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Tuesday 16, Feb 2016

  Algerian Football ‘In Chaos’ After Doping Scandal

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Algerian football has been rocked by allegations of widespread drug-taking after the suspension of international Youcef Belaili and three other top-division players.

Belaili was banned by the Confederation of African Football for a period of two years from national and international football. The 23-year-old USM Alger midfielder admitted the charge and waived his right to have his B sample tested, according to an announcement by the Algerian Football Federation (FAF).

Some of the other players received suspensions for up to four years or are undergoing investigation. However, all the players have denied taking illicit substances and some claim that they were under the impression that they were taking vitamin supplements.

Doubts are raised over the future of football in Algeria after the latest controversy. Algeria was the North African country to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

A recently-concluded media investigation has hinted that corruption was prevalent in Algerian football clubs because of a lack of consistent regulations. A damning report by London-based Al-Arabi al-Jadid on January 27 revealed the four recent cases are not unique. The report highlighted 10 other instances where Algerian players tested positive for drug use since 2013. The report revealed information passed on by an employee at a nightclub in trendy western Algiers that players allegedly buy and use amphetamines and other drugs and frequented the club to let off steam and get amphetamines and other drugs, which they believe will enhance their performance on the pitch.

Algeria’s El-Khabar newspaper was told by medical experts that the football industry in the country was in “chaos” since no doctors have been assigned on a regular basis to clubs and management of the clubs was too “centralized” that opens the door for corruption.

The Algerian Football Federation, in its defense, said it will enforce stringent testing for performance-enhancing and social drugs. It further requested that football clubs should supply training schedule information so that regular monitoring of players can be undertaken. However, El-Khabar described these measures as only “cosmetic” and inconsistently enforced.

Drug use among players was attributed by an article in Algeria’s French language daily El-Watan to disproportionately high salaries coupled with lack of maturity of young players.

The Algerian government and Algerian football federation have been blamed by sports commentators and fans in Algeria.

Criticizing the campaign in the press, Algerian football commentator Hafid Derradji said Belaili was fully responsible morally, legally, and as a sportsman. Derradji also commented that responsibility should be accepted by sports journalists for allegedly creating the problem by justifying the behavior and feeding his ego.

A number of newspapers in Algeria went on to recall allegations of systematic and involuntary doping in the past, after the children of a number of players in the national team that reached the 1982 and 1986 World Cups were born with severe disabilities. The investigation has yet to take place and Algerian authorities have prevented themselves from commenting on the allegations. One of the affected players, midfielder Mohamed Kaci-Said, has remarked doubts persist until an inquiry has been opened and the truth told.

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Friday 09, Oct 2015

  IAAF Rules Out Serious Doping Offenders For Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: IAAF Rules Out Serious Doping Offenders For Awards

Sunday 12, Apr 2015

  Denmark Has Redefined Its Anti-Doping Policies

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Denmark Has Redefined Its Anti-Doping Policies

In the biggest doping bust in Danish history, Copenhagen Police has confiscated more than one ton of steroids. The Danish police remarked new and stricter laws on doping have given them the necessary tools to bust two men who had “at least a ton” of illegal steroids.

Commissioner Steffen Steffensen said we have found so much that it is impossible to count it all up right now. Steffen added but offhand he would say that it is the largest case of organized doping in Denmark thus far. The police operation was a direct result of a parliamentary decision taken last year to increase the maximum penalty in doping cases from two to six years in prison. This legislation allowed police to tap telephones that Copenhagen Police said they used “for the first time” in the investigation leading to the arrests. Steffensen added the police before the new doping law could do almost nothing because the investigation tools were so limited with the two-year maximum penalty and added now it is up to six years and we have therefore suddenly been given a new tool that we can use.

In 2014, the national drug policies of Denmark were reevaluated after the World Health Organization (WHO) made a surprising recommendation to decriminalize personal drug use. After the recommendation was made, the left-wing Socialist People’s Party (SF) legal spokeswoman Karina Lorentzen said the current policies of the country have failed. Karina had remarked that she cannot see how our current approach has helped at all and added we on the contrary have created a very lucrative market for organized criminals. The Conservative party’s spokesman Tom Behnke remarked the party was “was not resigned to decriminalization”. Tom said there is a good reason that it is illegal, and that is because it is dangerous to be on drugs. He added on the other hand, we do need to admit that there are people who take these drugs so we need to try to respond to that and added the important thing is to have a good treatment program, so we can help people break their addictions.

According to the 2014 European Drug Report, the 35.6 percent of Danes who admitted to having smoked cannabis in their lifetime is the highest proportion among European countries while the next drug of choice for Danes is amphetamines, with a lifetime prevalence of 6.6 percent, followed by cocaine at 5.2 percent.

According to latest figures from the Danish Health and Medicines Authority (Sundhedsstryelsen), the use of hard drugs by Danes under 25 has more than halved since 2008 with less than four percent of Danes aged 16-24 report using hard drugs like cocaine, amphetamines, and ecstasy. Mads Uffe Pedersen, a professor at Aarhus University’s Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, revealed that hard drugs are no longer cool or accepted among young people. The professor added there is not a wide swath of youth who take drugs, and we researchers have known that for many years and added that hard drugs like cocaine and amphetamines get a lot of media attention, so people get the impression that it is widespread amongst young people, that’s just not the case.

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Monday 13, May 2013

  Doping In Rugby Ignored

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Doping in rugby ignored

People are turning a blind eye to doping in rugby in the same way that was once the norm in cycling, former France hooker Laurent Benezech has claimed.

