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Archive for  December 2016

Saturday 31, Dec 2016

Germany Gains Right To Host Bobsleigh And Skeleton World Championships

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The world governing body of bobsleigh and skeleton has announced Germany’s Konigsee has been selected as the last-minute replacement for Sochi.

Konigsee has hosted the World Championships on four previous occasions, most recently in 2011.

In a statement on its website, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) remarked the track was available during the period of two weeks for which the championships had already been scheduled. It added local officials had the required operational and logistical expertise to successfully organize the event at such short notice. The IBSF further added that holding the events at Konigsee would minimize the travel and financial impact on the teams.

The IBSF decided to withdraw the 2017 World Championships from Sochi after evidence of systematic, state-sponsored doping emerged in a second World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren. Announcing the decision to strip Sochi, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation said it was prudent not to organize such an event in Russia.

Latvia was the first country to boycott the World Championships in Sochi. The IBSF was urged by high-profile American bobsledder Lolo Jones to move its flagship event. Lolo had remarked she wanted to compete in a competition that was “drug free and safe.”

Kyle Tress, an American skeleton racer, had previously remarked memos calling for a boycott of the bobsled and skeleton championships in Sochi have been circulated. Kyle said there is tremendous support to skip this event, and he thinks it is the right decision. Skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender had commented it doesn’t make us feel secure, or that they’re taking the situation seriously given the fact that nothing has been done about the Sochi scandal and the fact that we are still going to race there.

Previously, British Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold had remarked she may boycott the Sochi Games because of concerns over doping. Yarnold applauded IBSF’s decision and remarked she is glad our voices are being heard and our sport is joining the fight against doping in sport.

In a statement, the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association said we believe the decision is in the best interests of clean sport and we are pleased that the IBSF have acted quickly following the publication of the second McLaren report on Friday. Britain’s bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson said the IBSF decision was a “great relief” for winter sport athletes around the world. Anderson added the IBSF was under huge pressure, but we are pleased they acted swiftly.

Russia’s sports ministry has vehemently denied allegations of state-sponsored doping. The Russian Bobsleigh Federation (RBF) said it will support the IBSF to clarify the matter related to the allegations but added we disagree with this decision and we will be protecting our rights.

Russia’s Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsina, Maria Orlova, and Aleksandr Tretyakov are presumed by media to be provisionally suspended by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opened investigations into alleged anti-doping rule violations from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

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Thursday 29, Dec 2016

Backtrack By Russia On Doping Admissions

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Russia has again decided to open its “Pandora” box of lies a day after admitting to institutional conspiracy by doping its athletes.

Anna Antseliovich, the acting head of the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA), recently admitted that Russia was behind state-sponsored doping but emphasized the Russian President and top officials were unaware of it. The New York Times asked Russian officials over several days of interviews whether they still disputed credible evidence of an organized Russian doping program centered on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi for Russian athletes. The acting head of the Russian anti-doping agency said it was an institutional conspiracy.

On Wednesday, the Russian anti-doping agency said Antseliovich was misquoted and that her words were taken out of context.

The RUSADA statement said RUSADA states that its Acting Director General A.A. Antseliovich has been misquoted and her words were taken out of the context in response to the article published in ‘The New York Times’ newspaper. The statement further reads that the Acting Director General pointed out during the conversation between A.A. Antseliovich and the journalist Rebecca Ruiz that Richard McLaren in the second part of his report published on December 9, 2016 no longer used the words ‘state-sponsored system of doping’ and instead referred to ‘institutional conspiracy’ thereby excluding potential involvement of the top country officials.

The second and final report of McLaren also detailed a vast, state-sponsored doping cover-up that involved 12 medalists from the Sochi Games. The report said the Russian “institutional conspiracy” involved the Sports Ministry, the national anti-doping agency, and the FSB intelligence service.

The RUSADA statement further reads that Ruiz unfortunately by taking the words out of the context, created an impression that RUSADA management admits to the existence of such institutional conspiracy of doping cover-up in Russia. RUSADA added we would like to stress that RUSADA has no authority to admit to or deny any such fact, since the investigation of the case is handled by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. The Russian anti-doping agency further said we in addition would like to stress that RUSADA firmly believes that every accused athlete has unalienable right to challenge the accusations.

