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Archive for  June 2015

Tuesday 09, Jun 2015

Mo Farah To Be Investigated By UK Athletics

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Mo Farah To Be Investigated By UK Athletics

The chairman of UK Athletics has announced that medical data of Mo Farah will be assessed for evidence of doping after allegations against his coach emerged.

Ed Warner said UK Athletics will look into supplements’ data and blood data of Farah. He further remarked that we need to make sure that there is nothing else there we have not seen, we are not aware of, or what has not been analyzed. The chairman of UK Athletics also said it may well be that the result of our own investigation reveals that there is nothing untoward going on as far as we can uncover in any way, shape or form around British Athletics and a British athlete.

Warner advised Farah to suspend his relationship with his coach Alberto Salazar until the allegations are proven wrong. Warner also stated that UK Athletics may decide to suspend its relationship with the Cuban-born coach within the next few weeks. Warner remarked he can understand that Mo Farah has great loyalty to his coach and added that absolutely can’t make a kneejerk reaction like that because Salazar is innocent until proven guilty and we need to conduct our own thorough investigation of everything that’s gone on with British Athletics and around Mo Farah in their engagement with Salazar.

However, Farah commented that he will stand by his coach until he was proven wrong. Farah subsequently withdrew from Diamond League event and remarked he felt emotionally and physically drained.

A BBC Panorama documentary recently levied allegations against Salazar, head coach at the Nike Oregon Project in Portland and an “unpaid consultant” for UK Athletics of being involved in doping along with US athlete Galen Rupp. The doping allegations were vehemently denied by both Salazar and Rupp, who won 10,000m silver behind Farah at London 2012 Games. Salazar, employed by Nike, is all set to give a strong reply on Panorama in which he will hit out at “individuals with agendas” and “inaccurate and unfounded journalism”.

Sir Craig Reedie, the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said doping allegations against the top athletics coach are “distressing”. Reedie added that it is sad to learn about the alleged methods of Salazar, including the use of banned steroids and unethical practices like micro-dosing.

The UK Anti-Doping authority’s head of science and medicine, Nick Wojek, said current micro-dosing cheats can be eventually uncovered by retrospective testing in the future. Wojek remarked we have the ability to store samples for up to 10 years so if new techniques become available to test for prohibited substances, we can sanction athletes we were not able to catch in real time.

In another development, sportswear maker Nike has been threatened by bribery and doping allegations in football and athletics. The company, currently valued at almost $90bn, was running the Nike Oregon Project in Portland where Salazar trained a number of highly successful competitors, including Mo Farah. Nike is not new to doping scandals. Alberto was coaching Mary Decker-Slaney when she tested positive for Testosterone. The sportswear maker helped fund her legal challenge against a doping ban.

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Sunday 07, Jun 2015

UFC Announces Revamped Drug Policy

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UFC Announces Revamped Drug Policy

Earlier this year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced that it will bring a significant transformation to its drug testing policy. On Wednesday, the largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world turned the dream into a reality.

A series of dramatic changes were outlined by Jeff Novitzky, the UFC’s new Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, at a press conference in Las Vegas. This revamped drug policy is created with a vision of being the best anti-doping program in all of professional sports. The new program is expected to roll out on July 1 and will be under the leadership of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Novitzky announced the entire roster of UFC of 500+ fighters will be subject to unannounced, year-round in- and out-of-competition testing including both blood and urine testing, with the possibility of a collection that may occur at any place, any time, with no notice.

The announcement comes a few days after the Nevada Athletic Commission announced a series of sweeping changes to its drug testing program.

Under the revamped UFC drug policy, fighters would be tested for in- and out-of competition for anabolic steroids, growth hormones, peptides, blood doping drugs, and methods. Fighters who fail test for the first time will fail a suspension of 2 years with a possibility of a 4-year suspension for “aggravating circumstances”. The second offense would mean double the sanction for the first offense and the third offense would be double the sanction of the second offense. Fighters would be subjected to in-competition testing only for marijuana, cocaine, other stimulants, and glucocorticosteroids. Athletes failing test for these specified substances, for the first time, will face a suspension of one year with a possibility of 2 additional years for “aggravating circumstances”. The second offense under specified substances’ policy would mean double the sanction for the first offense and the third offense would be double the sanction of the second offense.