Speaking to Le Monde Benezech, Benezech remarked the proofs of doping in rugby are in front of everyone but no one seems to be interested. The French hooker remarked rugby is in exactly the same situation that cycling was before the Festina affair, the infamous case in 1998 when a Festina team doctor was stopped by customs officers at the France-Belgium border and was found to be carrying various doping products. After this, several doping investigations happened and many cyclists admitted that they were doping.

The comments of Benezech come just a week after former France scrum-half Jean-Pierre Elissalde claimed amphetamines were widely taken in the sport during the 1970s and 1980s. A few months back, a high-ranking French anti-doping official Francoise Lasne claimed rugby had returned the highest proportion of positive dope tests in France in 2012.

Benezech, who was capped 15 times from 1994 to 1995, remarked one just needs to look at the statistics to see the evidence and blamed the clubs for being complicit in abetting doping by authorizing the use of banned substances for therapeutic reasons. He went on to say that there is the legalization in some clubs of the use of authorizations given by the doctors, the famous AUTs (authorizations for therapeutic usage), otherwise players would test positive and added the authorizations for therapeutic usage have developed in the sense that the doctor justifies the use of banned substances for medical reasons when it is clear that they are used to improve performance.

Rugby authorities had to stop burying their heads in the sand or the systematic use of doping would continue, Benezech said and added that we will not be able to avoid endangering the health of sportsmen as long as we remain in the dark and refuse to be transparent.

The former French rugby union footballer played first at Sporting Club Appaméen, until 1985 and then moved to Stade Toulousain, where he would stay until 1989, moving to Racing Club de France, that he represented for seven years. After spending a season at Harlequins, in England, he returned to play for RC Narbonne, where he would finish his career in 2000. Laurent Bénézech won the title of French Champion with Racing Club de France, in 1990 and was also selected for the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals, playing a single game in the 54-18 win over Côte d’Ivoire. Laurent also published a book, Anatomie d’Une Partie de Rugby (2007).

Recently, the International Rugby Board Anti-Doping Advisory Committee reaffirmed its commitment to the global fight against drugs cheats and endorsed the exhaustive approach of rugby to testing and education. The IRB undertook 1,542 In and Out of Competition controls across IRB tournaments and events in 2012, including the HSBC Sevens World Series, Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifiers, men’s and women’s Tests and Age Grade Rugby and was praised by WADA for its extensive testing and educational campaign.

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Thursday 22, Mar 2012

  Drugs and weapons discovered during raids

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Two alleged associates of the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang will be facing court on drugs charges after police searched homes at Heckenberg and Lurnea.

At about 6am, Strike Force Raptor police officers searched the homes following investigations into criminal activities.

At the Lurnea home, police located a small amount of cannabis, cash, and a quantity of fireworks.

Friday 27, May 2011

  Poker Players Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs

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Poker Players Use Performance-Enhancing DrugsA new study from Nova Southeastern University has revealed that 80 percent of the 198 players interviewed reported using drugs and other substances to enhance their performance.

The drugs, generally, were marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, Valium, and other prescription medications, as well as caffeine, energy drinks, and guarana.

Kevin Clauson, Pharm.D, an associate professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy, who was the principle investigator in the study, said the higher stakes the game, the more likely the use of substances to enhance performance.

Monday 09, May 2011

  Drug seizures fall as legal highs grow

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Drug seizures fall as legal highs growPolice and border officials made 224,080 drug finds in the year 2009, which was down seven per cent on the previous year’s record high.

This was the first time that annual seizures had fallen since 2004.

Seizures of anabolic steroids increased by eight per cent to 867, which was the highest total since it began being recorded in 1996.

Saturday 12, Feb 2011

  Justin Gatlin likely to be stripped of 100m record

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Justin Gatlin likely to be stripped of 100m record Justin Gatlin, the joint world 100m record holder and reigning Olympic sprint champion, recently put on a statement that he had tested positive for testosterone after a relay event in Kansas in April 2006.

Gatlin, in a remarkably prescient interview to the American magazine Sports Illustrated, said: “I understand what it would mean to track and field if I ever tested positive or went down in some scandal. Not to have an ego about it, but it might be the KO for our sport.”

The statement of Gatlin sent shockwaves through a sport that has grown wearily accustomed to drug scandals.

Saturday 25, Sep 2010

  Time to strike out illegal steroids

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Time to strike out illegal steroidsThe game of baseball has been left mutilated by use of performance enhancing drugs and baseball sluggers are using everything from steroids to amphetamines to find a place in the record books and sustain their position to earn name, fame, and recognition.

Though use of steroids, for legitimate purposes and under medical supervision, is not what we should be concerned about, but the incidents of steroid abuse mean that our society is at an increased risk of individuals getting affected with severe health complications such as liver tumors, high blood pressure, fertility problems, hypertension, increased hostility and aggression, and cardiovascular diseases with abuse of steroids.

The game of baseball has been already irreversibly mutilated by performance enhancing drugs and anabolic steroids and it is high time that we prefer to watch sports for athletic competition, and not consumption competition unless the word is about legal steroids.

Wednesday 28, Jul 2010

  Steep drop in offense attributed to ban on amphetamines and not on steroids

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steep-drop-in-offense-attributed-to-ban-on-amphetamines-and-not-on-steroidsThe steep drop in offense in context to baseball is primarily attributed to the ban on amphetamines and not on steroids as per a Major league official.

For admirers of baseball, this drop is all because of efforts by Bud Selig & Co. for piggybacking the amphetamines ban on top of the steroids testing agreement with the union of players.

Many baseball players of the past and fans have appreciated the efforts taken by Bud Selig to prevent the association of baseball and steroids from reaching new heights and getting subdued for betterment of the game.

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