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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.

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Thursday 31, Aug 2017

NHL Grants Free Agency To KHL Suspended Player

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Danis Zaripov, the former Kontinental Hockey League player who was suspended for doping, has received approval from the NHL to continue his hockey career in North America.

In a statement through his agent Dan Milstein, Zaripov said he was grateful for the decision of NHL to let him pursue a contract. Zaripov said he looks forward to continuing his professional hockey playing career in North America, and he is very grateful to the NHL for its decision, which provides him the opportunity to do so. The former KHL player added he wants to assure all that throughout his career had had been extremely careful never to take prohibited substances, and he plans to continue his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to clear his name.

The 36-year-old winger tested positive for banned stimulants plus substances prohibited as diuretics and masking agents. Zaripov was suspended in July from participation in all competitions or activities authorized and organized by IIHF and IIHF Member National Associations.

In a statement, the NHL said Zaripov has been made an unrestricted free agent and said this was because its banned substances list is not the same as the one used by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It also cited procedural irregularities in the adjudication process that may have resulted in prejudicing case of the player and affecting decision of the IHF and the lengthy career in both professional and international hockey of Zaripov without ever testing positive for doping as reasons to approve his application. The NHL added the three-time world champion is deemed eligible to sign and play professional hockey in the NHL, effective immediately, and without imposition of any NHL-imposed suspension or penalty.

Zaripov even agreed to submit to additional testing beyond what is normally required for NHL players, if he signs with an NHL team.

There are rumors that the New York Rangers could opt for him as the team could use another scoring winger if they are moving J T Miller to full-time center. The Vegas Golden Knights may also express interest in Zaripov after they already added one KHL star this summer in Vadim Shipachyov and may decide to find room for another.

One of the most productive players in the KHL over the past few seasons, the Russian professional ice hockey left winger is likely to be approached by NHL teams that are looking for veteran help on the wing. He had a very strong 2017 postseason with 15 goals and seven assists in 18 games as his team reached finals of the KHL. Zaripov played for Team Russia at the 2010 Olympics. The winger has spent his entire professional career in Russia, including the last four years with Magnitogorsk Metallurg. An accomplished goal scorer and point producer in the KHL, Zaripov has scored 20 or more goals in three of his last four seasons with Magnitogorsk. A regular contributor at the World Championships, Zaripov however would not be eligible for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics as a result of his suspension.

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Tuesday 29, Aug 2017

China Faces Weightlifting Ban After Weightlifters Lose Doping Appeal

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals filed by Cao Lei (75kg) and Liu Chunhong (69kg) who were stripped of the gold medals they won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after they failed doping tests conducted eight years later.

In January, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ordered the two Chinese female weightlifters to return their medals from the Beijing Games after re-tests of samples tested positive for prohibited substances. Lei and Chunhong tested positive for banned human growth hormones. Compatriot Chen Xiexia, who won gold in the 48kg category in Beijing, was also disqualified by the IOC.

In a statement, the CAS said it had upheld decision of the International Olympic Committee against the two athletes. CAS said, the athletes as a consequence are disqualified from the events in which they participated: Chunhong Liu – Women’s 69kg (gold medal), and Lei Cao – Women’s 75kg (gold medal).

Liu was also the 2004 Athens Olympics champion in her weight class. Chen and Cao were world champions in 2007. Lei and Chunhong both tested positive for GHRP-2 that is known to stimulate the production of growth hormone while Liu also tested positive for Sibutramine, a banned stimulant. The IOC disciplinary commission, because of the similarities of the cases, urged the International Weightlifting Federation to investigate Chinese team coaches and officials. The IOC had then remarked that this suggests a possible involvement of the athlete’s entourage in these cases and the IWF is invited to investigate that situation and, if adequate, to take action against relevant people in the athlete’s entourage.

The lawyer for both athletes argued to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that the doping cases should be dropped as GHRP-2 was not specifically named in the prohibited list of substances published by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The single judge of CAS accepted the IOC case that a section of the list relating to “hormones and related substances” applied in these cases.

The gold medals won by Liu and Cao are now set to be reassigned to Oksana Slivenko of Russia and Kazakhstan’s Alla Vazhenina respectively. The medal of Chen has already been re-allocated to Chen Wei-ling of Taipei.

