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Archive for  October 2015

Sunday 11, Oct 2015

Chung Mong-joon Facing Suspension Of 19 Years

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FIFA presidential contender Chung Mong-joon has disclosed that FIFA ethics commission is pursuing a 19-year suspension for him. The honorary President said the FIFA ethics commission is pursuing a 19-year suspension also said he would not attend hearing of the commission on the issue. Chung went on to say this whole procedure is a fraud and went on to appeal to the international community for support.

Chung remarked he prides himself on his proactive approach to his duties over 17 years as FIFA vice chairman, including his decision to speak out on corruption within the organization. The honorary President of FIFA ethics commission revealed he is charged with violating six articles from FIFA’s Code of Ethics that he said stemmed from his proposal to launch a Global Football Fund (GFF) and his “support” for South Korea’s 2022 World Cup bid. Chung added ethics committee is not charging him with criminal offense, and it is not charging him with ‘bribery,’ ‘corruption’ or ‘conflict of interest and all that the ethics committee is relying on is that he has not fully ‘cooperated’ or ‘collaborated’ with the investigation and that he had violated ‘confidentiality’ requirements.”

Chung provided copies of two letters signed by former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke that stated that the world governing body of football agreed the integrity of the bidding process had not been affected so the matter was deemed closed and said yet the Ethics Committee has now asked for 15 years of sanction for this.

Chung has been heavily critical of FIFA President Sepp Blatter who is to stand down in February and described the Ethics Committee as Blatter’s “hitman”.

Chung, the scion of Korea’s Hyundai industrial conglomerate, said he will fight the charges and will be vindicated. Chung, a 63-year-old billionaire who previously served as a FIFA vice-president, added there was nothing unusual about Global Football Fund. He added the GFF was perfectly in line with the football development projects that FIFA asked every bidding country to propose as part of their bid requirement and also remarked no money or personal favors were exchanged in relation to GFF and no such charges were made against him.

Chung would be barred from registration as a candidate for the next FIFA presidency, which closes on October 26, if he receives a suspension. Chung described the events as an attempt by an association with an image already tarnished by corruption to “sabotage” his own run for president. Chung announced in an October 6 press conference at the KFA offices in Seoul that the FIFA ethics commission has notified me that it intends to request a suspension of 15 years after its investigation of him sending letters to football officials in different countries during South Korea’s 2010 bid for the 2022 World Cup, with a proposal in them for an ‘international football fund.’ Chung added when he argued that the ethics commission was ‘not independent,’ they tacked on another four years for ‘defamation’ and ‘secrecy violations’ and said they would be banning him from all football-related activities for 19 years.

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Friday 09, Oct 2015

IAAF Rules Out Serious Doping Offenders For Awards

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The International Association of Athletics Federations has announced that this year’s World Athlete of the Year award will not be open to athletes who have served serious doping suspension. This means athletes like Justin Gatlin, who served bans twice, will not be eligible for this year’s World Athlete of the Year awards.

The announcement read athletes who have been previously sanctioned with a serious doping offence shall not be eligible.

Last year, Gatlin’s name was included in the list of nominees that prompted a boycott from a nominated athlete, Germany’s Olympic discus champion Robert Harting. Harting, who also holds the world and European titles, said he did not want to get associated with two-time convicted drugs cheat Justin Gatlin. In 2001, Gatlin was banned after he tested positive for amphetamines but he appealed on the grounds that his failure to clear the test was because of a medication that he had been taking since his childhood to treat attention deficit disorder.

After Harting withdrew his name from the Athlete of the Year shortlist, the then IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe admitted he had “big problems” with Gatlin’s name being on the list. The IAAF was spared of further embarrassment after Gatlin failed to make the final three nominations and France’s world pole vault record breaker Renaud Lavillenie winning the Male World Athlete of the Year award last year.

However, many fail to notice last year that Gatlin’s US compatriot LaShawn Merritt, who was also among the 10 male nominations for the 2014 award.

It was insisted by the IAAF last year that it had no choice but to allow the nomination of Gatlin that was made by an international panel of athletics experts including representatives from all six continental IAAF areas. An IAAF spokesman had remarked Gatlin, as an eligible athlete who has had a great season is, logically, also eligible for consideration for the Athlete of the Year contest in the absence of any bylaw to prevent that happening.

Gatlin returned to the sport in 2010 after serving a doping ban of four year. This was after he previously served a ban of two years in 2001. Gatlin’s four-year ban was reduced on appeal and he was unbeaten over 100 and 200 meters in 2014 to win the IAAF’s Diamond Race trophy for the shorter sprint. Gatlin also finished the season with the fastest 100 and 200m times but was beaten by Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt in the 100m and 200m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

The American sprinter was expected to make the shortlist of nine male nominations after running the five fastest 100m times of 2015 and having retained his IAAF Diamond Race Trophy.

Since this Award was first given in 1988, no athlete has won the title after serving a ban for a serious doping offence at the time of voting. Jamaica’s world and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was the 2013 female World Athlete of the Year had a minor suspension after she was banned for a period of six months in 2010 after she returned a sample that contained the painkiller Oxycodone.