The term “aggravating circumstances” across several spectrums was defined by Novitzky including “egregious intent, conspiracy or agreements with others to attempt to defeat the testing system,” along with past offenses and multiple offenses, all modeled after the World Anti-Doping Agency code. In-competition testing was defined by Novitzky as the time period between six hours prior to weigh-ins until six hours immediately following the fight of an athlete.

The UFC also announced that there would be disqualification of result of the bout, and forfeiture of title, ranking, and purse or other compensation in case of anti-doping violation during or leading up to a bout. It was also announced that any purse, compensation or fine forfeited will be put towards cost of anti-doping program and/or anti-doping research of the UFC.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart today is a huge win for the athletes in the UFC as they set a new standard for all professional sport in protecting the rights and health of clean athletes and the integrity of competition. Tygart added the UFC has taken a bold and courageous leap forward for the good of its athletes in developing a comprehensive and cutting edge anti-doping policy expressly modeled on the key elements of the WADA Anti-Doping Program and by having it run by an independent and transparent National Anti-Doping Organization.

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Friday 05, Jun 2015

Report Accuses Track Coach Salazar Of Promoting Doping

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Report Accuses Track Coach Salazar Of Promoting Doping

According to a report by ProPublica and the BBC, track coach Alberto Salazar has breaking doping rules since long.

Salazar, the coach of Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, was accused by Steve Magness, a former assistant at Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project, of encouraging Rupp to use testosterone medication. Salazar, a three-time New York City Marathon winner, is also coaching the American teenage sensation Mary Cain.

Magness, who is now serving as the cross country coach at the University of Houston, also alleged that Salazar has been using his son, Alex, as a guinea pig for testing supplements to find out at what levels they would set off a positive test.

Kara Goucher, a world championship bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters, also claimed that she was pressed to take thyroid medication by Salazar even she did not had a prescription for it.

The investigation from the BBC and U.S. investigative publication ProPublica revealed that Rupp was instructed by Salazar to use banned substances, including Testosterone and Prednisone, the banned asthma drug, in 2002. The whistleblowers include high-profile U.S. marathoner Kara Goucher and Steve Magness. The Panorama program also quoted three witnesses with sworn statements claiming that Allan Wells, who won 100m gold at the 1980 Olympics, had taken anabolic androgenic steroids.

Peter Eriksson, head coach of Canada’s track and field team, he knew about the allegations “a month ago,” after he met with Salazar.

Salazar denied the allegations and remarked that there were a few disgruntled former athletes and coaches with an axe to grind who were starting rumors. Eriksson said the rumors have been going around for a while and they are not substantiated.

Salazar also said the legal supplement Testoboost had been “incorrectly recorded as ‘testosterone’ medication” on the report of Galen Rupp. The coach when questioned about his son participating in tests to evade drug testers said he was determining how much of testosterone gel would it take to trigger a positive test in case rivals of his team attempted to sabotage one of his athletes. Magness remarked the defense of Salazar is ludicrous and it was them trying to figure out how to cheat the tests.

Meanwhile, the World Anti-Doping Agency has issued a statement saying that we have carefully viewed the BBC’s Panorama program which includes some allegations suggesting doping in athletics. The WADA statement added the program alleges practices relating to coach Alberto Salazar of the Nike Oregon Project in the United States. Any investigation will be a matter for the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the IAAF, and the relevant information shall be passed to them.

It was also remarked that WADA acknowledge that the program also raises questions regarding the ability of athletes to dope by taking minimal amounts of performance-enhancing substances without testing positive, otherwise known as ‘micro-dosing’. It went to comment that this is an issue that we are exploring in great detail with experts from across the anti-doping community, and indeed it was highlighted in the recent Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) Report.

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Wednesday 03, Jun 2015

Park Tae-Hwan Can Train During Ban, Says FINA

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Park Tae-Hwan Can Train During Ban, Says FINA

Korean swimmer Park Tae-Hwan has been allowed by FINA, the world governing body of swimming, to train while serving a doping ban.

This announcement came a week after a public pool in Seoul allowed Park Tae-hwan to join a class. Tae-hwan, serving an 18-month ban for doping, was allowed by parents of local school children to join the swimming class and his presence in the pool is not forbidden under rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Park is expected to appear as a witness of June 4 in court in the case against the doctor who pleaded not guilty on the count of failing to disclose the presence of testosterone in an injection that was administered to Tae-Hwan last year. The injection resulted in Park testing positive. The suspension of Park Tae-Hwan started on September 3, 2014 and ends on March 2, 2016.