Under new rules adopted by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), a country can be banned for up to a period of four years if three of its lifters test positive in drug tests within a year. It is believed that China, in this first instance, may be handed a ban of one year. The IWF had promised automatic bans if a nation had three athletes testing positive in the IOC’s Beijing and London retests.

In June, the International Olympic Committee warned that weightlifting event could be dropped from the 2024 Olympics because of repeated doping failures. About 50 weightlifters have delivered positive results in drug retesting from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics. Thomas Bach, the President of IOC, had remarked the International Weightlifting Federation has until December 2017 to deliver a satisfactory report to the IOC on how they will address the massive doping problems this sport is facing.

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Friday 25, Aug 2017

Career Of Jon Jones Hangs In Balance

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Current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a potential anti-doping violation stemming from his UFC 214 fight with Daniel Cormier on July 29.

The failed drug test in question was administered the day of the UFC 214 weigh ins (July 28), a day before Jones defeated Daniel Cormier via third-round knockout. Andy Foster, California State Athletic Commission executive officer, revealed Jones had passed all of his out-of-competition drug tests leading into UFC 214. Jones was tested on July 6 and July 7 by USADA, the results of those samples came back negative.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Cormier, the UFC 214 opponent of Jones, said he was shocked to learn about the positive test of Jones for the anabolic steroid Turinabol but asked fans to let the USADA testing process unfold before jumping to conclusions.

In a statement, the United States Anti-Doping Agency said we cannot comment on an on-going case, but importantly all athletes under the UFC anti-doping program are innocent unless and until the established process determines otherwise. The statement also reads that Jones as part of this process is given the opportunity to be heard, confront and cross examine the evidence and have the ultimate decision of whether he violated the rules or not be decided by independent judges and added it is only fair to let due process occur before drawing any conclusions about Jones.

In a statement, the UFC said USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Jon Jones, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation. The statement also reads that there is a full and fair legal process under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. The UFC statement also reads that the California State Athletic Commission [CSAC] also retains jurisdiction over this matter as the sample collection was performed the day before Jones’ bout at UFC 214 in Anaheim, CA, and USADA will work to ensure that the CSAC has the necessary information to determine its proper judgment of Jones’ potential anti-doping violation.

Jones has not been stripped of his UFC Light Heavyweight championship till now. The UFC fighter is likely to face a possible doping ban of four years that could mean the end of his illustrious career.

Jeff Novitzky, UFC vice president of athlete health and performance, said his understanding is the sample was collected in the hours after the weigh-ins, so that would put him in an in-competition period under the program. Novitzky added Jon is afforded due process and added the B sample would not have been tested already but he is of the view that the substance is 99.999-percent of the time is in the body of that athlete when a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited lab makes an announcement of a positive test of a substance in that athlete’s body. The UFC vice president of athlete health and performance added they do some confirmatory testing on even the A sample.

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Tuesday 22, Aug 2017

Justin Gatlin Issues First Public Apology Over Doping Past

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Justin Gatlin, the controversial 100 meter world champion, has made his first public apology about the furore caused by his doping bans.

The American sprinter said the booing he received at the recently-concluded London championships hurt but it helped motivate him to beat Usain Bolt. Gatlin has received criticism for reportedly not showing remorse for his actions associated with this two drug bans. In 2001, Gatlin was first banned for taking a banned supplement for Attention Deficit Disorder that he had been using since childhood. The sprinter received an early reinstatement by the world governing body of athletics the following year. In 2006, the sprinter was banned again after he tested positive for the steroid Testosterone. It was claimed by Gatlin that this was as a result of sabotage by a disaffected member of his team.

Gatlin disclosed he wrote a letter of apology to the International Association of Athletics Federations years ago and has no issues if a public apology was required. The sprinter said the letter he wrote, which came out in 2015, it was suppressed for almost six years and he is not sure who or why they suppressed it but he did apologized. Gatlin also remarked he started a program where he went and talked to kids and told them about the pitfalls of falling behind the wrong people, staying on the path, and doing the right things.  The sprinter said he apologize for any wrongdoings or any black eyes that he brought onto the sport. Gatlin also remarked he loves the sport and that is why he had made a return and try to run to the best of his ability and for that he had worked hard to right his wrongs.

