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Saturday 25, Jul 2015

  UFC Vice President Defends IV Ban

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Jeff Novitzky, UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, has remarked the upcoming ban on IV usage for post-weigh-in rehydration is an important aspect of what he considers is the strongest anti-doping program in professional sports. Novitzky added he hopes to help athletes contend with the new policy by providing alternatives to IV-based rehydration.

Recently, USADA CEO Travis Tygart disclosed that fighters using IV bags filled with saline solution to rehydrate would find themselves in violation of the new drug testing policy of the UFC. IV-rehydration is a common practice among MMA fighters and a big majority of fighters cut extreme amounts of weight in the day before their pre-fight weigh-ins and then try to gain that weight back as quickly as possible through good-old fashioned drinking and IVs.

At a moderated Q&A session at the UFC’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas, Novitzky said the upcoming ban on IV usage is definitely a hot-button issue and the UFC is going out and educating its fighters. Novitzky, who is best known as the BALCO investigator and agent for the Food and Drug Administration investigating the use of steroids in professional sports, remarked this policy follows rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency and their list of prohibited substances and prohibited methods, and the World Anti-Doping Code prohibits the use of IV transfusions in excess of 50 m/L. The UFC Vice President also commented that there is historical evidence that athletes have used Intravenous (IV) in those amounts in an attempt to defeat drug tests.

The former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigator came to national prominence through his critical role in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) doping scandal that rocked Major League Baseball. Novitzky was appointed as the UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance in April this year. On July 1, the UFC launched its revamped anti-doping policy and Novitzky remarked he assisted in developing the guidelines for the program based on his learned lessons through extensive interaction with athletes in other sports, including past doping cheats who discussed their motivation for using performance enhancing drugs.

Novitzky also remarked they did not trust that their sports league cared enough about it as the system was not strong enough. He also commented they also did not have any trust their opponent or their teammate wasn’t using, who they were competing with for contracts and money.

This announcement was not appreciated by many MMA fighters, including featherweight champion Jose Aldo who said he will ignore the decision and use intravenous injections to recover following weigh-ins. Former two-division UFC champion B.J. Penn (16-10-2 MMA, 12-9-2 UFC), who was notorious for his willingness to fight at any weight throughout his career, was on the other side and said he welcomes the IV ban. Penn labeled athletes that complain about the ban as “wimps.” The ex-two-division UFC champion was recently inducted into the “modern era” branch of the UFC Hall of Fame prior to UFC 189 as part of the UFC International Fight Week festivities in Las Vegas.

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Saturday 24, Aug 2013

  Alex Rodriguez Came To Conte For Legal Supplements

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Alex Rodriguez Came To Conte For Legal Supplements

BALCO founder Victor Conte has told the New York Daily News that he met in 2012 with New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez about legal performance enhancement.

The Daily News revealed that A-Rod made an attempt to get ex-NFL player Bill Romanowski to arrange a meeting with the BALCO founder in Los Angeles or New York. Initially, Conte declined but Rodriguez and Romanowski showed up uninvited at Conte’s office in San Marcos, California, in May 2012. The newspaper quotes Conte as saying he flushed it out with Romanowski before they ever showed up at the office and he clearly told Romanowski it (anything he could do for Rodriguez) was about legal performance enhancement.

Conte disclosed he met with MLB’s department of investigations for two hours some weeks ago. In the past, the company owned by Conte, Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative was accused of supplying a number of world-class athletes with performance enhancing drugs and Conte was sent to prison in 2005 for his role in the scandal. Victor Conte now runs Scientific Nutrition for Advance Conditioning, a legal sports supplement company, with his daughter, Veronica Conte.

Conte said he was eager to meet with Major League Baseball officials because he wanted to answer their questions about Alex Rodriguez. The BALCO founder remarked he also wanted to give his input and have them take it back to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. He went on to remark that he was keen to shares his ideas about improving the drug program of MLB and was waiting for this opportunity for a long time.

Alex Rodriguez, the American baseball third baseman for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB), is the youngest player ever to hit 500 home runs. He recently received a suspension of 211 games for his ties with Biogenesis, a Miami anti-aging clinic run by Anthony Bosch. Conte remarked A-Rod referred to Bosch as “his nutrition guy.”