In response to RUSADA’s claims, it was tweeted by New York Times reporter Rebecca Ruiz that the newspaper stands by its story and that all quotes in our story today are accurate.

Russian officials have vehemently denied in the past that their country was involved in state-backed doping and cover-ups despite McLaren directly implicating the sports ministry of Russia of overseeing a vast doping conspiracy that involved Russian summer and winter sports athletes.

A report by the New York Times previously detailed Gregory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, had tampered with top Russian athletes’ urine samples. It was also revealed that athletes received cocktails of performance enhancing drugs from Rodchenkov and also described manipulation of doping samples by members of the Federal Security Service in Russia and years of cover-ups involving top athletes using banned substances as ordered by a deputy sports minister.

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Tuesday 27, Dec 2016

UFC Lightweight Ferreira Accepts Suspension

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The UFC lightweight fighter Carlos Diego Ferreira has received a suspension of 17 months for declaring the use of a product that contained a prohibited substance and testing positive for another prohibited substance.

The Brazilian mixed martial artist, who is currently competing in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, tested positive for Ostarine [a prohibited Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM)] in an out-of-competition drug test on April 29. The MMA fighter additionally declared the use of a product on his sample paperwork that contained the banned substance 7-keto-DHEA. Under the Prohibited List of the World Anti-Doping Agency, both Ostarine and 7-keto-DHEA are prohibited substances in the class of Anabolic Agents.

In a statement, the United States Anti-Doping Agency said Ferreira following notification of his positive test tested several of the supplement products he was reportedly using at the time of his positive test. The USADA statement further reads that although Ostarine was not listed on any of the supplement labels, preliminary testing conducted on the supplement product that listed 7-keto-DHEA as an ingredient indicated that it also contained Ostarine.

It was also added that the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the request of USADA independently obtained and analyzed the contents of an unopened container of the supplement in question. The USADA statement reads that testing conclusively confirmed that although the supplement only listed one prohibited substance as an ingredient (7-keto-DHEA), it actually contained 7-keto-DHEA and a second undeclared prohibited substance (Ostarine) as well. USADA further added that Ferreira advised the United States Anti-Doping Agency that although he researched the product prior to using it, he did not realize 7-keto-DHEA was a prohibited substance, or that the supplement contained Ostarine.

USADA based on the circumstance of the anti-doping violation elected to reduce the suspension of Ferreira from two years to 17 months, retroactive to April 29. The Brazilian mixed martial artist will now be eligible to return in September 2014.

The UFC lightweight fighter was previously suspended for one year by the Nevada Athletic Commission for the positive test. The UFC will adhere to the lengthier punishment administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Ferreira was scheduled to face Abel Trujillo at UFC Fight Night 88 on May 29 but his name was removed from the fight card after the positive test.

The former Legacy FC lightweight champion started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu at age 10. He made his professional MMA debut against Joseph Daily at STFC 15 on April 15, 2011 wjere won the fight via split decision. Ferreira went on to compile an undefeated record of 9–0 before he signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Ferreira faced Colton Smith at UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens in his debut and won a Performance of the Night bonus where he won the fight via submission (rear-naked choke). He then defeated Ramsey Nijem at UFC 177 and won the Fight of the Night bonus. Later, ge faced Beneil Dariush at UFC 179 but lost the fight via unanimous decision.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: UFC Lightweight Ferreira Accepts Suspension

Sunday 25, Dec 2016

Coach Of Whistleblower Banned For 10 Years

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has banned Vladimir Mokhnev, former athletics coach of Russian whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova, for a period of ten years because of offenses involving banned substances.

Mokhnev was seen continuing training in a series of documentaries on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports aired by German TV Channel ARD in December 2014 though the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had dismissed him for life.

The CAS also suspended Anastasiya Bazdyreva, an 800 meters runner, in the same ruling for a period of two years for the use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method. The results of Bazdyreva between April 23, 2014 and August 24, 2015 had been disqualified and any prizes, medals and appearance money forfeited.

Bazdyreva was one of four Russian runners and four coaches as alleged by ARD and the program claimed to show footage of her talking about taking anabolic steroids. Bazdyreva’s coach Vladimir Kazarin, who has also been accused of cheating, previously threatened to take legal action against ARD.

