareth Warburton following their UK Anti-Doping hearings. The statement also added that all Welsh Athletics Commonwealth Games (CWG) and Welsh Athletics Academy (WAA) supported athletes and their coaches have been reminded of their responsibilities regarding the WADA code, prohibited lists and strict liability and anti-doping education will continue to form a key part of our national development program.

The two Welsh athletes served their backdated bans to the time of their provisional suspensions. According to a report by the UK Anti-Doping, Warburton and Williams had not knowingly taken anything and had not deliberately cheated. The UKAD report revealed that the athletes did not take sufficient advice before taking Mountain Fuel supplements, one of which was found to be contaminated with an anabolic steroid.

Williams tested positive for the presence of a metabolite of an anabolic steroid after an in-competition test on July 11 at the Grand Prix in Glasgow. Warburton tested positive for the presence of two metabolites of anabolic steroids, following an out-of-competition test on June 17. UKAD investigators were told by Mountain Fuel chief executive Darren Foote that the supplements were the source of the banned substances and added that other competitors had used the products but there seems to be a problem with the batch in question. Foote remarked the only logical explanation is that something must have gone wrong during the blending, manufacturing or packaging process which led to the contamination.

UKAD Director of Legal Graham Arthur remarked at that time that these cases send a powerful reminder to athletes that there is no guarantee that any supplement product is free from banned substances. The UKAD Director of Legal also said athletes are strongly advised to be very cautious if they choose to use any supplement product and must undertake thorough research of any products before use and went on to add that information revealed as a result should be further investigated and we advise athletes to keep evidence of their research.

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Tuesday 26, May 2015

Pakistani Spinner Banned For Two Years

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Pakistani Spinner Banned For Two Years

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has banned spinner Raza Hasan on Monday after he tested positive in anti-doping test conducted by the PCB in January.

The urine sample of Hasan was collected during the Pentangular Cup held in Karachi. According to an announcement by the PCB, the 22-year-old had been give time of 14 days to appear for the hearing. Hasan did not turn up for the hearing and was subsequently suspended for two years.

The banned substance was not named by the PCB but according to Pakistani media, the spinner was under investigation for using cocaine.

A PCB news release said under the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Anti-Doping Rules PCB conducted in-competition dope testing through an independent collecting agency during the Pentangular Cup held at Karachi and added that the agency also collected the urine sample of Raza Hasan during the match played on Jan 7. It was further remarked that the sample was forwarded to a WADA-accredited laboratory for analysis which, vide its Analytical Report, gave an Adverse Analytical finding for the presence of a Prohibited Substance.

The PCB release also disclosed that Raza Hasan was issued a Notice of Charge by PCB on March 24 which he received in person, and as per Anti-Doping Rules he was to send a written request for hearing within 14 days which he failed to do so and therefore in accordance with the Anti-Doping Rules and with the approval of the competent authority, Raza Hasan is being imposed with a ban that will make him ineligible to participate in the sport of cricket for a period of two years. According to the release, Hasan will not be entitled to participate in any capacity, in any cricket match or activity authorized or organized by the PCB during the period of ineligibility, except for approved anti-doping education or rehabilitation programs.

Hasan featured in a one-off Twenty20 international against Australia in Dubai in December before he made his one-day debut against the same opponents at the same venue a few days later. The 22-year old Hasan made his debut in September 2012 and has played 10 Twenty20 matches for Pakistan. He participated in the World T20 in 2012 and took three wickets in four matches at an economy of 4.93. He last played international cricket in December 2014 against New Zealand.

It is not the first time that a cricketer from Pakistan has failed a drug test. During the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy in India, Pakistan pace duo Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were sent back from India after they failed anti-doping test for Nandrolone in testing conducted by the PCB. Akhtar was banned for two years and Asif received a ban of one year. The bans were later overturned on appeal.

A year later, Mohammad Asif tested positive for a banned substance during in the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League when he was a part of the Delhi Daredevils and was also detained in Dubai on a drugs possession charge. He was subsequently banned for one year from cricket.

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Sunday 24, May 2015

Lifetime Ban On Wanderlei Silva Reversed

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Lifetime Ban On Wanderlei Silva Reversed

The now-retired mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva has escaped a lifetime ban and a fine of $70,000 imposed on him for fleeing from a random drug test last year.

