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Thursday 09, Jan 2014

Silva Flunks Post-Fight Drug Test

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Silva Flunks Post-Fight Drug Test

The final result of the so-called greatest heavyweight bout in UFC history will now have an asterisk next to it. This was after Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone in a post-fight drug test in Australia after his December 6 fight against Mark Hunt in Brisbane. The bout’s result will be overturned to a no contest on Silva’s record and remain a draw on the official resume of Hunt.

UFC president Dana White who believed the fight between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva was one of the best fights of 2013 said he was bummed out as he loved that fight so much.

According to a statement released by the UFC officials, all fighters on the UFC FIGHT NIGHT card were drug tested by an independent third-party laboratory at the event and all fighters passed their drug tests with the exception of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. The statement added although Silva is on a medically approved regimen of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), and had been in compliance with therapeutic guidelines on all pre-fight tests performed prior to the event but the results of his test on the day of the event indicated a level of testosterone outside of allowable limit. It was added that Silva has been informed that the elevated testosterone level is a violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and his Promotional Agreement with Zuffa. The UFC statement revealed that Antonio Silva will receive a nine month suspension retroactive to the date of the event and he must pass a drug test upon completion of the suspension before receiving clearance to compete again. It was further added that Silva will additionally forfeit $50,000 in bonus money and the forfeited bonus will go to his opponent Mark Hunt.

António Carlos Silva, the Brazilian mixed martial artist who currently competes in the Heavyweight division of the UFC, had been medically approved for testosterone-replacement therapy and was expected to stay within legal limits at all times to continue using the treatment. Pre-fight testing showed the UFC fighter was in line with all parameters of the legal limits leading up to the bout but his post-fight test resulted in elevated levels of testosterone. This is the second failed post-fight drug test of Silva after he tested positive for anabolic steroids following a 2008 fight in the now-defunct Elite XC promotion. Silva tested positive for Boldenone, a steroid that has also cost fighters like Josh Barnett and Phil Baroni. He was then given a one-year suspension by the California State Athletic Commission and fined $2,500.

Silva is the former EliteXC Heavyweight Champion, a former Cage Rage World Heavyweight Champion, and a former Cage Warriors Super Heavyweight Champion. He is presently ranked the #5 Heavyweight in the world by Sherdog and had competed in the past for K-1 Hero’s, BodogFIGHT, Strikeforce, and World Victory Road. Antonio Silva made his professional debut in the United Kingdom against Georgian fighter Tengiz Tedoradze and won by TKO only 48 seconds into the fight. Later on, he made his debut at the Cage Rage and became the Cage Rage World Heavyweight Champion and then made a return to Cage Warriors to fight longtime veteran Ruben “Warpath” Villareal for the Cage Warriors Super Heavyweight Championship and won again via TKO, and became the Cage Warriors Super Heavyweight Champion.

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Sunday 05, Jan 2014

Surgical Repair Of Shoulder Tears Improves With Anabolic Steroids

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Surgical Repair Of Shoulder Tears Improves With Anabolic Steroids

A new research has revealed that surgical repair of massive or recurrent tears of the shoulder’s rotator cuff tendons can be improved from treatment with anabolic steroids.

The study appeared in an issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine, and was led by Dr. Spero Karas, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery in UNC’s School of Medicine. Support for the study came from the National Institutes of Health. Most of the patients were between 50 and 70 years of age but many were very active and comprise a much larger demographic in society than the athlete.

Massive or recurrent tears of the shoulder’s rotator cuff tendons are common among high-performance athletes, professional, and collegiate. These injuries are also common among older weekend athletes, including golf and tennis player.

Karas remarked anabolic steroids prove beneficial to millions of people every year, including those with burns and sex hormone deficiencies who need to build up their metabolism for repairing musculoskeletal tissue. Anabolic androgenic steroids are also approved by the US FDA to treat anemia as they have the potential to assist the body rebuild blood. Karas, keeping in view the properties of steroids to build muscle mass and body strength, said he believed these properties could be applied to shoulder tissue and a bioengineered tendon developed in the study’s experiments by Dr. Albert J. Banes, professor of orthopedics and biomedical engineering at UNC might provide the appropriate model for testing.