Gatlin said he was hurt by the jeering and booing from the crowd in London when he was presented with a gold medal for the 100m World Championships. The American sprinter said it did hurt because he is not there for himself, he is up there for his country, he is up there for his supporters, and added he didn’t do it for himself. Gatlin said he was there for people back at home watching who were not able to come and commented that maybe the boos were for him but standing on the podium was for the people who have loved him and his country that he loves.

Gatlin remarked he had to overcome his concern about what people thought about him before he came back to running. The 100 meter world champion also said he wanted people to respect him, to love him, to know that he is a hard worker like anybody else. Gatlin also said he felt like sometimes that fell on deaf ears, and it took away from his focus of being a runner because he was so consumed by what people would think about him and judging him, that he really had to just dial-in and just focus on being a runner and let the natural talent do all the talking.

Gatlin is next due to compete at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Justin Gatlin Issues First Public Apology Over Doping Past

Friday 18, Aug 2017

Former Olympic Cycling Champion Fails Doping Test

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Samuel Sanchez, the former Olympic champion from Spain, has been suspended with immediate effect after testing positive for banned growth hormones, according to an announcement by the world governing body of cycling.

The 39-year-old Sanchez, who won the 2008 Olympic road race in Beijing and five individual stages in the Vuelta a Espana between 2005 and 2007 as well as an individual stage on the 2011 Tour de France, will now miss this year’s Vuelta that begins on Saturday in France.

In a statement, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said on its website that Samuel Sanchez had been notified of an “Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of GHRP-2” from an out-of-competition test on August 9th. The UCI added Sanchez has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample in accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules. It added the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.

The governing body also remarked the doping control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.

GHRP-2 refers to GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs) that are classified as “Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics” on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2017 Prohibited List. It is commonly used to increase lean body mass, reduce fat, and improve aerobic performance.

Team BMC Racing of Sanchez immediately announced his suspension and announced the rider would be replaced by Loic Vliegen in the Vuelta. In a statement, BMC said Sanchez has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect in accordance with BMC Racing Team’s zero tolerance policy and UCI regulation. The statement also reads that no further action will be taken until the results of the B sample are provided. The team also commented that all riders and staff are held to the highest ethical standard and BMC Racing Team is extremely disappointed to share this news on the eve of the Vuelta a Espana.

Sanchez vehemently denied doping allegations and remarked the positive test was a ‘total surprise.’ The cyclist added the lawyers have told him not to make statements because we have to wait for the result of the analysis of the B sample. The 2008 Olympic Road Race Champion said he is nearing the end of his professional career and it makes no sense for him to dope at this stage.

Sanchez, who turned pro in 2000 and who has been riding for BMC Racing since 2014, was expected to announce his retirement after Vuelta a Espana. BMC re-signed Sanchez for the 2015 season and his role was described by the team’s sporting manager Allan Peiper as similar to that in 2014, but with a greater focus on supporting and developing the team’s younger riders. The Spanish professional road bicycle racer had proven himself in hilly classics and stage races as one of the most important riders in the peloton in recent years. Known as one of the best descenders in the peloton, Sanchez won the Vuelta a Burgos in 2010, the Tour of the Basque Country in 2012, and five stages of the Vuelta a España.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Former Olympic Cycling Champion Fails Doping Test

Wednesday 16, Aug 2017

IOC Orders To Return Medals Defied By Russian Athletes

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Russian three-time Olympic silver medalist Tatyana Firova has decided not to return her silver medals in defiance to orders issued by the International Olympic Committee.

The 33-year-old 400m runner, who failed a re-examined drugs test from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, argued that “bureaucrats” must share responsibility for the doping scandal. Firova said we sportsmen are performers and we follow the rules that are given to us by the system. The three-time Olympic silver medalist added a normal person can take banned substances if they want to but the athletes are not allowed to.

Firova, who also has to surrender her 4×400-meter relay silver medal from London after the samples of a teammate were retested, remarked she was sentimentally attached to her Olympic hardware.

Meanwhile, the IOC has commented it had already received a number of medals and was in contact with the relevant Olympic committees about the issue.