The ruling comes four days after the Nevada State Athletic Commission amended many of its guidelines, including a four-year suspension and a fine of 50 percent of the athlete’s purse for avoiding a test.

In May 2014, Silva ran from a drug test the Nevada State Athletic Commission tried to administer at the Las Vegas gym of the fighter. The 38-year-old later admitted that he had taken diuretics. For the infraction, the NSAC banned Silva for life and the MMA fighter later announced his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts.

In January, Wanderlei Silva appealed ruling of the NSAC and contended that the Commission lacked jurisdiction to even test him as he did not have the license of an active fighter in Nevada. However, it was argued by NSAC that the fighter was scheduled to fight Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 5, 2014 that clearly revealed his intent to fight within the state. On this particular issue, Judge Earley ruled in favor of the NSAC and stated that the commission had properly exercised jurisdiction over Wanderlei Silva.

Judge Kerry L. Earley ruled in favor of an assertion made by the former MMA fighter that the punishment that was voted in September on unanimously by the Nevada State Athletic Commission was “arbitrary, capricious and not supported by substantial evidence.” A rehearing, as part of the court’s ruling, has been ordered for allocating proper punishment for the violation of Wanderlei Silva.

Silva’s attorney Ross Goodman applauded ruling of the judge in a statement. Goodman stated we are pleased that the court set aside the disciplinary actions ordered against Silva and reversed its decision and remanded for a re-hearing after finding that the NSAC violated Silva’s rights. The attorney added while we believe this is the first step in the right direction and we are evaluating our options to appeal this order given the court’s failure to specifically address whether the NSAC also violated jurisdiction limits.

The former PRIDE Middleweight Champion was also crowned the 2003 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament Champion. Silva (35-12-1), the former Pride middleweight champion, celebrated the decision and thanked all of his supporters. Nicknamed “The Axe Murderer“, Silva history was made today for all MMA fighters and added that we succeeded at reversing a very unjust sentence given by this Commission. Silva also commented that he hopes that this never happens to another athlete and also said it was not right for the Commission to do that.

The Brazilian former mixed martial artist is best known for holding the record for the most wins, title defenses, knockouts, and longest winning streak in PRIDE history. Silva made his official UFC debut at UFC Brazil: Ultimate Brazil on October 16, 1998 in a match against Vitor Belfort where he lasted only 44 seconds after he was knocked down against the cage by Belfort’s punches.

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Friday 22, May 2015

Justin Gatlin ‘Kicked Out’ By Beijing Meeting Organizers

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Justin Gatlin ‘Kicked Out’ By Beijing Meeting Organizers

American sprinter Justin Gatlin has stunned the world of athletics by saying that he was recently “kicked out” of the Beijing World Challenge by meeting organizers.

Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, was all set to race in China after he ran his fastest ever 100m time of 9.74 seconds in Doha. The 33-year-old was unsure about his fitness after a flight to Beijing but looked ready to compete after going through a training session. The sprinter remarked they did not have any respect for me so they said ‘you better leave’.” The sprinter’s manager Renaldo Nehemiah said the sudden departure of Gatlin from Beijing has nothing to do with this controversial reputation. Nehemiah remarked the meeting organizers think Gatlin is injured and they don’t want him here if he is injured. The former 110m hurdles world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah said Gatlin is a man on a mission and he knows he has only so many races and years left so he’s making every one of them count. Nehemiah added people who aren’t students of the sport don’t realize he was a phenom before he ever got banned.

In reply, Organizers of the Beijing World Challenge denied kicking out Gatlin and remarked they were “perplexed” by claim of the athlete. The meeting’s organizing committee said there had been “no possibility” that they would have said no to the current top sprinter of the world to compete. Liu Jie, deputy director of the organizing committee, said we had been preparing the event assuming Gatlin would run the race and added that there was no way we ‘kicked out’ the athlete. Jie also said the sprinter’s manager did not communicate with us before he announced Gatlin’s withdrawal at the news conference and we never got to speak with Gatlin in person. The deputy director of the organizing committee also remarked that he had no idea that Justin Gatlin was returning back home without competing until he heard Gatlin’s manager announce it at the eve of meeting press conference.

A few hours later, Gatlin said “all is fine” with the Beijing track meet organizers. Gatlin tweeted from his private Twitter account late Tuesday night Eastern Time that he and Beijing Org have great relationship and look forward to being there in August “Worlds” & next year meet. Gatlin remarked he is looking forward to competing in the Pre Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on May 30 and said he is going to drop a bomb out there.