Karas remarked supraspinatus tendon cells were harvested from his patients during rotator cuff surgery, isolated, and then sent to Albert’s lab and the cells were then grown in his culture media to coalesce and form this experimental tendon model, the bioartificial tendon. Before applying mechanical strain, some of the developing tissues were treated by the researchers with the anabolic steroid Nandrolone Decanoate, which was administered directly into the lab dish via pipette, or dropper. Karas noted that we clearly found that when you looked at the bioartificial tendon matrices that were treated with anabolic steroid and then mechanical load or strain, we saw significant increases in their biomechanical properties. He also added that the tendons were smaller, more dense, stronger, more elastic and had better remodeling properties than tissue cells not treated with steroid or placed under strain and they responded better to the load and formed a more normal appearing tendon, versus a more disorganized matrix we see in the untreated bioartificial tendon. Karas therefore remarked that it appeared that anabolic steroid and load “act synergistically” to improve the characteristics of tendon.

Karas also said the crucial implications of this new study could be applied to the post-surgery healing of tendons that have been torn or retracted for a long time and added there is a possibility that bioartificial tendon matrices might literally help bridge the gap between deficient human tissue and the normal state. He said we might be able to modulate tendon-to-bone healing in this postoperative period with FDA-approved drugs taken at the appropriate dosages for the appropriate occasions.

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Saturday 16, Nov 2013

Kenya To Investigate Doping Allegations

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Kenya to investigate doping allegations

The Kenyan government is all set to announce details of a new committee for investigating allegations of doping by some of the country’s top athletes. Concerns about doping in Jamaica and Kenya are expected to be hot topics discussed at the World Conference on Doping in Sport that starts on November 12.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has putting pressure on the Kenyan government to perform an internal investigation following the suspension of 17 athletes for drugs since January 2012. A few weeks back, Rodney Swigelaar, director of WADA’s Africa office, admitted WADA was very frustrated by the slow progress.

Swigelaar said it’s more than a year now since we went there in October and even longer since the rumors started to spread and added we have not been informed that this task team is in place. Swigelaar added WADA’s responsibility to ensure these matters are dealt with and said the first move would be to report the country for non-compliance of the WADA code, if Kenya failed to carry out a proper probe. He went on to say that we are still hoping that the Kenyans will stay true to their word, implement the investigation and tell the world whatever they were able to uncover. The director of WADA’s Africa office also remarked if their athletes are clean and there’s no problem, then that’s fine and then if there is a problem, let’s see how we can work together.

However, Hussein Wario, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Art and Culture, claimed that they had been taking quick steps to meet WADA’s criteria. He added that forming such a committee is not an easy undertaking and added we needed time to identify people to seat in the committee and as well make sure they are the right people.

The most high-profile athlete from the country to test positive is Mathew Kisorio, long-distance runner who competes in road running and cross country running competitions, who was placed fourth at the 2011 International Association of Athletics Federations World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbría, Spain. The Kenya captain to the 2011 World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria was banned for two years after steroids were found in his system at last year’s National Championships. A former African junior champion in the 5,000m and 10,000m, Kisorio claimed that doping was widespread in the country. The athlete provided a long and detailed description of his regime of blood doping and anabolic steroids. Kisorio blamed medical staff behind the system and claimed that many fellow Kenyans were using illegal performance enhancing drugs and procedures.

David Okeyo, Secretary General of Athletics Kenya, responding to allegations by the athlete, said the confession by Kisorio was to portray a negative picture of Kenyan athletes and we refuse to buy that negativity and pay tribute to our athletes who have done us proud.

Isaiah Kiplagat, President of Athletics Kenya, denied that the country has a huge problem and said he can assure everyone that the Government commission will start its work soon. He added that all top athletes of the country were tested before London [2012] and then again before the World Championships in Moscow this year.

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Thursday 14, Nov 2013

Canadian Cyclist Admits Doping

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Canadian cyclist admits doping

Canada’s top cycling star, Ryder Hesjedal, has admitted to mistakes after he was accused of using banned drugs by former Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen. It was claimed by Rasmussen in his new book Yellow Fever that he taught Hesjedal how to take EPO.

According to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, Hesjedal would not face any penalties because the offence occurred outside the limitation period. It however remarked that is disappointed that Hesjedal waited more than a decade to publicly disclose his past involvement in doping and added his conduct has deprived many clean Canadian athletes from the opportunity to shine in the sport of cycling.