Tatjana Myazina (800m) and Kristina Ugarova (800m) were also named in findings of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission. The two athletes competed in the Olympics and were recommended for sanctioning. The report also made allegations against middle-distance runner Anna Alminova, Svetlana Cherkasova (800m) Aleksey Farsonov (1,500m) and Yekaterina Kupina (800m). These athletes were however not recommended for sanctioning and not expected to face an immediate IAAF ban. The report recommended lifetime bans for Dr. Sergey Nikolaevich Portugalov, Chief of the ARAF Medical Commission; Alexey Melnikov, senior coach and head Russian endurance coach; Vladimir Kazarin, Russian national team 800m coach; Vladimir Mokhnev, Russian endurance coach for 1000m – 3000m; and Viktor Chegin, Russian race walking coach.

In its ruling, the CAS said it was acting as the decision-making authority in place of the All Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) as it was banned by the world governing body of athletics last year following widespread allegations of corruption and state-sponsored doping.

In a statement, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Mokhnev was found to have violated the IAAF rules relating to possession, trafficking and administration of banned substances and/or methods. It was remarked Mokhnev coached a number of elite Russian athletes including Stepanova who went on to expose state-backed doping in Russian sport and fled the country. Stepanova provided evidence to an independent World Anti-Doping Agency after serving a ban for blood passport abnormalities in 2013. This evidence resulted in suspension of Russia by the World governing body of athletics. Russia was also barred from the athletics events at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In the past, Jenny Meadows, Britain’s leading 800m runner over the past decade, has remarked she would be frustrated if Bazdyreva would compete at the world championships in Beijing. Meadows had also expressed suspicion about Russian 800m runner, Mariya Savinova who won 800m gold at the London Olympics in 2012. Last year, a documentary by ARD revealed footage of her appearing to admit to using the banned steroid Oxandrolone.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Coach Of Whistleblower Banned For 10 Years

Friday 23, Dec 2016

IOC Opens Doping Cases Against Russian Olympic Athletes

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The International Olympic Committee has announced it will reanalyze samples of twenty eight Russian competitors. The samples of these athletes were highlighted in the Richard McLaren report that outlined a state-sponsored doping program in Russia between 2011 and 2015.

The report, which was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, disclosed that coffee and salt were used for manipulating samples of Russian athletes. This report also revealed cases of female ice hockey players having male urine samples.  McLaren did not revealed names of athletes and said revealing names of the athletes publically should be done by international sports federations and not him personally.

The second part of McLaren report confirmed the findings voiced in the first part that Russian state officials and the Federal Security Service (FSB) were involved in doping manipulations. McLaren remarked they particularly swapped the doping results at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. He also mentioned that doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, were falsified.

Following the first part of the report, Russia’s track and field and weightlifting teams were banned from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The International Paralympic Committee barred the entire whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The samples are now being re-analyzed at the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory. The IOC said the cases are not yet doping failures but that the tampering alone could lead to sanctions.

IOC president Thomas Bach said this is the immediate follow-up to Professor McLaren’s Report. Bach went on to add that the International Olympic Committee will go beyond the findings of the report by reanalyzing all the samples of all the Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as all those who participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The IOC would retest samples from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver in the wake of the McLaren report that stated that as much as 1,000 Russian athletes including medalists had benefited from the doping program.

In London Olympics, Russia won 72 medals, 21 of which were gold medals, and 33 medals at Sochi, 13 of which were gold.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said abuse of performance enhancing drugs in sports is a global problem. Peskov added all our statements regarding our readiness to cooperate with international sports organizations remain unanswered and more frequently being brushed aside. The Russian presidential spokesman also said the incidents and the data however that had been recently revealed point to the fact that we are not dealing with some sort of a doping crisis that can be attributed solely to Russia. Peskov also said this is rather a crisis engulfing the entire global anti-doping system.

Peskov also said we have in fact encountered a shocking doping scandal in our country. The spokesman said President Vladimir Putin and our senior sports representatives have been repeatedly stating the inadmissibility of doping use in our country, our resolute drive to fight this evil and to eradicate doping in sports.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: IOC Opens Doping Cases Against Russian Olympic Athletes

Wednesday 21, Dec 2016

Cheating Russian Athletes Exposed By Anti-Doping Scientists

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Canadian law professor Richard McLaren has revealed a ‘well-oiled’ machine was geared up by Russia to undermine advances in science and anti-doping strategies to help Russian athletes cheat at major international competitions including the London and Sochi Olympic Games.