Gatlin, an Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters, became the world leader of 2014 in the 200 meters when he won the Diamond League event in Monaco in 19.68 seconds.

Justin Gatlin is not new to controversies. His first run-in with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was apparently due to an attention-deficit drug he was taking since he was eight years old. In 2006, Gatlin was found to have excess Testosterone in his system and received a suspension of four years. However, Gatlin claimed innocence and insisted that the hormone was administered without his knowledge by a masseuse.

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Wednesday 20, May 2015

Cris Cyborg Is Just All Roids, Says Ronda Rousey

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Cris Cyborg Is Just All Roids, Says Ronda Rousey

Ronda Jean Rousey, American mixed martial artist, has slammed Cris Justino and her past with performance enhancing drugs.

Ronda Rousey blasted ability of Justino, the Brazilian mixed martial artist, and added she is a product of performance enhancing drugs. Ronda commented that Justino (nickname Cyborg) is one of those people where it’s all just roids and muscle and no technique. Rousey went on to remark that Justino is actually afraid of facing her.

Cris Justino tested positive for an anabolic steroid and the result of her win over Hiroko Yamanaka on December 17th, 2011 was changed to a no-contest. It was announced by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) that the license of Cris Cyborg was suspended and she was fined $2,500 as the result of a positive test for a banned substance. The drug test of the he former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion came back positive for Stanozolol metabolites.

At that time, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker responded that we have a consistent and strong stance against any use of performance enhancing drugs. Coker added we also have a long history of supporting effective drug testing of athletes by authorized regulatory bodies and therefore, we will closely monitor the matter and will work with the California State Athletic Commission regarding any information we may be asked to provide.

Since her pro debut in 2005, Justino (13-1, 1 NC) has not lost. The 29-year-old Justino is presently the Invicta FC 145-pound champion and former Strikeforce champ in FC 145-pound class.

A fight between Rousey and Justono seems inevitable but only of the Brazilian mixed martial artist can make 135 pounds. In July, Justino will defend her 145-pound belt at Invicta FC 13. If Justino manages to have a bout at 135 against Rousey, this would be the biggest fight in women’s MMA history.

Presently, Rousey (11-0) is the undisputed best women’s fighter in the world and she has finished all but one of her fights in the first round itself. Rousey’s last two bouts ended in a combined 30 seconds. A win over Cris Justino would help cement the legacy of Rousey as the greatest women’s fighter of all time.

Rousey, the consensus #1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world, is listed by Fight Matrix as the #1 Current Pound for Pound Women’s MMA Fighter, the #1 Current Women’s MMA Bantamweight Fighter, and the #1 Women’s MMA Fighter of all time. Ronda Rousey has the distinction of being the first and current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Rousey is undefeated in mixed martial arts and became the first woman from the United States to earn an Olympic medal in Judo at the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced in November 2012 that Rousey had become the first female fighter to sign with the UFC. In 2014, Rousey appeared in the film The Expendables 3 and she has roles in the 2015 film Furious 7 and the upcoming Entourage. At WrestleMania 31, her first professional wrestling started when she and Furious 7 co-star The Rock confronted Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Cris Cyborg Is Just All Roids, Says Ronda Rousey

Monday 18, May 2015

Australian Senate Accused By AOC President Of Failure To Support Battle Against Doping

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The Australian Senate has been accused by Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates of a lack of support in the battle to tackle doping in sport in the country.

Coates, speaking at the AOC Annual General Meeting in Sydney, said the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has its “hands tied behind its back” after an ASADA Amendment Bill in 2013 was rejected by the Senate. This bill was aimed at introducing coercive powers, whereby athletes would have been required to attend interviews for answering questions, produce documents, and provide information regarding doping even if that may result in self-incrimination. ASADA introduced its own changes to the Australian Olympic Committee Anti-Doping By-Law in May 2013 despite the Bill being turned down by the Senate to include similar powers.

Coates told representatives from his member Olympic sports that unfortunately the Government lacked the numbers in the Senate to pass this aspect of the amending Bill and we are left with an Act that excuses individuals from answering questions or giving information if the answer or the information might tend to incriminate them. Coates went on to remark that when it comes to investigating most of the nine anti-doping rule violations which are not based on the presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample, ASADA has been largely left with its hands tied behind its back and also commented that what our elected representatives in Canberra would or could not do for ASADA, we have done for them.