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Wednesday 07, Oct 2015

CCES And WADA Join Hands To Drive Anti-Doping Education Strategies Forward

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The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), in partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), welcomed experts from the anti-doping industry on 2 and 3 October to a value-based education conference in Ottawa to improve global anti-doping education initiatives.

The event was attended by representatives from 61 National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs), 18 International Federations (IFs), 4 Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs), and 17 researchers from 50 countries. One hundred and fifty-one people from an additional 26 countries participated in this conference through live streaming. Purpose of this meet was to examine how initiatives on a global level can be advanced by anti-doping organizations by utilizing the collective knowledge of Anti-Doping Organizations and researchers worldwide.

The first day of the conference was based on the requirement of astute education programs to help in educating the world on preventing doping via examination of current research methods and discussions about how these schemes can be put into action. On the following day, broad debates happened on how this research would be important to help in planning anti-doping education strategies across the world.

Rob Koehler, WADA Senior Director, Education and NADO/RADO Relations, said WADA and industry experts recognize that collaboration is paramount to the success of the clean sport campaign. Koehler added the Conference was the ideal forum to discuss ways of addressing global issues, with local sensitivities, with the goal of implementing effective information and education programs. The WADA Senior Director added there is a clear message that all leaders must invest in values-based education to ensure that we have more effective research-based education going forward and also remarked that effective education has the power to prevent doping and, in so doing, effect positive change on society as a whole.

All participants committed to adopt key resolutions that include WADA, NADOs, RADOs, and IFs must devote more financial and human resources to values-based anti-doping education programs. It was also committed that the World Anti-Doping Agency must convene a follow-up conference before 2018 for examining the state of this important area of work and evaluate the progress of these resolutions. The resolutions also included ADOs and researchers must continue to collaborate to further guide and enhance values-based education and NADOs and RADOs must evaluate their anti-doping education programs and ensure that they reflect a values-based approach to enhance their effectiveness.

Paul Melia, CEO of the CCES, said the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is committed to the advancement of values-based education as a means to prevent doping in sport. Melia added this Conference provided an important opportunity to fundamentally shift our understanding of how to use sport values to prevent doping. The CEO of CCES also said in Canada, for example, we are fostering a social change approach that ensures the values of sport drive the experiences in sport from the time a child enters the sport system. Paul Melia also commented that we look forward to collaborating with our colleagues from around the world as we continue to advance new values-based educational initiatives.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: CCES And WADA Join Hands To Drive Anti-Doping Education Strategies Forward

Monday 05, Oct 2015

Doping Samples At Tour De France To Be Stored For Ten Years

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The doping control samples submitted by riders in the Tour de France will be stored for a period of ten years for the purpose of retrospective analysis. This announcement was made by the UCI, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), and French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD).

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, announced that all three bodies have agreed to keep the samples for potential retrospective analyses in the future. The statement read all the collected samples as for all Grand Tours concerning the best five riders in the general classification will be kept for ten years for potential retrospective analyses. In total, 656 doping controls were carried out at the Tour de France and 482 blood samples were analyzed against the biological passport.

In a press release, UCI president Brian Cookson said he would like to emphasize again the excellent climate in which all the stakeholders involved in the fight against doping are working together on a daily basis for the benefit of the sport.

Cookson, said we can be confident of the robustness of our program thanks to the sharing of information between all anti-doping actors and a strategy focused on even more targeted controls. Dr Francesco Rossi of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation remarked targeted controls have been strengthened by testers based on information offered by sources and the support of an intelligence analyst.

Katusha’s Luca Paolini was kicked off the Tour de France after he tested positive for cocaine. Paolini, who won Gent-Wevelgem earlier this year, tested positive after producing an adverse analytical finding of cocaine following a test taken after the cobbled stage 4 of the French Grand Tour. Paolini has been provisionally suspended by his team and is still awaiting the result of his B sample. In July this year, the UCI announced Paolini was informed of an Adverse Analytical Finding of Cocaine (Benzoylecgonine metabolite) in a sample collected in the scope of an in-competition control on 7 July 2015 during the Tour de France. Cocaine is banned in-competition, but not outside of competition. The 38-year-old faces a possible four-year ban if his B-sample analysis confirms the positive. Paolini has been claiming innocence but apologize for the damage he and the positive test had caused.

Paolini’s former teammate Giampaolo Caruso was suspended by the team after he tested positive via retrospective testing for Erythropoietin in 2012. Caruso returned a positive test for EPO in an out-of-competition anti-doping test taken on March 27, 2012. In a statement, Team Katusha had remarked it was informed by the UCI that Italian rider Giampaolo Caruso has been notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding. It was added that the presence of erythropoietin has been detected in a sample collected on 27th March 2012 the rider has been provisionally suspended in accordance with the UCI Regulations. This is the second anti-doping offense of Caruso as he tested positive for Nandrolone on January 25, 2003 and received a suspension of six months. The Italian rider was due to start the Vuelta a España behind team leader Joaquim Rodriguez but was suspended before.