In another development, the New York Yankees has hand-delivered a letter to A-Rod written by general manager Brian Cashman. The letter reprimanded Rodriguez for his recent actions surrounding his rehab assignment, including seeking a second medical opinion with Dr. Michael Gross without giving a prior notice to the team. It also reprimanded Rodriguez for his failure to show up to a July 12 game after meeting with MLB officials regarding the Biogenesis investigation. The team has also fined him $153,846, equivalent to one day’s pay under Rodriguez’s contract, which calls for him to earn $28 million for 2013.

The team also fined Francisco Cervelli for his failure to appear for treatment for his injured hand and elbow. He was fined $2,831, a day’s pay out of the $515,350 he currently makes. The baseball slugger remarked he felt “too stressed out” to report to the facility of Yankees in Tampa after he learned of his suspension. The Italo-Venezuelan professional baseball player accepted 50-game suspensions from MLB after his name emerged among those discovered in the records of Biogenesis when the list was published by the Miami New Times.

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Tuesday 26, Feb 2013

  Donaire And Rigondeaux Agree To Let VADA And USADA Test For PEDs

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Donaire And Rigondeaux Agree To Let VADA And USADA Test For PEDs

At the start of the press conference at B.B. King Blues Club at Times Square on Thursday, Junior featherweight boxers Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux agreed to have two separate anti-doping agencies conduct drug testing, leading up to their April 13 bout at Radio City Music Hall.

Donaire, the 2012 Fighter of the Year, said he would not fight Rigondeaux unless he agreed to sign a contract with VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) to submit to testing for performance enhancing drugs. Rigondeaux and his representatives, on the other hand, said they would agree to testing, but only with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). However, both sides agreed to have both agencies (USADA and VADA) conduct test, with the results being forwarded to the boxers, the promoters, and the New York State Athletic Commission.

Melvina Lathan, the chairwoman of the NYSAC, said she is one the board with whatever contractual obligations both Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux agree upon with regards to drug testing and added that we have our own testing procedures pre-and-post fight and we also have the finest medical team in the country. She went on to add that there would be no problem pulling the plug on the match, if either boxer tests positive.

Boris Arencibia of Caribe Promotions, Rigondeaux’s promoter, said he has no problem with drug testing but he does not trust Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency as it has links to Victor Conte, the former head of BALCO. Meanwhile, Pedro Diaz, Rigondeaux’s trainer, said he respects the USADA and said the anti-doping agency conducts testing for Olympic athletes in the United States and it is also the testing agency that the best boxers in the sport, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto, uses. Diaz added that it is why we proposed to Nonito and his team that we can have USADA be a part of this testing.

However, this seems unlikely as it is still not clear if USADA and VADA would agree to such an arrangement. The announcement comes as news to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and a USADA spokeswoman said this is the first we ever heard about it. Irrespective of that, the commission would have the authority to cancel the fight if either boxer tests positive for banned substances if any of the agency alerts the New York State Athletic Commission of a positive result.

A few weeks back, Erik Morales and Danny Garcia agreed to be tested by USADA prior to their match at Barclays Center and Morales tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance. After this, the New York State Athletic Commission was notified of the positive result 24 hours in advance of the fight, but Morales and Garcia went ahead with their bout anyway. The two fighters agreed to have any adjudication process go through USADA by signing a contract with it. Morales and Garcia were still eligible to compete and the NYSAC allowed the fight to proceed as the legal process had not been completed by the time of their match. Thereafter, the United States Anti-Doping Agency wrote a letter to Morales and indicated that he will be banned for a period of two years if he does not contest the sanction.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Donaire And Rigondeaux Agree To Let VADA And USADA Test For PEDs

Wednesday 30, Jan 2013

  Latest Doping Scandal May Spell End For Alex Rodriguez

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Latest Doping Scandal May Spell End For Alex Rodriguez

A South Florida-based alternative weekly has linked many players to a clinic in Miami that is shown to have distributed performance enhancing drugs like human growth hormone, synthetic testosterone, and other substances banned by baseball.