The report disclosed state-sponsored doping by Russia benefited more than 1,000 athletes at the London and Sochi Olympic Games. The extent of the doping and evolved techniques for hiding the evidence was uncovered by the report.

Commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the McLaren report used science for confirming the testimony of Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the Russian anti-doping laboratory who fled to the United States in January. The former anti-doping laboratory head developed a test for metabolites of the anabolic steroid Turinabol while working for the lab. He undermined that advance by developing a cocktail of Oxandrolone, Methenolone, and Trenbolone, with a very short detection window.

The Russian lab conducted a program of ‘washout’ testing to verify if the athletes have been successful in moving from the Turinabol doping regime to the new cocktail so that they do not test positive at the London Olympics. This form of pre-competition testing was facilitated to ensure athletes would be able to compete without being detected by doping control. The Moscow labs recorded negative results on the reporting system of WADA even though a positive pre-competition test would have resulted in an athlete being banned. Non-official sample bottles were used to hide pre-competition results. Athletes that failed to come “clean” were left out of international competitions.

The report also revealed the Russia’s sports ministry and the Centre for Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia compiled a ‘protected’ list of 37 athletes who were likely to win a medal and managed to dope right up to and possibly during the Sochi Games. These athletes provided “clean” urine that was possibly taken from them while not on the cocktail and the samples were frozen and stored for swapping at the Sochi games.

McLaren had previously accused the International Olympic Committee of completely misrepresenting his findings that were never designed to prove individual doping cases. McLaren said he was asked to write a report to determine the facts and he did that but the IOC turned it upside down. McLaren went on to add that the IOC made it look like whether the report could prove the guilt of individual athletes when it was actually about state-sponsored doping.

Christiane Ayotte, the inquiry’s medical and scientific adviser, noted that ‘significantly high levels of prohibited substances’ were demonstrated by a number of positive results on the washout list. The samples were destroyed by the Moscow labs so that they cannot be retested at a later stage. However, 62 urine samples from 27 of the 37 ‘protected’ athletes were still available to the investigation.

Alan Brailsford at the Drug Control Centre in London aid one normally looks to detect something that should not be there but the Russian labs were trying to work out what would indicate tampering.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Cheating Russian Athletes Exposed By Anti-Doping Scientists

Monday 19, Dec 2016

Doping Common Among Well-Known Athletes, Says Former WADA Vice President

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Former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) vice president Arne Ljungqvist has disclosed that well-known athletes have “legally” used banned substances after they received permission for their use to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Ljungqvist, who served as WADA vice-president from 2008 to 2013, made the comments in a documentary film shown on Russian television station Channel One. This program led to an investigation into allegedly-falsified Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) documents that allowed many athletes to take the banned drugs. It was based on information published by hacker group ‘Fancy Bears’ that disclosed six lists of athletes who have been granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions that permit them to take medication at the time of competition. These list included big names such as American tennis champion Serena Williams, British cyclist Bradley Wiggins, and Team USA’s four-time Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Simone Biles.

Ljungqvist said in the program that there were a lot of disagreements in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hierarchy when talks began on the topic of TUEs. The former World Anti-Doping Agency VP said if an athlete is suffering from illness and needs to take strong medication, then it is not worth them competing. Ljungqvist added ADHD in teenagers did not present any issue as they rarely compete at the highest level. But when these diagnoses were made for adults, it caused greater problems and said tere are some high-level athletes using that diagnosis – we know who they are, and you know who they are.

Ljungqvist was also quoted as saying that he did not have any injuries or illnesses that could warrant a TUE, but he doesn’t think he is the only one who doped otherwise he would have always been first. Ljungqvist said everything is done quite easily as you write to them saying you have an injury, what medication you need, including a seal of approval by the doctor of the diagnosis, which is forged and you can get permission to use banned substances in five minutes. Ljungqvist also said they let me know about TUEs the moment I signed a contract with a top team and we all planned in advance, the doctor said, when we needed to take the substance glucocorticosteroids when you succumbed to fatigue, he could lose weight, but nevertheless not feel weakness in the muscles or any weariness.

Norwegian cross-country skier Martin Johnsrud Sundby was recently banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for an anti-doping rule violation. The use of medication Salbutamol resulted in the test levels of Johnsrud’s urine sample exceeding the limits set in anti-doping rules.

