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Archive for  August 2015

Monday 10, Aug 2015

Doping Claims Are ‘Declaration Of War’ On Athletics, Says IAAF Presidential Candidate

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Sebastian Coe, the IAAF vice-president and presidential candidate in hunt for IAAF Presidency, described claims that the governing body of athletics had failed to respond to widespread blood doping among distance runners as a “declaration of war” on the sport.

Coe, who is hoping to be elected the next president later this month, made a withering attack on allegations made by German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times. It was alleged by the two organizations that the International Association of Athletics Federations sat quietly on suspicious blood tests involving hundreds of athletes between 2001 and 2012. Coe remarked it is a declaration of war on his sport and added he takes pretty grave exception to that. The IAAF Presidential candidate remarked there is nothing in our history of competence and integrity in drug-testing that warrants this kind of attack and added we should come out fighting. The IAAF Vice-President also remarked nobody should underestimate the anger at the way our sport has been portrayed and added we cannot be portrayed as a sport that is dragging our heels.

The German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times alleged that the results of 12,000 blood tests involving 5,000 athletes from 2001 to 2012 were examined and 800 were suspicious. It was also alleged that 146 medals – including 55 gold medals – in disciplines ranging from the 800 meters to the marathon at the Olympics and World Championships were won by athletes with suspicious test findings. The findings were made after a whistleblower within the IAAF provided evidence of suspicious test readings.

The IAAF Presidential candidate rubbished the claims of two Australian anti-doping scientists, Robin Parisotto and Michael Ashenden by saying the IAAF has a commission of three independent experts who have tested and checked thousands of blood samples and he knows whom to believe. Coe added the use of this stuff, the sensationalizing; this is absolutely an attempt to destroy the reputation of the athletes and our sport. He also remarked nobody is remotely suggesting that news organizations don’t have the right to question and challenge and kick the tyres and added but this selective use of this so-called information is just wrong and we will not bend a knee to any other sport in the way we’ve led the way on this.

Coe, responding to the latest doping allegations, said the use of that database, however it got into their possession, displayed either breathtaking ignorance or a level of malevolence around a set of readings you simply cannot extrapolate beyond. The IAAF VP added the idea that his sport sat there either covering up wrongdoing or just being incompetent could not be wider of the mark.

In another development, the IAAF quoted its own anti-doping expert, Giuseppe d’Onofrio, who said he ethically deplores public comments coming from colleagues on blood data that has been obtained and processed outside of the strict regulatory framework established by WADA. Giuseppe d’Onofrio also added there is no space for short cuts, simplistic approaches or sensationalism when athletes’ careers and reputations are at stake.

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Saturday 08, Aug 2015

Condition Of Sale Covering Anabolic Steroids Added By Keeneland

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A new Condition of Sale has been announced by Keeneland that will permit buyers of yearlings and horses in training that are being exported to Great Britain, or via other countries (the list presently includes France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, and Sweden) the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) considers to have similar policies, within a period of 60 days of purchase to be tested for anabolic androgenic steroids and substances prohibited by the BHA.

This condition was created in response to the Equine Anti-Doping Rules of the BHA, which is a zero tolerance policy for horses that are imported to Great Britain for training and racing that became effective March 2, 2015.

In 2008, Keeneland implemented a policy regarding testing for the use of anabolic steroids in yearlings sold at its auctions and no horse has tested positive.

Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason remarked our British and European buyers will have added confidence by implementing this new Condition of Sale that horses bought here can train and race in Great Britain. BHA Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation Jamie Stier remarked the BHA’s Equine Anti-Doping Rules that include a zero-tolerance approach to anabolic steroids that the British Horseracing Authority considers to have no place at any stage in the life of a racehorse, were implemented in March 2015 and ensures that British racing not only adheres to, but exceeds where possible, the IFHA’s international minimum standards on this issue. The BHA Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation also added these Rules, like all BHA Rules of Racing, do not seek to regulate any international racing or breeding industries. Stier also commented that we however welcome the proactive, constructive and collaborative approach taken by Keeneland to offer this extra service to their customers who are intending to purchase a horse to enter the British market.