One of the most-popular anabolic androgenic steroids, Testosterone is on the list of substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Prosecutors claimed that the swimmer received an injection of a drug called Nebido in July last year at the hospital. Nebido, known as injectable testosterone, is primarily used to treat erectile dysfunction. The injection was administered to Park while he was receiving a free chiropractic treatment. The swimmer claimed that he asked the doctor if there were any banned substances in the injection but did not check the name of the drug. The doctor replied that testosterone was administered to supplement a shortage of the hormone. It was further claimed by the doctor that he did not know it was a banned substance.

According to media reports, Park had recorded the conversations between him and the physician. The physician remarked he was unaware of the recordings and added we inform all of our patients who receive our anti-aging program that they are given male hormone therapy and we told Park Tae-hwan as well. The doctor said Park and his sister visited the clinic many times and asked if it was acceptable to be injected with testosterone suggesting that Park knew from the onset that he was being injected with testosterone and tacitly authorized it.

Park visited the hospital more than 20 times and received more expensive treatments than normally received by other patients. Prosecutors were told by the doctor that he injected testosterone to Park Tae-Hwan twice in December 2013 and July 2014 and also communicated what it was. The doctor went on to claim that he communicated the swimmer of the length of time testosterone would remain in his body but he was not aware that it was a banned substance.

The disgraced swimmer recently forfeited all his medals from the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Park won one silver and five bronze medals at the Asian Games. It was announced by the Olympic Council of Asia that all medals attained have been withdrawn and adjustments have been made to the medal table. The record of Park for most medals won by a Korean at the Asian Games was also nullified.

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Monday 01, Jun 2015

Gatlin Rejects ‘Ridiculous’ Claims About Effects Of Steroids

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Gatlin Rejects ‘Ridiculous’ Claims About Effects Of Steroids

American sprinter Justin Gatlin has dismissed suggestions that he is still reaping benefits of anabolic androgenic steroids nearly a decade after taking them.

Gatlin recently clocked 19.68 seconds to win the 200m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. He was questioned for running the fastest times at age of 33.

Gatlin was responding to a question from a journalist who asked about a study on mice that revealed doping effects could still be felt long after exposure. The sprinter said he is not sure why people would match a laboratory mouse to a human being and added he believes this is ridiculous and unfathomable to him. Let’s Run journalist Weldon Johnson asked Gatlin how he could assure people that he is running clean now to which the sprinter responded there is no commentary and he had already said whatever he had to say.

Gatlin, a two-time convicted drugs cheat, was banned for two years from international competition in 2001 after he tested positive for amphetamines. The Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters was banned in 2006 for four years after he tested positive for testosterone. Gatlin vehemently denied steroid allegations and claimed that a masseur rubbed a cream that contained the banned substance on his back, a claim that is refuted by the masseur.

He agreed to an eight-year ban on August 22, 2006 to avoid a lifetime ban in exchange and the United States Anti-Doping Agency surprisingly reduced his suspension because of the “exceptional circumstances” surrounding his drug test of 2001 and cooperation with the doping authorities.

Last summer, Gatlin ran the fastest 100m and 200m times by a man in his thirties. In Brussels last year, the American sprinter pulled off the fastest ever one-day sprint double when he clocked 9.77 seconds for the 100m an hour before running the 200m in 19.71. In Monaco, he had run 19.68 for the 200m.

Dai Greene, Britain’s 2011 400m hurdles world champion, remarked in 2014 that the recent success of Gatlin shows that either he is still taking performance-enhancing drugs to get the best out of him at his advanced age, or the ones he did take are still doing a fantastic job as there is no way he can still be running that well at this late point in his career. Greene remarked that 9.77 is an incredibly fast time after having years on the sidelines, being unable to train or compete, it doesn’t really add up.

Many athletes opposed nomination of Gatlin for the IAAF’s athlete of the year 2014 shortlist. Robert Harting, another nominee and Germany’s Olympic, world and European discus champion, asked for Gatlin’s name to be removed from the list in protest. Briton Darren Campbell, a former European 100m champion, also opposed the name of Gatlin and then remarked that if you did it artificially, you don’t know how you did it. In 2014, French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie and Valerie Adams, shot putter from New Zealand, were crowned the male and female World Athletes of the Year.

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