Rasmussen, in his newly released autobiography, disclosed that he taught Hesjedal and two other Canadian mountain bikers, Seamus McGrath and Chris Sheppard, how to use erythropoietin when they stayed at his house for two weeks in August of 2003. The Danish cyclist claims that all achieved great results after they left his place.

A champion rider who switched from mountain bike racing to road racing after the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Hesjedal finished second at the 2003 world mountain biking championships. He was on the verge of winning gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens had he not suffered a punctured tire in the mountain biking category, claims Rasmussen. Hesjedal won the Giro d’Italia in 2012 and won the Lionel Conacher Award as The Canadian Press male athlete of the year for the achievement.

The 32-year-old Victoria native Hesjedal said he accepts responsibility for those mistakes and remarked he will always be sorry. He went on to add that he was open and honest about his past when contacted by anti-doping authorities more than a year ago. Hesjedal’s management team said the cyclist would not speak to the media as an investigation is ongoing.

After his public admission, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirmed that they interviewed the cyclist earlier this year as part of an investigation into doping in Canadian cycling.

Hesjedal won’t be punished as the World Anti-Doping Code has an eight-year statute of limitations, the CCES said. It added that the Center does not disclose information as it gathers intelligence about what is going on in the sport community. According to a statement by USADA, Travis Tygart, CEO of the USADA, said that in the past discipline and sanctions have been announced where there is actionable evidence of doping within the statute of limitations. Tygart added athletes like him and others, who have voluntarily come in, taken accountability for their actions and have been fully truthful, are essential to securing a brighter future for the sport of cycling.

Jonathan Vaughters, a former professional racing cyclist and general manager and CEO of Slipstream Sports, said Ryder was completely open and honest and transparent with USADA and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, so we’ve known about this for a while. Vaughters added he is satisfied that the Canada’s top cycling star is clean and has been clean for years.

The national body that organizes and promotes cycling in Canada, Cycling Canada, issued a statement that it was shocked and saddened to learn that Ryder Hesjedal was involved in doping over a decade ago.

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Tuesday 12, Nov 2013

Athletes Accused Me Of Doping, Says Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

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Athletes accused me of doping, says shelly ann fraser-pryce

Jamaican track and field sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has remarked that the majority of comments by athletes toward her after she won three gold medals at the World Track and Field Championships were negative. The sprinters said some athletes believe she made use of performance enhancing drugs this season.

Fraser-Pryce ascended to prominence in the 2008 Olympic Games when she at the age of 21 years old became the first Caribbean woman to win 100 m gold at the Olympics. She then went on to defend her 100m title and became the third woman to win two consecutive 100m events at the Olympics. Like countryman Usain Bolt, Fraser-Pryce swept 100-meter, 200-meter and 4×100-meter relay gold medals at the recent World Championships in Moscow. The colorful Fraser-Pryce with half her long hair dyed pink beat three-time champion Felix in the 200m final. She won the 100 in 10.71 seconds to beat the second-place finisher by .22 of a second and won the 200 in 22.17 seconds, beating the second-place finisher by .15 of a second.

Fraser-Pryce added she has not done anything that nobody else has ever done before, apart from winning three gold medals, but it was just hard work and the times were not ridiculous; it was just very good execution.

In 2011, the Jamaican sprinter served a suspension of six months for testing positive for Oxycodone though she claimed it was because of a medication she took for a toothache. A banned narcotic, Oxycodone is not considered a performance enhancing drug or a masking agent.

In the 2009 IAAF World Championships, she won the 100m gold medal to become only the second female sprinter after Gail Devers to hold both World and Olympic 100 m titles simultaneously. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the first female sprinter to win gold medals in the 100 m, 200 m and 4×100 m in a single world championship in 2013. Fraser-Pryce s ranked fourth on the list of the fastest 100 m female sprinters of all time, with a personal best of 10.70 seconds.

The sprinter, who trained with Asafa Powell, took the 100 m Jamaican title in the 2009 Berlin World Championships and won with a world-leading time of 10.88 s. At the same championship, she ran the second leg on the Jamaican 4x 100 m relay team while competing against Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas, Anne Mollinger of Germany, and Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago to help the Jamaican team eventually claimed the gold medal. In 2010, Fraser-Pryce won the Golden Cleats Award for female Athlete of the Year and then she won the Golden Cleats Award for female Athlete of the Year for the second time for her outstanding accomplishments in the 2012 London Olympic Games. The fastest women on earth, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, competed with Jessica Ennis of Britain for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award where she lost the award. On 22 February 2010, the sprinter from Jamaica was named as the first UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador for Jamaica.

