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Archive for  September 2017

Thursday 21, Sep 2017

NADOs Accused Of Abusing Authority

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The head of a key State Duma has claimed that countries calling for Russia to be banned from Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang next year have exceeded their authority.

Mikhail Degtyarev, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, has claimed unfair pressure was being put on the International Olympic Committee to ban Russia. Degtyarev added these are attempts to exert pressure on Russia and the International Olympic Committee and added this is unfair competition. Degtyarev also commented that he is sure that athletes whose anti-doping agencies try to exert pressure on Russia by non-sporting methods would not support this and also commented that everyone acknowledges that without Russian athletes sport cannot be full-fledged in principle.

A total of 17 countries, who are members of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO), demanded that Russia be barred from Pyeongchang 2018 after allegations in the McLaren Report of “institutionalized doping” involving the Russian government.

In a statement, the NADOs had said the Russian Olympic Committee was at best negligently oblivious to the corruption of its anti-doping program that was delivered by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. The statement further reads that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency was complicit, or even an active player, in the corruption and added that many clean athletes were hurt by this, including Russians. The statement said there must be consequences for this gross misconduct.

The iNADO statement was condemned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Reedie accused the NADOs of looking “backwards rather than forwards”.

Russia is likely to escape a blanket ban from next year’s Winter Olympic Games after the calls from a group of National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) to exclude them from Pyeongchang 2018 were dismissed by the IOC. In the past, the IOC had suggested that Russia is likely to avoid a blanket ban when they amended the Olympic Charter to include a statute that allows them to fine teams and athletes for doping and competition manipulation. The developments came as interim reports from two IOC Commissions – led by Samuel Schmid and Denis Oswald – into Russian doping were presented to the membership.

Oswald, who was entrusted with the task of looking into allegations of sample manipulation, claimed they had enough to sanction some of the athletes implicated in the Richard McLaren report. The interim report of Schmid shed little light on the present state of his investigation that was focused on the alleged institutional conspiracy involving the Russian Government.

Oswald added we are working as quickly as we can but at the same time we have to respect the process that is in place. He commented it is a difficult task because we had to go through a lot of documents to find the evidence and it is not an easy case.

IOC members lined up to criticize the NADOs for their statement following the presentations of the reports from Schmid, Oswald, and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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Tuesday 19, Sep 2017

Cookson Claims Substantial Support In UCI President Re-Election Bid

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International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson has claimed he has the support of 30 of the 45 votes required to be re-elected as chief of the world governing body of cycling at the world governing body’s Congress.

Cookson claimed he has received a good response from the voting delegates. The 66-year-old Briton suggested he has enough support to secure a second term and added those who vote against him may have some small political concerns.

Brian added he has a track record that anyone can examine. The UCI President added Ireland’s Pat McQuaid whom he defeated in a bitter election campaign four years ago has been actively campaigning for his rival David Lappartient. Cookson claimed the Frenchman had offered him the position of UCI Honorary President. The world governing body of cycling’s chief added he had of course seen the declarations Pat McQuaid has made recently in support of David in the media and he had also been shown proof that Pat is actively lobbying on David’s behalf and went on to say that the appointment of McQuaid in a senior role at the UCI would be a grave concern for anyone who can recall the disastrous situation that the UCI was in just four-years ago under his leadership.

Cookson said he is focused on running his own campaign with the support of people who have contributed to restoring trust in our sport, to take cycling forward and build on the great achievements we have had over the past four years. The International Cycling Union President said it is however disappointing that David Lappartient has not come out renouncing the support of Pat McQuaid, but having hosted Pat and other former executives at the first Elite European Road Championships in France last year and added he is not surprised as that speaks volumes for the devastating direction David would take the UCI in if he wins next week’s election.

    The 66-year-old Cookson has prioritized ensuring equal opportunities for men and women to participate and compete, championing cycling for transport and leisure, and accelerating international development. The UCI President also expressed his desire to build on restored credibility and ensure the world governing body of cycling continues to drive excellence in operations. Cookson blasted everyone who placed doubts on his leadership skills by saying he was the one who put his head above the parapet when the sport was engulfed with doping and corruption allegations coming from everywhere, if you talk about leadership, no-one else wanted to take that on and challenge the status quo and the people who had run cycling into the ground in the previous period.

Lappartient claimed the emails from McQuaid were a personal act on his part. Lappartient claimed it has been reported that McQuaid has sent an email to a couple of delegates, whom he knows, by telling them his personal opinion about Brian Cookson and therefore calling on them to support his candidature. Lappartient added this was a personal act of McQuaid and not on his demand.

McQuaid admitted he had sent an email to voting delegates of UCI in support of Lappartient but claimed suggestions of such a deal was “absolute rubbish.”

Europe has the largest bloc with 15 delegates and the voters include nine delegates each from Africa, the Americas and Asia, with three more from Oceania.