The 2015 September Yearling Sale of Keeneland will be held from September 14-26. At the time of sale, the buyer will be expected to check the appropriate box for British Horseracing Authority testing on the Acknowledgement of Purchase and Security Agreement for horses that will be exported to Great Britain within 60 days of purchase. This box may be checked by the buyer if there is an intention to export the horse to France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland and Sweden within 60 days, before then exporting it in a direct way to Great Britain.

Under the new Condition of Sale, a blood sample will be arranged by Keeneland to be taken by a veterinarian on an immediate basis after purchase and prior to the horse leaving the sales grounds. This blood sample will be sent to a laboratory in England selected by the British Horseracing Authority. Furthermore, the buyer will initially bear expenses of the test but the cost will shift to the consignor if the test results are positive. The buyer has the right within 24 hours of notification to rescind the sale and return the horse to the consignor if the BHA post-sale test is positive for anabolic steroids.

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Thursday 06, Aug 2015

Global Sporting Bodies Make Calls For Probe Into Doping Allegations

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Global sporting bodies have called for a complete probe of the latest doping allegations that were made by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster. The two organizations reported they had obtained secret data from International Association of Athletics Federations, the global athletics governing body, supplied by a whistleblower who was disgusted by the extent of doping.

The allegations did not revealed that any athlete had failed doping tests but it only disclosed that the tests had been abnormal that can sometimes be an indicator of cheating. The Sunday Times cited Australian doping expert Robin Parisotto and another scientist, Michael Ashendon, concluding that more than 800 athletes had recorded one or more “abnormal” results. Parisotto, an inventor of the test used to detect the blood doping agent Erythropoietin, remarked it is damning that the IAAF appears to have sat idly by and let this happen with so many athletes appear to have doped with impunity.

The British daily said such athletes accounted for 146 medals at top events, including 55 golds. According to the report, Russian athlete had 415 abnormal tests and Russia was followed by Ukraine, Morocco, Spain, Kenya, Turkey, and others. The Sunday Times revealed a remarkable 80 percent of Russia’s medal winners had recorded suspicious scores at some point in their careers.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency remarked an “aggressive review” was required for protecting clean athletes after the doping allegations surfaced. USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart remarked he was unaware of the involvement of any American athlete in the report. Tygart added a thorough and aggressive review of all that evidence needs to be had to ensure that clean athletes’ rights are protected and went on to add that this is more evidence of what many of us already suspected.

The USADA Chief Executive also remarked USADA aggressively pushed WADA to open an investigation several months ago into prior allegations about doping in Russia. Tygart added now it is in the hands of WADA to do the right thing and hopefully give confidence to clean athletes around the world that these gangsters are not going to hijack sport and violate the right of clean athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said it was very disturbed by the reports that claim many endurance runners were suspected of doping and were winning a third of the medals at Olympic Games and World Championships. WADA’s decision to investigate the “alarming” reports was welcomed by Athletics Australia (AA). John Coates, the chief of Australian Olympic Committee, said the reports were “disturbing” and added the AOC has a zero-tolerance approach to doping in sport.

IAAF Vice President Sergey Bubka remarked the International Association of Athletics Federations has zero tolerance for doping and we will not stop the fight. The former pole vault world and Olympic champion from Ukraine is competing against Sebastian Coe to succeed Lamine Diack as the new boss of world athletics.

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko denied allegations that a big majority of the “abnormal” results were from Russian athletes. Mutko added the allegations reflected a power battle before the IAAF leadership vote and had “nothing to do with Russia”.

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Tuesday 04, Aug 2015

Cannondale-Garmin Rider Fails Test For Testosterone

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Tom Danielson of Cannondale-Garmin has tweeted that he tested positive for synthetic testosterone in an out-of-competition test performed On July 9. The positive test has not been formally announced by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) but it informed the cyclist about the positive test result on August 2.

The cyclist denied he used banned performance enhancing drugs and said he was clean. Danielson has been suspended by his Slipstream Team, pending the outcome of his B-sample.

Danielson wrote on Twitter that he received a call from USADA while he was eating dinner with his team the night before Tour of Utah. The Cannondale-Garmin rider said USADA notified him that an out-of-competition test given on July 9 tested positive for what he understands as synthetic testosterone. The 37-year-old Danielson will sit out the Tour of Utah as he awaits the results of his B sample. Tom Danielson won the last two editions of the race.