The biggest name involved is Alex Rodriguez and other players named included Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, and San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal. Other baseball players who appeared in the records include Washington pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who finished third in last year’s NL Cy Young Award voting, besides pro tennis player Wayne Odesnik, and budding Cuban superstar boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa along with UM baseball conditioning guru Jimmy Goins, according to the newspaper.

A disgruntled employee of a Miami-based clinic called Biogenesis gave documents to the Miami New Times that are being evaluated by the New York Yankees. The documents purported to show that A-Rod paid for testosterone cream, human growth hormone, and IGF-1, as recently as last spring. Rodriguez, in the past, said that he stopped making use of performance enhancing drugs after 2003 and issued a statement disavowing any relationship with the man in charge of the clinic, Anthony Bosch. Other players listed in the report like Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez also issued denials.

A release issued by Major League Baseball disclosed that three of the players including Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera who were linked to the clinic had in fact been suspended by baseball. Cabrera was signed a $18-million (U.S.) free-agent contract for two years with Toronto this winter after he was suspended for 50 games and missed out on the San Francisco Giants’ 2012 World Series run because of a failed drug test indicating elevated testosterone levels.

The name of Cabrera among the list of players supposedly serviced by Bosch and Biogenesis shocked Blue Jays fans and notes given to the New Times referring to Cabrera are dated December 21, 2011 and include a hand-written note from Bosch expressing anger at the baseball star for $9,000 Bosch says he is owed. The paper cites Bosch as complaining that he put his business and all his doctors at risk by fabricating patient charts and phony prescriptions to help him.

But the entire focus in on Alex Rodriguez and many believe this may be his BALCO scandal. With the baseball icon not liked anymore by the Yankees fans, there seems to be no respite for A-Rod as no one would care if he never returns to the game. The baseball’s highest-paid star and the three-time AL MVP refuted claims that he purchased human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Cables, Fla., near the off-season home of A-Rod while the alternative weekly newspaper said it obtained records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, and 2011 AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz of Texas.

Bosch’s lawyer, Susy Ribero-Ayala, said in a statement that Mr. Bosch vehemently denies the assertions that MLB players such as Alex Rodriguez and Gio Gonzalez were treated by or associated with him and the New Times report “is filled with inaccuracies, innuendo and misstatements of fact.”

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Latest Doping Scandal May Spell End For Alex Rodriguez

Friday 21, Dec 2012

  Armstrong Contrition Doubted By Steroid Supplier

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Armstrong Contrition Doubted By Steroid Supplier

Founder of sports nutrition center BALCO, Victor Conte, says he believes Lance Armstrong will not own up to his involvement in the operation that helped him stayed at the top of cycling and win seven Tour de France yellow jerseys.

Conte, who served time in prison in 2005 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids to Dwain Chambers and Marion Jones and money laundering, said it is time the cyclist admits his own guilt after his elaborate blood doping operation was uncovered. Conte who is known for having provided performance enhancing drugs to Olympian Marion Jones and sprinter Tim Montgomery, and some baseball and football players and boxer Shane Mosley now espouses clean performance and serious drug testing for the athletes he works with, including boxer Nonito Donaire. He remarked that Armstrong certainly didn’t invent the drug culture that exists at the elite level of sport but he could be the very best to ever play the cat and mouse game of doping. Conte further added that the cyclist is simply one of many athletes involved in the drug culture that has existed for over five decades in Olympic and professional sport.

The 41-year-old Texan rider was accused by the United States Anti-Doping Agency of using and encouraging the use of performance enhancing drugs like EPO and steroids to win titles. Many of the former teammates including Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis accused Armstrong of spearheading the doping program that saw the US Postal Service team get to the top of all.

For Lance Armstrong, glory and fortune came real fast after he won first yellow jersey in 1999. His superhuman accomplishments and the fight against cancer made him a hero for millions of people worldwide. His dizzying ascent to the top of the sport with cheating at every step of the way was unknown to the world at first and Armstrong and his teammates were able to attract legions of money and fans while everyone who opposed his “doping” ways was bullied and those who questions his ways were chastised.

