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Saturday 11, Jun 2016

  UFC Featherweight Chad Mendes Flagged For ‘Potential’ USADA Violation

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Two-time featherweight title contender Chad Mendes has been flagged for a “potential Anti-Doping Policy violation” stemming from an out-of-competition drug test collected by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), according to an announcement by the UFC.

However, the UFC did not specify the nature of the banned substance found in the sample of Mendes. The 31-year-old Mendes is currently the No. 4 ranked featherweight in the UFC’s media-generated rankings. Mendes has been out of action since December 2015, when he suffered a first-round knockout loss at the hands of Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. Mendes has dropped three of his last four contests including a failed bid for the interim UFC featherweight title against Conor McGregor at UFC 189. The two-time featherweight title contender has twice fought for the UFC featherweight title and lost to former longtime champion Jose Aldo via first-round knockout in 2012 and then fell short via decision in a highly competitive rematch in 2014.

An official UFC statement read the UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Chad Mendes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection. The statement further reads USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. The UFC statement continued it important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed and further added that additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

In the last few weeks, many UFC fighters have failed anti-doping tests.

B.J. Penn was suspended after he disclosed IV use that is prohibited by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. A UFC statement reads Penn disclosed the usage of a prohibited method – the use of an IV in excess of 50 ML in a six-hour period – during a March 25, 2016, out-of-competition sample collection and was removed from his scheduled bout against Cole Miller on June 4 in Los Angeles.

Few weeks back, Diego Ferreira has been removed from this month’s UFC Fight Night 88 event because of a potential failed drug test. In a statement, the UFC had then remarked that it was notified that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Carlos Diego Ferreira of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation, stemming from a recent out-of-competition sample collection.

UFC welterweight Tim Means was also named by USADA for a positive drug test stemming from a tainted supplement. Means accepted a suspension of six months, retroactive to the February 3 date he was provisionally suspended for of a potential anti-doping violation. The 32-year-old Means was tested out-of-competition on January 21 and tested positive for Ostarine, a banned androgen modulator with anabolic properties. It was later found out that the banned substance came from a tainted supplement that the fighter admitted to using. He initially faced a suspension of two years as a first-time offender but his punishment was reduced in light of the tainted supplement. The United States Anti-Doping Agency had previously delivered a similar ruling for UFC middleweight Yoel Romero, who failed an out-of-competition test for a growth hormone substitute and subsequently proved his positive test stemmed from a tainted supplement.

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Friday 12, Feb 2016

  Kenya Placed On Probation After Missing WADA Anti-Doping Deadline

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The World Anti-Doping Agency has placed Kenya on probation and the powerhouse of athletics now faces the risk of being declared non-compliant in a matter of weeks.

In a statement, WADA remarked Kenya would be evaluated by an independent compliance review committee and thereafter make a recommendation to its board. The WADA statement added we have not yet received the details and not even the assurances we need from Kenya and, therefore, this is now a matter for our independent compliance process. The anti-doping agency also said it was “extremely troubled” by reports that two athletes of the country were asked to pay bribes in return for a reduction of their doping suspensions. The 400m runner Joy Sakari and the hurdler Francisca Koki Manunga recently alleged that  Isaac Mwangi, Athletics Kenya chief, asked for a $24,000 payment in return for a reduction of their bans of four years but they could not raise the money.

WADA director general, David Howman, said the World Anti-Doping Agency is the most disturbed by these reports regarding extortion and bribery at the national level of sport, eerily similar sounding to what we learned through the recent independent commission investigation into widespread doping in international athletics. Howman added WADA will of course require more detailed information on these allegations from those concerned so that we can determine if this is a matter for us to investigate or for the International Association of Athletics Federations’ ethics commission as part of its own inquiries. The director general of WADA also remarked the allegations we have heard this week also illustrate the importance of having a robust, independent national anti-doping organization fully functional in Kenya at the earliest opportunity. Howman also said this is a vital step for a country of Kenya’s sporting stature to take if it is to effectively protect clean athletes.

There is however still a possibility that the country could get another deadline and a final opportunity to honor commitments that Kenya made to the anti-doping agency in the context of its anti-doping program. WADA is expecting a decision over the status of Kenya in a few weeks.

The African nation is presently investigated for failure of the Kenyan government to establish and fund a national anti-doping agency and its failure to finalize new anti-doping legislation. The East African country may escape punishment on its athletes from competing internationally but this would be a major embarrassment for Kenya that has been facing severe scrutiny for its doping record.

About 40 athletes of Kenya have failed anti-doping tests since failures of anti-doping program of the country were highlighted in 2012. Some big Kenyan track and field officials have been accused of cover-ups and corruption related to doping cases.

The Russian Athletics Federation was recently suspended from international athletics after it was found guilty of state-sponsored doping. In the case of Kenya, the intervention of WADA is about forcing the Kenyan government to offer the £3.5m needed to fund and staff the fledgling Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya.

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