The American rider also tweeted that he will have the supplements he takes tested for possible contamination. Danielson, who served a suspension of six months from September 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013, after he admitted to blood doping while being with Discovery Channel team, faces a lifetime ban from the sport should his B sample confirm the positive test. The Connecticut-born rider was stripped of his results from March 1, 2005 to September 23, 2006 after admitted to doping and lost the Tour of Georgia and Tour of Austria overall, as well as a stage victory and sixth overall in the Vuelta a España.

Danielson testified in the Lance Armstrong-USADA case and primarily worked as a domestique in recent years for riders Ryder Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky, and Daniel Martin. The American rider rode for The Discover Team, which was a incarnation of US Postal, in 2006 and 2007. While testifying in the case Lance Armstrong case, Tom Danielson remarked he was presented with a choice that to him did not feel like a choice at all and added in the environment that he was in, it felt like something he had to do in order to continue following his dream. The cyclist also remarked at that time he crossed the line and that is something he will always be sorry for and went on to remark at that time he accepts responsibility for his choices and apologize to everyone in his life for them – in and out of the sport.

Danielson spent his childhood years in Connecticut and attended Fort Lewis College in Colorado. The American professional road racing cyclist holds the record for the fastest ascent of Mt. Washington in the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. Danielson also holds the record for the Mt. Evans Hill Climb that traverses the highest paved road in North America. The rider raced for the American UCI ProTour team Discovery Channel and won the 2005 Tour de Georgia and the 2006 Tour of Austria.

Danielson is sponsored by Cannondale, Full Speed Ahead (FSA), Mavic, Smith Optics, Prestige Imports, Vega Sport, Icon Lasik, and Biotta for 2015 cycling events.

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Sunday 02, Aug 2015

French Law Blocked Night Time Doping Tests At Tour De France

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Anti-doping authorities are all set to introduce a rule to allow for night-time anti-doping tests after the French legal system did not allowed them to conduct anti-doping tests on cyclists during night time at this year’s Tour de France.

Night-time tests were carried out before the Tour de France. Presently, the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) is unable to carry out night time doping tests. In-competition night-time tests can be carried out in countries such as Belgium, Spain, Serbia, and Australia. Before this year’s Tour, President Brian Cookson remarked he understands from the cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) that the first night-time tests have taken place and that is a part of our armory in the fight against doping.

The UCI recently introduced night-time testing after the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) submitted a report earlier this year. The report suggested testing during night should be implemented to fight against doping in the sport.

Lars Ytting Bak, the Danish professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTour team Lotto-Soudal, remarked he was not woken up when asked if he knew of anyone who had been given a night test at the Tour. Bak remarked he is 100 percent against the use of banned performance enhancing drugs and cyclists should stop doping. The Lotto-Soudal rider added it is 100 per cent against the rhythm of a human being to be woken up in the middle of the night and it is against our recovery, against everything but also said he hoped the application of the new testing schedule would be fair. Bak also commented that it is also a disadvantage because when you are in full sleep you get so angry when someone wakes you up.

On the other hand, the Dutch team doctor of Giant-Alpecin has welcomed the news of night tests being carried out in the sport. Anko Boelens said night testing may have repercussions on performance but that it is a welcome tool in armories of the anti-doping agency. The Giant-Alpecin team doctor also said he believes that micro-dosing that can go under the radar of the biological passport (according to a recent report) stands a better chance of being caught.

The Dutch team doctor of Giant-Alpecin said there are two sides of night-time testing. Boelens said this form of testing is an excellent weapon in the fight against doping and added night time testing could be effective for testing if someone decides to take EPO in night-time hours. He also remarked night-time tests is a big topic because he is not the one woken up in the middle of the night for a test and said he can understand from the perspective of an anti-doping agency why it would be done but it’s another violation of the private life of a rider. Boelens also said if cyclists are woken up twice in a seven day stage race then it might influence performance and it is no longer an even playing field. He also commented that the world governing body of cycling and CADF need to make the testing as hassle free as possible for the riders.

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