Lance Armstrong showed once again the perils of hero worship to the world and why one is only as good as his or her worst moment. The cyclist who was seen as a hero and stopped at nothing to stay at the top of the podium has fallen down. The man who was a rising and an ambitious star on the American cycling team was actually never in the race even to compete with the top tier of cyclists on the steep mountains. His spectacular fall from grace has stunned one and all and the game of cycling can only go better from here. It could not be anything worse and a new start is all it needs to get things back on track and restore the confidence of the fans. The game and its anti-doping strategies badly need a revamp and it is time that the cyclist admits that what he did to get on the top of cycling records was not right.

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Friday 03, Aug 2012

  Olympic Doping Goes On, Says Conte

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@VictorConte, the founder and president of Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative or BALCO, who served prison term in 2005 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and money laundering, has recently said that doping in Olympics is still going on.

Victor Conte was the man behind BALCO that supplied performance enhancing drugs to athletes until a federal investigation in 2003. The man behind the infamous BALCO steroids scandal is swearing these days to keep performance enhancing drugs out of sports. BALCO was accused by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of developing the banned steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) and Conte implicated five-time Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Kelli White, Dwain Chambers, and NFL player Bill Romanowski.

Conte recently remarked that the Olympics anti-drug system is seriously flawed and many athletes are still cheating as high-ranking officials have a vested interest in not cleaning up the Olympics.

When asked about the kind of cheating that goes on now in Olympic sports, Victor Conte said athletes are not making the use of designer steroids these days but using fast-acting testosterone. During Helwani’s MMA Hour, Conte said testosterone derivatives or a modified testosterone molecule always show on mass-spectrometry tests and this is the reason why athletes are moving towards pure testosterone. He also said testing has taken away designer steroids and so many athletes are doing testosterone replacement therapy, which has left a huge loophole involving micro-dosing of testosterone.

 Exclusive Interview / BALCO’s Victor Conte on VADA, nutrition and drug testing – Video

He added the reason why today’s women fail to come anywhere close to women’s sprint records from the ’70s and ’80s is because they are using lighter versions of performance enhancing drugs, which are less detectable and less effective. Conte added that many people in the anti-doping bureaucracy dismiss or ignore him as his advice would lead to more positive tests in the short term and this is reason why he is termed bad for business.

Conte recently suggested that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) should go through an independent agency such as the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) that can testify the entire roaster of Zuffa of nearly 400 professional fighters twice a year for somewhere between $1-1.5 million. He went on to suggest the possibility of carbon isotope ratio testing, abbreviated as CIR, which can distinguish synthetic testosterone in the urine.

The founder and president of BALCO added that testosterone replacement therapy is not bad and he has himself used testosterone treatments, beginning at age 46 and experienced a lot of benefits. TRT effectively allows athletes to use anabolic steroids as they want as long as they are within the normal testosterone range come fight time, a fact that was exposed by the case of Nate Marquardt last year.

Conte helped start the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, a new anti-doping agency for boxers and MMA fighters and is now attacking life with the energy and intensity of a revival preacher. He does not charge for his services and the list of his clients include mixed martial artist Cung Le, and Olympian Marlen Esparza (a U.S. boxer), and boxer Nonito Donaire. One of Conte’s clients, free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd, was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for tamoxifen, which is a drug used for breast cancer treatment. The 34-year-old Byrd has publicly acknowledged a post-BALCO working relationship with Victor Conte.

 

Victor Conte Indictment – US Government

 

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Olympic Doping Goes On, Says Conte

 

Wednesday 18, Jul 2012

  Barry Bonds And Steroids Use

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Barry Bonds has been regarded by many as one of the greatest sports icons. Though he bettered the record of Hank Aaron’s all-time Major League baseball record of 755 on August 7th, 2007 with ease, went on to become a legend, and will be spoken of for years to come, his link-ups to anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs have actually damaged the reputation of baseball like never before.

 The American former Major League Baseball outfielder was born on July 24, 1964 and played from 1986 to 2007, for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. Son of former major league All-Star Bobby Bonds, Barry Lamar Bonds debuted in the Major Leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 30, 1986 and joined the San Francisco Giants in 1993. Barry, a 14-time All-Star and 8-time Gold Glove-winner, made his last MLB appearance on September 26, 2007 for the San Francisco Giants.