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Saturday 03, Oct 2015

UFC VP Lends Support To Nick Diaz

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UFC Vice President of Athlete Health & Performance Jeff Novitzky has publicly stated that the recent suspension of five years on Nick Diaz by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) is not right.

Novitzky, who was brought in to oversee the new and ramped-up drug testing of UFC, said though he does not have the insights on what was presented in open forum in the commission’s hearing and he believes Diaz should not be punished. The UFC VP said three tests were conducted on Diaz: one taken before the fight, one immediately after, and one shortly after that. Novitzky said the first and last tests were done by WADA-accredited laboratories that follow the highest standard in laboratories, both in testing and sensitivity of equipment, and the first and last tests came well under the threshold of marijuana.

Novitzky went on to say Nick Diaz should not have been suspended for the positive result in the first place. He also said it is his view that it is wrong to assume that some on the commission who may have felt insulted as Nick pleaded the Fifth Amendment to all of their questions and the commission acted with a vengeful attitude towards Diaz. Novitzky also pointed out fingers at the NAC by saying their proposed new regulations is three years, which to his understanding has not even been formally passed and said the suspension could have been potentially his failure to fill out the form and leaving marijuana off his pre-fight that was taken into consideration as some kind of aggravating circumstance. During the proceedings, some NAC commissioners openly mocked and laughed at the objections and firmness of Middlebrook in putting together a compelling defense.

The UFC Vice President addressed the pending appeal by the legal team of Diaz and noted that he fully believes that a court would decide that the former American mixed martial artist was not given the fair shake he is due by law. Novitzky added this is the second time the NAC has got things wrong and said the same thing happened with the samples of Anderson Silva who tested positive for anabolic androgenic steroids. Novitzky also said it is ridiculous for anyone to assume that marijuana is a performance enhancing substance. He, however, acknowledged that the increasing acceptance of marijuana is balanced by the aforementioned threshold of 150 ng/ml as it is pointed by several studies that it is a good threshold to prevent any possible performance enhancement.

In another development, the decision of Henry Cejudo to not fight in the state of Nevada has been described by the lawyer of Diaz as “amazing“. Lucas Middlebrook said that is a very individualized decision for a fighter. Diaz’s lawyer added that to stand behind someone in a like position where you, at least in the short term, could take a financial hit, but you are standing up to fix a bigger problem, and he really cannot commend anyone enough who makes those decisions as it is really an amazing gesture. The decision of Cejudo is more to do with his belief that he doubts the ability of the Nevada Athletic Commission to rule objectively.

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Thursday 01, Oct 2015

WADA Stands Tall Not To Get Bullied By USADA And UKAD

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has refused to accept claims by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and some of its like-minded foreign counterparts like the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to impose a ban on thyroid medication.

On Tuesday, WADA published its list of substances and methods to be banned in international sport for the forthcoming calendar year. The World Anti-Doping Agency omitted the inclusion of thyroid hormone and Dr. Olivier Rabin, science director for WADA, remarked the expert committee reviewing recommendations to the prohibited list were of the belief that there is no way to believe that thyroid hormone could be performance enhancing. WADA said the drug could not be placed in the category of banned drugs as it does not meet at least two of three criteria: it violates what it calls the “spirit of sport”, it is harmful to an athlete’s health, and it is performance-enhancing.

UKAD and USADA lobbied to have thyroid medication placed on the banned substance list after allegations of therapeutic use exemption abuse by Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar. This was after the BBC’s Panorama documentary revealed how ethical boundaries are stretched to breaking point within Nike’s Oregon Project. The documentary revealed a drug called Levoxyl to treat an underactive thyroid was prescribed to World 10,000 meters bronze medalist Kara Goucher and then Salazar encouraged Kara to use Cytomel, a stronger drug, which was originally prescribed to Galen Rupp, one of Salazar’s athletes.

According to media reports, five current or former athletes at the secretive training camp of Alberto Salazar have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. This health condition affects two per cent of the ordinary population and tends to affect middle-aged women. Liz McColgan, the former world 10,000m champion said it is either a massive coincidence or something else going on. The prominent British coach said he believes the use of Thyroxine, a hormone-replacement medication for treating those with underactive thyroid, is widespread among healthy athletes who want to gain an unfair advantage.

European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey remarked Erythropoietin (EPO) and growth hormone started the same way and they were used to help people who had a genuine problem, but they were exploited by people looking to gain an advantage.

UK Anti-Doping had communicated to WADA that thyroid medications like Thyroxine are performance enhancers, pose a risk to health, and are against the ‘spirit of sport’. According to the policy of UK Athletics on Thyroxine replacement medicine, the use of a Thyroxine replacement medicine is acceptable by an athlete if there is an existing thyroid condition and a doctor’s exemption form is provided. However, the use of a Thyroxine replacement medicine does not come under the category of exemption if an athlete is using it to help recovery or performance. In a recent statement, UK Athletics said British Athletics always apply the highest standards to medical practice and added that Thyroxine is only ever prescribed when treating hypothyroidism and we have worked closely with the EIS, UK Anti-Doping, and the British Thyroid Association to ensure good clinical governance.

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