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Sunday 10, Nov 2013

Bach Takes Charge As IOC President

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Bach takes charge as ioc president

Thomas Bach has taken over the reins from his predecessor, Jacques Rogge, at the IOC headquarters after being elected the ninth president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The recently-elected IOC chief spent his first day in meetings with Honorary President Rogge, IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper, and the IOC directors. Rogge remarked President Bach and he were elected as IOC members at the same Session in 1991 in Birmingham, Great Britain and Bach is an Olympic champion, a team builder, a sports leader and he knows he can rely on you. Rogge added he can tell all that you can also rely on him.

Bach said he had received a lot of advice – or instructions from his predecessor over the last few days and added one man alone or a group alone can never be successful and it always depends on the entire team – each and every person. Thomas Bach went on to remark this is why he is looking to the future with great confidence and he has a really great team in front of me. The IOC head said he wants all to continue to be a part of the team and to continue to contribute to build on the same successful path we have been on.

The appointment of Bach was applauded by the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) who said the recently-crowned IOC president has experience as an Olympian and Olympic champion in team fencing (1976 Montreal), as head of the German NOC, as a member of the IOC juridical commission and on the International Council of Arbitration for sport, and as a business leader who has understanding of marketing and was involved with television rights negotiations in Europe. The President of GNOC, Momodou Dibba, while commenting on the contribution of Bach to Gambian sports said the German Olympic Committee has organized series of training program for Gambian coaches and Administrators through the GNOC. Dibba added Bach during the FIFA U-17 Women World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2012 arranged through GNOC a link between Gambia and German Women Football for cooperation in the area of training Gambian women coaches. It was concluded by the GNOC chief that Bach will be helpful to Africa because he has always done some training for sports administrators in Africa. He added if you want to bring the Olympic Games to Africa, you definitely need to help people, train the administrators, bring competition, train the technicians, and prepare people to host the Games properly.

Thomas Bach won on the second ballot in election with 49 votes, with Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico winning 29 votes, followed by Ser Miang Ng of Singapore with 6, Denis Oswald of Switzerland with 5, and Sergey Bubka of Ukraine with 4. The first Olympic gold medalist to become IOC president, Bach, said he would be cutting all his other commitments, including the presidency of the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce but added he would like to remain chairman of the supervisory board of the machine building company in Tauberbischofsheim.

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Monday 26, Aug 2013

Drug Testing Stepped Up In Turkey

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Drug Testing Stepped Up In Turkey

The governing body of Track and field has stepped up its drug-testing program in Turkey after many positive drug tests emerged. The International Association of Athletics Federations said it “intensified” its testing in the country after cases that may damage the bid of Istanbul for the 2020 Olympics.

The IAAF remarked the surge in testing measures was due to abnormal blood-profile results that have already resulted in high profile doping cases against some of the top athletes of the country. In a statement, IAAF spokesman Nick Davies the IAAF is aware of media speculation surrounding the recent anti-doping control tests, in and out of competition, of a number of Turkish athletes and the IAAF with the national anti-doping agency intensified the testing program in Turkey following concerns highlighted by abnormal biological passport values.

This statement was issued after Britain’s Daily Telegraph published a report on its website that a large number of athletes from the country tested positive before the Mediterranean Games in the Turkish city of Mersin. The newspaper revealed that the count of positive drug tests may run into dozens and its report disclosed failed tests on their “A” samples and were awaiting the results of the backup “B” samples. Under rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations, a doping case is announced only after a “B” sample confirms the initial positive finding. The results “remain on-going in accordance with IAAF rules,” Davies said and added the world governing body cannot make any further comment until the proceedings are completed.

Turkey’s national Olympic committee, following the report, said it is taking this matter very seriously and urgently reviewing all alleged and any confirmed doping cases involving Turkish athletes. It was further maintained by the Turkish federation that the country has a “zero-tolerance policy” on doping and added any athletes found guilty of using banned substances will be punished to the full extent of Turkey’s comprehensive anti-doping legislation, other laws, and in accordance with international anti-doping practices.