The 65-year-old Coates also said the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code is applied to all sports. The AOC Chief said it is just plain wrong to say, as he has read, that the WADA Code was not designed for team sports and added these commentators forget that the highly professional team sports of football, ice hockey, basketball and volleyball and the other team sports of handball, rugby sevens, hockey and water polo, which have always been bound by the Code at both the international and national levels, are Olympic sports.

Coe’s comments come despite the Australian Senate passing a Bill in June 2013 that gave more powers to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority so that it can speed up doping investigations. The legislation allows ASADA to demand phone records, medical prescriptions of suspect athletes and other parties, text messages, and other documents with fines of up to $5,100 (£3,060/$4,700/€3,600) to those who do not comply with the requests. Victorian Greens politician Richard Di Natale told the chamber after passing the bill that ultimately we do accept the argument that ASADA needs further powers to expand its investigations into doping.

After the legislation was passed, Sports Minister Kate Lundy said doping has no place in sport and it is incumbent on the Government to provide ASADA with the right tools to investigate allegations of doping. At that time, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates welcomed the passing of the bill and remarked Australia, with this legislation and the new powers it provides ASADA, remains at the forefront of the fight against doping in sport.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Australian Senate Accused By AOC President Of Failure To Support Battle Against Doping

Saturday 16, May 2015

Steroid Abuse Still Prevalent In Rugby, Says Craig Chalmers

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Craig Chalmers, the former Scotland and British & Irish Lions fly-half, has remarked he believes doping is increasingly prevalent and widespread in rugby union.

Craig also said he fears the rugby authorities are not doing enough for addressing the issue of doping in the wake of his son Sam Chamlers’s positive test. Sam tested positive for Stanozolol (Winstrol) and Methandienone (Dianabol) and put the blame on Dragon Nutrition’s Pro-SD. Both Methandienone and Stanozolol are listed as anabolic androgenic steroids in the list of prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency. However, UK Anti-Doping could not hold Dean Colclough, owner of Dragon Nutrition Supplement Company, as Pro-SD did not contain either Winstrol or Dianabol. The 19-year old rugby star who played for the Scotland Under-20s squad received a doping ban of two years.

Craig Chalmers said the thing with doping in rugby is that it goes on, he knows it goes on. The former British & Irish Lions fly-half also said he had not really thought about it that much before Sam’s case but then he began asking some people about the stuff that Sam had taken and they seemed to say that it was very common. He went on to remark that Sam will come back from this episode more mature and a wiser person from it but he has done it all on his own and commented that Scottish Rugby have shown no support at all. Craig Chalmers also said Sam’s former club Melrose have been pretty supportive but they can only do so much and remarked Scottish Rugby have shown no support at all. He commented there has not been any kind of attempt to try to find out why Sam did it and that disappoints him a lot because he’s young, he made a mistake and he thinks that if he were the head of a sport in a country and he had seen what Sam had done, he did want to know why, and what made him do it.

The former Scotland rugby international said players want to play for Scotland, Edinburgh or Glasgow. If they are not big enough or strong enough, the big thing is you’ve got to work hard and added Sam made a very, very poor decision and he has lived with that for the last 23 months and is just about to come out of that.

In a statement, Scottish Rugby said we as a governing body continually endeavor to educate players at all levels of the game on the consequences and repercussions which come with taking banned substances, from both a health and a sporting perspective. It was further added that Scottish Rugby also works closely with our anti-doping partners, UK Anti-Doping and World Rugby, to ensure that our policies are highly effective in cracking down on the use of banned substances. Scottish Rugby also remarked that it has two anti-doping educators, who will be hosting roadshows, starting next season, at clubs and schools throughout the country to educate and inform on the risks of illegal performance enhancing drugs.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Steroid Abuse Still Prevalent In Rugby, Says Craig Chalmers

Thursday 14, May 2015

IOC Strips U.S. Relay Stripped Of Silver For Tyson Gay Doping

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IOC Strips U.S. Relay Stripped Of Silver For Tyson Gay Doping

The International Olympic Committee have stripped the entire U.S. men’s sprint relay team of their silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics as a result of the doping case of Tyson Gay.

IOC notified the U.S. Olympic Committee that the 4×100 relay team has been disqualified and all the medals are to be withdrawn. In a letter, the International Olympic Committee asked USOC to collect the medals and return them to it.