The authors of the film say WADA remain tolerant to the asthma issue – even without TUEs it allows as much as 1600 mcg (16 inhalations) on a daily basis. They added but the dose of the drug used by one of the Norwegian skiers was not just a bit higher, it exceeds the norm by nine times. A Norwegian media investigation revealed 46 of Norway’s 61 Olympic champions since 1992 have used asthma medication which contains banned substances.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Doping Common Among Well-Known Athletes, Says Former WADA Vice President

Saturday 17, Dec 2016

Saudi Football Legend Mohammed Noor Banned

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport has imposed a doping ban of four years on former Saudi Arabia star Mohammed Noor over a doping offence.

The 38-year-old Noor tested positive for banned substance Amphetamine in a routine in-competition doping control exam in November 2015. Amphetamine is considered as a performance enhancing drug by many anti-drug bodies and included in most of drug-related tests. It is not known to create extra physical strength or mental energy and its main effects include alertness, wakefulness, a decrease sense of fatigue, and increased confidence.

Noor, whose full name is Mohammed bin Mohammed Noor Adam Hawsawi, was initially given a ban of four years by the Saudi anti-doping authorities but he was allowed to resume playing football in April this year. This was after an appeal panel accepted his claim that he had served a sufficient punishment. However, FIFA made an appeal to CAS to have his full four-year ban reinstated, which was upheld after proceedings in Lausanne on Friday.

In a statement, the CAS said its Panel found that the player failed to identify any basis for impugning the reliability or accuracy of the testing laboratory’s analysis of his A and B Sample. The statement further reads the player moreover could not identify any particular deviation from the World Anti-Doping Agency International Standards for Laboratories and therefore, the appropriate sanction for the player’s anti-doping rule violation is a four-year period of ineligibility.

Noor was provisionally suspended in November last year and then banned for four years in February by the Saudi anti-doping panel. The football star appeal and the Saudi appeal panel recognized the presence of the banned substance in his sample but decided to end the ban in April. Noor then retired in June.

Noor twice represented his country at the World Cup. He has 98 international caps to his name and is one of the country’s most famous sporting figures and has spent 23 years in the top flight with Al Ittihad and Al Nassr. Noor has won two AFC Champions League and eight Saudi Premier League titles in a highly successful career. An attacking midfielder, Noor spent nearly his entire career at Jeddah club Al-Ittihad. The 38-year-old has played nearly 400 league games for Al-Ittihad, scoring more than 130 goals and has scored 8 goals in nearly 100 appearances for the Green Falcons on international level.

Considered to be one of the best players ever to play in Asia, Mohammed Noor made his first appearance with the national football team in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup in the semi-finals against Brazil. He was honored with many titles and prizes including Arab Nations Cup 2002 – Most Valuable player and 2003 Arabian Footballer of the Year. Noor was voted as the Best Player In Saudi Premier League 2009 and was named as the Arab Player of the Decade (MBC group poll): 2000 – 2010. He was nominated for the Asian Player of the Year in 2009 and became the MVP in the Asian Champions League 2009.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Saudi Football Legend Mohammed Noor Banned

Thursday 15, Dec 2016

Russia Loses Bobsled And Skeleton World Championships

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The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) has announced this season’s biggest Bobsled And Skeleton competition has been pulled out of Russia.

The Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships was slated to happen over the last two weeks of February in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, on the track used for the 2014 Sochi Games.

The IBSF announced the decision to avoid what would have almost certainly been a widely boycotted World Championships. This was after a big number of competitors said they would not compete in a nation so enveloped in a doping scandal. The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation will announce a new site, with Germany and the U.S. as potential hosts, in the coming days. The decision was widely and immediately praised by sliders and decried by Russian officials.

The IBSF move came in the wake of the latest scathing report from World Anti-Doping Association investigator Richard McLaren revealed the depth of tampering and doping by Russia during the 2012 and 2014 Olympic cycles. McLaren’s report showed that some Russian gold medalists from the Sochi Games were tainted by the state-sponsored doping program. The country won gold medals in two-man bobsled, four-man bobsled and men’s skeleton at those Olympics, though none of the athletes who got those victories has been implicated by any known positive or tampered-with tests.  Alexander Zubkov, who drove to wins in two- and four-man and is now president of the Russian Bobsled Federation, was one of the medalists.