In the past few months, Turkey has been hit with anti-government demonstrations in the country, the police crackdown on protesters, and many doping cases that have dealt a serious blow to the image of the country that is competing against Madrid and Tokyo for hosting the Olympics in 2020. The IOC will select the host city for the Olympics on September 7.

A few weeks back, eight Turkish track and field athletes, including 2004 Olympic hammer silver medalist Esref Apak, and eight weightlifters from Turkey tested positive for doping. In May this year, two-time European 100-meter hurdles champion Nevin Yanit and Olympic 1,500-meter champion Asli Cakir Alptekin were charged with doping violations. This was after Yanit had “multiple positive findings” and Alptekin had abnormal blood values in her biological profile, according to the IAAF. The Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF) recently gave suspensions of two years to 31 athletes for drug violations. The list of those suspended included hammer thrower Esref Apak, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist. On its website, the federation said the files of Asli Cakir Alptekin, Nevin Yanit, and Pinar Saka were not assessed because the process of investigation following their defense statements is continuing.

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Monday 12, Aug 2013

Report Into Doping By West Germany Athletes Released

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Report Into Doping By West Germany Athletes Released

The interior ministry of Germany has published details from a report that revealed the extent to which the government of West Germany backed the doping of athletes in the 1970s.

The move came under swift criticism from the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that first published details of the document. The newspaper said the report on doping had been significantly cut from more than 800 pages and the new version of six documents excluded a number of eyewitness accounts as well as the names of influential politicians. Publication of the report, Doping in Germany from 1950 to Today, was held back due to data protection concerns.

Now, the interior ministry of Germany has suggested that the documents under the heading of the project were put online. It was also revealed by the ministry that the purpose of the research was to take an in-depth look at the history of doping and not to look into individual incidences or expose doping scandals of uncover statutory offences.

Recently, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that doping of West German athletes during the 1970s was conducted over a period of decades and was state funded. The newspaper disclosed that athletes were doped with anabolic steroids, testosterone, and estrogen and doping research was facilitated with the Federal institute of sport science investing almost £4.5m in medicine research facilities in Freiburg, Cologne, and Saarbrücken.

This report on doping was carried out by researchers at Humboldt University in Berlin and the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster. It detailed doping of football players and the list included three members of the 1966 West Germany World Cup final team who lost to England at Wembley. The newspaper also provided reference of a letter from FIFA official Mihailo Andrejevic who informed the German Athletic Association president, Max Danz, about the “fine traces” of the banned stimulant ephedrine discovered.

It should not be a surprise to people that West German athletes were doped, Andreas Singler, a sports scientist and member of the Evaluation Commission of Freiburg Sport Medicine, whose research was cited as part of the report. Singler added it has been well-known for a long time though he disputed that the government of the time was responsible. He added that it supported the research about the effects and side effects of the drugs but that doesn’t mean it was necessarily with the aim of doing doping and remarked that he thinks the misuse potential was very high and there was a hope from some in the government, not from the ministry itself, but the specialists for sports issues. Andreas Singler also said he thinks they perhaps expected conditions that made it possible to have a chance to win, not only against the East Germans, but also the United States.

Clemens Prokop, head of Germany’s athletics federation, said we need a doping law and need to extend the statute of limitation for sanctions against doping offenders past the current eight years. Carlo Thraenhardt, the former European indoor high-jump champion who competed for West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, said of the report that he is surprised and frustrated because you want to fight doping.

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Sunday 23, Jun 2013

Doping Case Of Jamaican Runner Appears To Be A Minor Offense

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The doping case involving Jamaican star runner Veronica Campbell-Brown was “minor” and suggested that the reaction has been heightened due to the athlete’s international status, said an official of track and field’s world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The runner tested positive at the Jamaica International Invitational on May 4 for a banned substance that is believed to be a diuretic, triggering widescale international reaction, much of which was disproportionate to the offense, according to IAAF spokesman Nick Davies.

Davies remarked we can acknowledge that there is a case, but also take the opportunity to urge a sense of perspective and this seems from evidence to be a minor doping offense according to our rules, so we want to remain realistic in our reaction, pending the conclusion of the case. The IAAF spokesman also added that although we would not normally comment on active cases, all evidence seems to point to this offence being a lesser one. He also added that the situation has taken on great interest because of the international profile and appeal of Campbell-Brown and said there has been a disproportionate reaction, probably due to the fact that the athlete is a prominent Jamaican sprinter and it is very unfortunate when there are leaks (of information) – as has been the case here – since this is bad both for the athlete affected and for the sport in general.