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Thursday 14, Sep 2017

Jones Stripped By UFC Of Light Heavyweight Title

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Jon Jones, the three-time Light Heavyweight Champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has been stripped of his light heavyweight title.

Daniel Cormier has been reinstated as the 205-pound champion after the latest failed doping test of Jones. The 205-pound champion was originally flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency on August 22 this year after it was revealed he failed an in-competition at the weigh-ins for his UFC 214 title win over Cormier (19-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC). It has now been confirmed by USADA that the B sample of Jones also came back positive for metabolites of the steroid Turinabol.

The California State Athletic Commission has now overturned the result of Jones and Cormier fight to a no-contest. The California State Athletic Commission will now conduct a hearing to determine the final punishment of Jones. The next CSAC meeting is scheduled for October 17 in Los Angeles. CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster remarked the commission will work with Jones if he needs more time to put together a case. In response, the UFC stripped Jones of the light heavyweight belt and reinstated Cormier as the champion.

Jones faces up to a doping ban of four year that is likely to bring curtains down to his career. Cormier blasted the claims of Jones and his team that the steroid was in a supplement by saying Turinabol is a very expensive drug and something that could not be easily found in a supplement.

Cormier (19-1) has never lost to any opponent except Jones (22-1). Cormier held the light heavyweight title for most of the previous two years while the troubled UFC star was largely sidelined by disciplinary issues.

Jones has a lengthy history of controversies and misbehavior. Jones avoided serious punishment in previous incidents involving cocaine use and a drunk-driving conviction before he was stripped of his title in 2015 in a hit-and-run accident that left a pregnant woman with a broken arm. Months later, Jones made a return to the Octagon and reclaimed an interim title while Cormier was nursing an injury. In November 2016, the belt of Jones was stripped after he was pulled from a rematch with Cormier at UFC 200 for failing a pre-fight doping test.

The American mixed martial artist is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. Presently, Jones has the longest active winning streak in the UFC and was ranked number one in the world during his championship reign. Jones holds many UFC records in the light heavyweight division, including the longest win streak, the most successful and consecutive title defenses, the most submission victories, and the most wins.

Jones made his professional MMA debut in April 2008 and took a unanimous decision victory against Andre Gusmao at UFC 87 on August 9, 2008. In his second fight, he stunned veteran Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94 on January 31, 2009 and won by another unanimous decision victory. The third UFC fight of Jones was against Jake O’Brien at UFC 100 where he secured a modified guillotine choke that rendered his opponent briefly unconscious just after he tapped.

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Tuesday 12, Sep 2017

Double Olympian Re-launches Fight Against Doping Charges

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Paul Edwards, the double Olympian shot putter from Britain, has launched a Facebook page as part of his longstanding efforts to get his name cleared from charges that took place long before social media existed.

Edwards, who was banned for life in 1997 after a second positive doping test, competed at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics and won bronze for Wales at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Till date, he disputes his positive test in 1994 that resulted in a ban of four years and the findings from an out-of-competition test undertaken while he was still banned which led to his lifetime ban.

Edwards said in a video recording on his page, entitled Paul Edwards Victim of Deceit and Deception that he wrongly received a life ban from athletics after an incorrect out-of-competition test for Testosterone in 1997. The former GB international and Olympic shot putter said he is not guilty and will continue as he had done for 20 years to fight to prove his innocence. The shot putter, who competed for both England and Wales, was sent home on the eve of the Victoria 1994 Commonwealth Games along with fellow athlete Diane Modahl after doping charges emerged against them.

The double Olympian shot putter failed two tests. He first failed an anti-doping test that was conducted during the European Championships in Helsinki earlier in the year and the second failed test was two days after he returned from competing there. The first sample tested positive for a cocktail of banned substances, including anabolic steroids, raised testosterone, and the stimulant pseudoephedrine. The second sample was found to be positive for Testosterone. Edwards subsequently received a lifetime doping ban and his ban was the first incident of a British athlete receiving a lifetime ban.

In 1996, Modahl made a return to athletics after she was cleared on appeal by the international body for athletics, then known as the International Amateur Athletic Federation, and the British Athletic Federation, following evidence that her sample had materially degraded after serious failures in the chain of custody and storage.

Edwards in the past have alleged numerous faults with the findings for his 1997 sample and even went on to challenge the chain of custody. The shot putter made use of the Freedom of Information Act in 2009 to obtain information on his tests from the Drug Control Centre at King’s College, London. In November 1997, the High Court ruled in the favor of UK Athletics, UK Sport, and the Doping Control Centre at King’s College, London that the claim for damage by Edwards was “statute barred”.

Edwards said his case has still not been reconsidered and added he had received a lifetime ban which has marred his life even though guilty athletes are constantly being reinstated after agreed periods of time. Edwards added he is not guilty and will continue to fight.

Edwards represented Great Britain 43 times and won 11 AAA titles and 5 UK titles. The retired professional athlete also represented Great Britain in decathlon and held Welsh national records at shot put, decathlon, and discus and won 9 Welsh titles.