The IBSF was urged by some of the world’s best sliders — including reigning Olympic medalists Steven Holcomb, Matt Antoine and Meyers Taylor of the U.S., Martins Dukurs of Latvia and Lizzy Yarnold of Britain — for weeks to take a strong action.

The national skeleton team of Latvia recently became the first nation to confirm it will boycott the bobsleigh and skeleton world championships in Russia. In a statement, the Latvian skeleton team said enough is enough. The statement further reads that we will be glad to race in World Championships at any track of the world, but we are not participating in World Championships in Sochi, Russia — a place where Olympic spirit was stolen in 2014. The four-man bobsleigh team of Latvia is the reigning world champions. They also won silver in the four-man bobsleigh at the 2014 Games – a feat matched by Martins Dukurs in the men’s skeleton.

Austria, the United States, and South Korea were also considering such a move.

U.S. women’s bobsled pilot Elana Meyers Taylor said she is ecstatic about the decision. Elana added this is a monumental decision by the IBSF and the right move to protect clean athletes and to tell the world that state-sponsored doping is unacceptable.

Elana Meyers Taylor and Lolo Jones both indicated they would withdraw if the event isn’t relocated, mentioning doping control, personal safety and information security among their concerns.

USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele said this was a serious decision and one the IBSF did not take lightly. Steele added it might not have come as quickly as many would have liked, but it received the careful attention it deserved.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Russia Loses Bobsled And Skeleton World Championships

Tuesday 13, Dec 2016

Calls For Russia To Be Stripped Of 2018 FIFA World Cup Grow Stronger

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The damning second report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren has given critics of Russia another shot to hurt pride of the country in their arms.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart remarked no international sporting events should be held in Russia until its anti-doping program is fully code- compliant and all the individuals who participated in the corruption are held accountable. Tygart was putting his message before FIFA, the world governing body of football, to make a decision of stripping Russia of 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The tournament could be moved logistically in 18 months with other countries having stadiums, facilities, and transport networks that could take on such a challenge.

Professor McLaren revealed Russia and its officials put a systemic doping program in place that has undeniably corrupted two editions of the Olympic Games. McLaren used the word “unprecedented” to describe a state-sponsored scheme that took in more than 1,000 athletes across 30 sports, including football. McLaren remarked it was a cover-up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalized and disciplined, medal-winning conspiracy.

The report of McLaren disclosed that there was corruption and doping almost everywhere in Russian sports from blind judokas to clay pigeon shooters and female hockey players who showed up as male. The report also disclosed thousands of pages of frantic email exchanges that revealed state-sponsored doping in Russia. McLaren said Russia ‘hijacked’ events and ‘deceived’ sports fans for years along with denying hundreds of athletes their destiny.

McLaren remarked the Russian Olympic team corrupted the London Games 2012 on an unprecedented scale. He added the desire to win medals superseded their collective moral and ethical compass and Olympic values of fair play. The Canadian lawyer added an “institutionalized conspiracy” existed between Russian athletes who worked in tandem with Ministry of Sport officials and the Federal Security Service in a ‘systematic and centralized cover-up and manipulation’ of doping controls.

McLaren revealed this doping program involved more than 1,000 Russian athletes – including “well-known and elite level” competitors – in 30 summer, winter and Paralympic sports, including football between 2011 and 2015. McLaren found evidence that 78 Russian athletes at London 2012, including 15 medalists, had positive tests hidden by the Moscow laboratory. It was further revealed that dirty samples were swapped with clean urine and then altered by adding salt, sediment, water, or coffee granules so they looked like the positive urine samples. It was also disclosed in the report that officials had clear idea of which athletes would be tested on a particular day and they defrosted clean urine and swapped with dirty samples, with the bottles passed through a mouse hole at the Sochi lab.

McLaren termed the Sochi doping scandal as a comprehensive strategy that was designed to ensure that Russia, as the host country, was able to win as many medals as possible by allowing its athletes to dope up to and in some cases, through the Games.

Dmitry Svishchev, head of Russia’s Curling Federation and also chief of the commission of sports at the Russian parliament, said the report had empty allegations against all of us and there is nothing new in them.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Calls For Russia To Be Stripped Of 2018 FIFA World Cup Grow Stronger

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