As opposed to the mandatory two-year ban for serious cases, the penalty for minor offenses can range from a public warning to a suspension of a few months. Meanwhile, the management team of the runner released a statement acknowledging the positive test while pleading the athlete’s innocence of knowingly taking a banned substance while the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association said the current 200m World champion and a seven-time Olympic medalist was suspended from competition, pending the decision of a disciplinary panel, which will shortly review the case. The JAAA release said we also wish to point out that Veronica Campbell-Brown voluntarily withdrew herself from competition and accepted the provisional suspension.

Doping Case Of Jamaican Runner Appears To Be A Minor Offense

It is rumored that the banned drug was contained in a cream which Campbell-Brown, the first Jamaican athlete, male or female to win a global 100 meters title, was using to treat a leg injury and which she had declared on her doping control form. The Jamaican track and field sprint athlete who specializes in the 100 and 200 meters denied knowingly taking a banned substance Lasix, which also goes by the name Furosemide.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, one of only eight athletes to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event, is the second woman in history to win two consecutive Olympic 200 m events, after Bärbel Wöckel of Germany at the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. The Jamaican sprint legend in 2001 was awarded the Austin Sealy Trophy for the most outstanding athlete of the 2001 CARIFTA Games and she won 3 gold medals (100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay) in the junior (U-20) category the same year.

The popular runner is expected to miss the 14th IAAF World Championship in Moscow in August this year.

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Sunday 09, Jun 2013

Puerto Judge’s Ruling Condemned By Cyclists

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>Puerto Judge’s Ruling Condemned By Cyclists

The decision of the court in the infamous Operation Puerto trial has been criticized by cyclists and team directors at the Giro d’Italia. The Judge Julia Santamaria ordered, to the surprise of the World Anti-Doping Agency and many others, destruction of the blood bags seized in the Operation Puerto doping case.

This destruction of evidence pertains to more than 200 bags of blood and other evidence gathered in police raids involving Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes in 2006. It was despite the doctor testifying that he had clients from other sports, including soccer, tennis, boxing, and track. In the trial, more than 50 cyclists were implicated in the Puerto case and several were identified by name as having worked with the tainted doctor.

Most riders and team directors expressed disappointment with the ruling and said the ruling undermines the efforts to catch sport cheats and uncover the extent of one of the biggest drug scandals in European sports. Taylor Phinney, an American rider with the BMC squad who won the time trial that opened last year’s Giro, remarked he does not agree with the decision to destroy all the evidence and it doesn’t quite make sense to me.

British rider David Millar who returned from a doping ban to become an outspoken critic of banned drugs is hopeful that the ruling gets overturned on appeal. Anti-doping organizations have until May 17 to make an appeal. Millar said before the opening stage of the Giro that he knows the Spanish anti-doping agency are firmly against (destroying the evidence) and he knows WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) are firmly against that. Stefano Zanatta, the team director for Ivan Basso’s Cannondale squad, remarked unfortunately institutions often don’t handle things the same way in every country.

Fuentes was found guilty of endangering public health by the Madrid court and the doctor was handed a suspended jail sentence of one year and was barred from medical practice in sports for four years and ordered to pay a $6,000 fine. The judge cited privacy laws of Spain in her decision not to turn over the evidence to anti-doping authorities. This ruling, unless overturned on an appeal, would not allow officials from identifying the doctor’s blood-doping clients and pursuing disciplinary cases against them.

In other developments, Britain’s tennis star Andy Murray says the decision of the Spanish court to allow for the destruction of more than 200 blood bags in the Operation Puerto doping case is one big cover-up. Tennis star Rafael Nadal also expressed his disappointment with the decision and said the decision casts a dark cloud over Spanish athletes in particular and remarked the only ones who have benefited from this resolution are those who have cheated and it seems unfair that in a case as serious and as damaging to sport as this we’re talking about Spain. Nadal added to not give names looks like a big mistake to me and those who cheated deserve the contempt from all other athletes, who should make them feel ashamed before society. After the decision, Ana Munoz, the head of Spain’s anti-doping agency, announced that she would appeal the decision to destroy the evidence.

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