Former decathlete Alexander Pogorelov, who was stripped of his Olympic diploma for a fourth-place finish in Beijing after Turinabol was found in his sample, said he does not know whether he had lost the medal or not but he has not seen it in a while. Pogorelov, who now heads the sports committee of the city of Bryansk, commented he probably wouldn’t give it back even if he did find it because he thinks he earned it honestly.

In a recent report, an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) task force monitoring reforms at the Russian federation said it had yet to demonstrate that it has established a strong anti-doping culture within its sport, or that it has created an open environment that encourages whistleblowing. Russia has never acknowledged state support for doping though it has pledged to cooperate with global sports bodies over its anti-doping program. A big majority of Russian officials, athletes, and coaches do not still believe that there was wrongdoing and are of the view that their country is being unfairly targeted.

Some athletes commented that they had not returned the medals as the Russian federation had not simply asked for it. Russian athletics federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin denied these claims and said they are lying about the fact they were not notified. Shlyakhtin insisted it had contacted them by phone, e-mail, and mail.

The issue of medals not being promptly returned was downplayed by Russian Sports minister Pavel Kolobkov. The Sports minister said many athletes do not give back their medals, not only athletes in Russia.

Organizers of other sports events have also faced obstacles in reclaiming prize money or medals from Russian dopers. The London Marathon has been trying to reclaim money from Liliya Shobukhova, who won the 2010 title and was runner-up in 2011 before she was banned for doping. Shobukhova was sued in Britain and organizers of the marathon are now waiting for a hearing in Russia to have the judgment applied there. The race’s chief executive Nick Bitel said we will spend whatever money it takes to pursue her and get the money back, even if it makes no commercial sense.

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Thursday 10, Aug 2017

Colorado Classic Shuts Door On Lance Armstrong

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The organizer of the Colorado Classic race has withdrawn its association with the Stages podcast of Lance Armstrong, the American former professional road racing cyclist.

The former professional cyclist will now not be able to earn money from the new Colorado Classic stage race this week (August 10-13) after the race organizer decided to pull the offer of hosting his podcast because of his lifetime doping ban. The disgraced cyclist was expected to bring his fresh and informed cycling perspective to the inaugural event with daily podcasts similar to his Stages Tour de France podcast that was downloaded five million times that placed him in the iTunes top 10 for downloads in July.

It is widely believed that the pressure, including the possibility of losing its 2.HC ranking, saw Colorado Classic organizer RPM cancel its plans. Ben Davis, a spokesman, said we in light of the concerns expressed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency have came to a mutual agreement that it is in the best interest of the Colorado Classic to cancel the marketing partnership with the ‘Stages’ podcast.”

In a statement, race spokesman Curtis Hubbard earlier had remarked that we have been informed of rules that could limit broadcast of the ‘Stages’ podcast from the upcoming Colorado Classic and added we are seeking additional guidance and will make a decision on how to proceed after further consultation with USADA and producers of the podcast. Hubbard added the UCI-sanctioned race has engaged in a “media partnership” with Lance Armstrong that would have included covering specific expenses related to the podcast but has no input with regard to content and production.

The partnership of Armstrong made USADA upset. The United States Anti-Doping Agency in its Reasoned Decision in 2012 had revealed that the cyclist made use of banned performance enhancing drugs throughout his career in which he won seven Tour de France titles.

USADA remarked it has only “advised” race organizers on the rules. A USADA spokesperson said an ineligible individual under the World Anti-Doping Agency Code may not have an official role in relation to a sanctioned event such as the Colorado Classic.

Previously, Colorado Classic officials had said they were “blown away” by the expansive reach of the podcast of Lance Armstrong during the Tour de France. The officials added his commentary as a potential boost toward reviving the popularity of professional cycling through “the biggest audience in cycling.” Ken Gart, chairman of the organization formed to put on the race, had said that he thinks Armstrong has an emotional attachment to racing in Colorado. Gart also commented if we were launching his new strategy, that would be one thing but with 5 million downloads, this will help us connect with that serious cycling audience.

The Colorado Classic combines food, drink, and music in a festival atmosphere with the race that will feature stops in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Denver. The field includes 16 men’s and 13 women’s teams, with riders from 23 countries and stage or overall winners from top international competitions.

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