In a statement, USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the IOC, following USADA’s decision in the Tyson Gay case, confirmed that the U.S. team has been disqualified from the 4×100-meter race that was part of the athletics competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Sandusky also remarked that we will begin efforts to have the medals returned, and support all measures to protect clean athletes.

Last year, Tyson Gay returned his own medal after accepting a doping suspension of one year and the loss of results going back to July 2012. However, the status of the U.S. second-place finish in London and medals of relay teammates of Gay had remained in limbo until now. Tyson Gay was part of the USA Team that finished second in London behind a Jamaican team anchored by Usain Bolt. During this race, the Americans set a national record in the final with a time of 37.04 seconds.

Other U.S. team members losing medals are Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Ryan Bailey, Jeffery Demps, and Darvis Patton. In the final race, Kimmons, Gatlin, and Bailey ran with Gay.

Under International Rules, an entire team can be disqualified and stripped of medals if there is doping by one member.

If the IOC decides to reallocate the medals, the silver will now go to Trinidad and Tobago that finished third in 38.12 seconds and the bronze will come in the bag of the French team which placed fourth in 38.16 seconds.

The 31-year-old Gay tested positive for the presence of an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid and/or its metabolites which was confirmed by CIR (GC/C/IRMS) analysis. Under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules, Anabolic Androgenic Steroids are prohibited. The athlete accepted an ineligibility period of one year that began on June 23, 2013, the day his sample was collected at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He was disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to July 15, 2012 and returned his Silver Medal in the men’s 4x100m relay from the 2012 London Olympic Games that is now in the possession of the United States Olympic Committee.

Gay’s positive test resulted in an investigation that led to a ban of eight years for his former coach, Jon Drummond. During London Olympics, Drummond was the coach of the U.S. relay team and placed Tyson Gay on the team. A three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA) found Drummond guilty of possessing, trafficking, and administering banned performance enhancing substances to an athlete under his care as a coach. According to decision of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Gay took a banned substance in July 2012 with knowledge of Drummond.

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Tuesday 12, May 2015

WADA To Appeal Against AFL Tribunal Decision

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WADA To Appeal Against AFL Tribunal Decision

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced it will appeal against decision of the Australian Football League to clear 34 current and former top players of taking banned supplements.

In March, the AFL anti-doping tribunal unanimously decided that it was not “comfortably satisfied” that players from the Essendon club had violated the anti-doping rules during the 2012 season. Last year, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) referred the case to the Australian Football League. Surprisingly, ASADA decided not to appeal the findings when the AFL Tribunal when it cleared all 34 Essendon players.

WADA announced that it would soon take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. WADA director general David Howman said we have now completed our independent review of the full case file on the AFL Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal decision regarding 34 current and former Essendon players. Howman added WADA, after a thorough examination of the evidence contained within the file, has decided to lodge its independent right of appeal to the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. A WADA statement reads as with all pending cases, and adhering to the proper and normal respect for the integrity of the legal process, WADA will refrain from commenting further on the subject until a decision has been made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Essendon chairman Paul Little expressed surprise at decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Meanwhile, ASADA welcomed the announcement and offered to provide its full support. Little added now it looks like we have to jump back on the horse and sort of get into the process again of defending our boys and our club. ASADA chief executive Ben McDevitt said the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has handed over a comprehensive brief of evidence to assist WADA in its preparation for the CAS hearing.

Essendon coach James Hird remarked that Essendon players will “prove their innocence again.” Hird remarked there is no doubt it will cause stress again but we’re prepared to go through it and went on to add that we believe in the players’ innocence, they’ve been proven innocent once and they will be proven innocent again. Hird also remarked that we are extremely disappointed for the players who have had to endure over two years of uncertainty and will now have to endure further stress and the inevitable disruption to their playing careers. The coach of Essendon club also commented that we will be in a position to comment on this matter further once we have consulted with the players’ legal team and the players involved.

Peter Jess, a player agent to two of the 34 Essendon players, remarked that this whole process has been incredibly demanding on the playing group and added it drags them back into the vortex of a demoralizing and energy sapping investigation, which no player should rightfully have to go through.

Tim Watson, the father of Essendon captain Jobe Watson, remarked the players got to a point where they were able to compartmentalize the whole thing, and they all breathed that sigh of relief when they heard the tribunal’s closure and now it’s going to be reopened.

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