Barry Bonds holds many Major League Baseball records that include the all-time Major League Baseball home run record with 762 and the single-season Major League record for home runs with 73 in the year 2001. He is the only player to hit at least 500 home runs (762) and stolen 500 bases (514) and one of the four all-time players (besides José Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano) to be in the 40-40 club, which means he hit 40 home runs (42) and stole 40 bases (40) in the same season (1996). In the year 2002, he became the oldest player at 38 years to win the National League batting title (.370) for the first time. He has also won eight Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence and earned seven National League Most Valuable Player awards, with Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990 and 1992, and with San Francisco Giants in 1993 and four years straight between 2001 and 2004.

Bonds was first associated with steroids and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) because of the BALCO scandal where he was charged with obstruction of justice and perjury while testifying in the BALCO affair. Court documents suggested that Barry Bonds took anabolics and it was further revealed that three types of performance enhancing substances were used by the baseball slugger. During a trial, trainer of Bonds since 2000, Greg Anderson of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) was accused of supplying steroids to a number of baseball players and it was contended in the leaked grand-jury testimony of Bonds that he used “the cream” and “the clear”. Bonds later said he used what he thought was a cream for easing muscle aches and flaxseed oil. According to records prosecutors took from BALCO, the baseball slugger tested positive on three separate occasions in 2000 and 2001 for the steroid Methenolone and also tested positive two of those three times for the steroid nandrolone.

A letter from baseball commissioner Bud Selig to Bonds also informed him about a positive test and suggested that he would be subjected to six more tests over a period of one year.

 In the book Game of Shadows, written by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada in March 2006, it was alleged that Barry Bonds made use of Stanozolol (Winstrol) and many other steroids. The authors said Bonds was making use of two designer steroids called the “cream” and the “clear” along with insulin, human growth hormone, testosterone decanoate, and trenbolone.  The cream is believed to be a testosterone-based substance reportedly given to Bonds by Victor Conte, founder of the Bay Area Lab Co-Operative (BALCO) while the clear is believed to be Norbolethone or THG that was used by many of the top Olympic sprinters like former 100-meter world record-holder Tim Montgomery.

Kimberly Bell, who says she dated Bonds for nine years, told the jury in the perjury trial of Bonds that Barry blamed a career-threatening elbow injury in 1999 on his steroid use. Kimberly said Bonds became increasingly angry and controlling and even underwent “changes sexually and in his testicles.”

 

All said and done, the contributions of Barry Bonds to baseball cannot be nullified unless the law of the land finds him guilty and till that time, it is best to stop accusing him any more. With 2,558 career walks and 688 career intentional walks and many more records at his side, his accomplishments are here to stay till charges are found correct.

Thursday 07, Jun 2012

  Big majority of sportsmen use PEDs

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Victor Conte, the man behind one of the biggest steroid abuse scandals in history of US sports, said recently that a majority of UFC fighters are using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

“Do I believe that 90%… are using some sort of performance enhancing drug in the UFC? I do,” said Conte. “But there are those that do not and I think that number’s going to grow over time. They realize that the testing is weak. The Nevada Commission’s testing is weak.”

“And listen, Dana White’s a very smart man. [NSAC executive director] Keith Kizer’s a very smart man, and he’s an attorney. But the logic for argument that they present in this particular situation just does not fly,” Conte told Ariel Helwani of MMA Hour.

Monday 02, Jan 2012

  Conte says MLB still failing test

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The Major League Baseball may have come to an agreement with its players to test their blood for human growth hormone but the game will be expected to come to grips with its present testing before it touts itself as the leader in new drug testing, said BALCO founder Victor Conte.

Conte further remarked that MLB should be using a more sophisticated form of detecting testosterone or its HGH testing would not really make a difference as players often make use of small amounts of testosterone in conjunction with HGH.

“If MLB were to implement CIR testing, I believe they would possibly catch a significant number of players using testosterone,” Conte says.

Thursday 15, Dec 2011

  Mexican fighter to fight doping claims

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On Wednesday, Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez defended himself as doping clouds arose after his strength coach was revealed to be among those involved in a major doping scandal that stung US athletics.

“Whatever doping they want to do – blood, Olympian – whatever they want to do, I’ll do it, as long as he does it too,” Marquez said through a translator.

“It’s a shame all the work I’ve done has been trashed by these guys, Conte and Ariza,” Marquez said.

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