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Thursday 07, Sep 2017

RUSADA Reinstatement Issues Resolved, Says Mutko

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Vitaly Mutko, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, has claimed that “almost all” of the issues blocking the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency have been resolved.

Mutko, the country’s former Sports Minister, made this comment after the recent appointment of Yury Ganus as the new director general of RUSADA on August 31.

Since 2015, RUSADA has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency after evidence emerged through a WADA Independent Commission Report that Russia was behind a state-sponsored doping program. The country was barred from taking part in the track and field events at last year’s Olympic Games. Russia was also barred from taking part in the Paralympic Games at Rio 2016. The country is now likely to miss the miss the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang in February.

A roadmap for the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency but the body has not yet met all of the necessary criteria.

Mutko however expressed a different view. The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia said almost all the issues concerning the road-map have been resolved. Mutko added it is being implemented and also commented there is going to be an audit in September, and another one ahead of the WADA Foundation Board’s meeting. He went on to say that it will be a waste of money if the membership is not restored.

Mutko added there were as many as 700 candidates for director general, WADA picked six out of them. The 53-year-old Ganus was chosen in a vote by the Russian Olympic Committee and Russian Paralympic Committee. Mutko added the RUSADA Supervisory Board, set up in accordance with WADA’s recommendations, chose one of those six people and added we will hold a meeting with him as soon as the newly appointed director general settles into his new job. The Russian Deputy PM also said we have granted full independence to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and added WADA in fact has been managing the organization. Mutko also said two independent experts have been active whose work is paid by WADA.

The “Road-map to Code Compliance“, a document that was published by the World Anti-Doping Agency is that the Russian Government through the Ministry of Sport must “publicly accept the reported outcomes” of the Richard McLaren Report. The two editions of McLaren report claimed a sample manipulation scheme at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at Russia. The report also claimed more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in a state-sponsored program. The McLaren report included testimony from former chief of the Russian anti-doping lab who claimed he prepared and provided a cocktail of anabolic steroids and other banned substances to athletes under a state-sponsored doping scheme.

Under WADA requirements, the Supervisory Board of RUSADA must select a new director general via a transparent, external, and objective application and recruitment process that is overseen by two international experts. In addition to this, the Russian Government is required to provide uninterrupted access for international authorities to store urine samples in the Moscow Laboratory that is presently sealed off because of a Federal investigation.

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Tuesday 05, Sep 2017

Meldonium Crisis Contributes To 26.4 Percent Increase In Doping Cases

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Annual report of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has revealed that 26.4 per cent increase in positive doping cases was recorded for 2016 in comparison with similar data for 2015, although this was partly because of the addition of Meldonium as a banned substance.

A total of 4,814 adverse analytical findings (AAFs) were recorded for 2016 in comparison with 3,809 for the previous year. The latter figure included 497 failures for Meldonium, which is a substance only prohibited from January 1, 2016.

A detailed testing report is likely to be published in the fourth quarter of this year.

Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and swimmer Yulia Efimova were among some of the top Russian and Eastern European stars who failed anti-doping tests for Meldonium. Sharapova and many others claimed they were not aware Meldonium was added to the list of banned substances. A big majority of these athletes have now made a return to competition after it was conceded by the World Anti-Doping Agency that “more research was required” to find out how long the substance remains in the human body. WADA was heavily criticized for the ways in which it first banned the substance and then moderated its attitude to the substance.

The World Anti-Doping Agency even made it a point not to directly respond to the criticism it received from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other sporting bodies for the way it handled the Russian doping scandal. The response of WADA was justified in a joint opening message by its President Sir Craig Reedie and director general Olivier Niggli.

Reedie and Niggli wrote the Russian doping scandal was one of the most destabilizing incidents for sports in recent memory. They also wrote it has taxed the resources of many of our stakeholders; in particular, it was extremely demanding for the World Anti-Doping Agency and International Federations (IFs) many of which are still managing the fallout. It was further added that WADA has been shoulder to shoulder with our partners and also remarked we have been doing our utmost to support them with their results management and to help them determine if there is sufficient evidence to pursue anti-doping rule violations for their athletes or support personnel.

     Sir Craig and Niggli concluded the World Anti-Doping Agency for 17 years has led the charge against doping in sport in an ever changing and complex environment. They added we are proud of the work that has been accomplished by the WADA team, with limited resources – always striving to meet and exceed the expectations set by our partners in the clean sport community. It was also added that we believe that we have been successful in our mission and also remarked that our goal is to ensure that the clean athlete prevails.

The WADA Annual report listed 10 priorities for the future that include the development of a stronger code compliance system, including “graded and proportionate” sanctions for non-compliant organizations. The priorities included generating more income and strengthening laboratories and the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) system and improved education and scientific research.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Meldonium Crisis Contributes To 26.4 Percent Increase In Doping Cases