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Friday 19, Jun 2015

  Mo Farah Missed Doping Tests In 2012

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The Daily Mail has reported that double Olympic champion Mo Farah from Britain missed two drug tests in the run-up to the 2012 London Games. This development came at an awkward time for Farah following doping allegations against his coach, Alberto Salazar.

This month, Salazar was accused of administering Testosterone to Galen Rupp, Farah’s American training partner. Both Rupp and Salazar have denied the allegations and Farah has not been accused of doing anything illegal. The Mail however reported that Farah, the London Olympics 5,000 and 10,000 meters champion, had put his participation at the 2012 Games in jeopardy after he missed out on two tests around the time he started training under Salazar in February 2011. According to the rules of UK Anti-Doping, an athlete who misses three tests in any 12-month period can face a ban of up to four years.

The Daily Mail reported the first missed test of Farah appears to have occurred in early 2010, several months before he joined up with Alberto Salazar. The first missed test was many months before he broke David Moorcroft’s 28-year-old British 5,000m record and went on to became the first Briton to break the 13-minute barrier.

However, the second missed test is believed to have been scheduled after Mo Farah started working with Salazar. The British newspaper added that Alberto had warned Farah on May that year that they will hang you if you miss another test. Farah missed the second out-of-competition test in 2011, according to the Mail that added he appealed to the UK Anti-Doping Agency claiming he did not hear the doorbell at his Teddington home in Greater London. It was further disclosed by the newspaper that his agent, Ricky Simms, as part of his appeal, submitted video evidence filmed in the house of Mo Farah in which he tried to suggest that it was difficult to hear the doorbell from his client’s bedroom.

In 2006, Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu was suspended for 12 months after he missed three tests. The Commonwealth Games 400 meters champion was the subject of an inquiry by UK Athletics and claimed she had missed the tests because of “changes in my training schedule”.

Farah is expected to compete in next week’s Diamond League meeting in Monaco and then he will compete in the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in London. The British long-distance and middle-distance runner is the current Olympic, World and European champion in the 5000 meters to 10,000 meters. Farah made his marathon debut in 2014 in London and set a new English record of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 21 seconds. In 2011, Mo Farah was voted European Athlete of the Year and won the prize again in 2012. The five global titles of Farah are two more than any other British athlete. Farah won the British Athletics Writers Association British Athlete of the Year award for the fifth time in 2013 and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honors for services to athletics.

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Wednesday 26, Mar 2014

  Athletics Australia President Slams Uneven Treatment

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Athletics Australia President Slams Uneven Treatment

The President of Athletics Australia has questioned the concept of different punishments within the world sport for failure to be present for doping tests. David Grace made this remark after it was announced that Anthony Alozie, a member of the Australian men’s sprint relay squad, has incurred a sanction for 20 months for missing a drug test and breaching the “whereabouts” rule.

Alozie, the 27-year-old Nigerian-born sprinter, participated at the 2011 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu. Alozie competed with Matt Davies, who was banned for a period of two years in December after he tested positive for a banned stimulant, and Josh Ross, recently lost a challenge in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Alozie, Davies, and Ross raced in the same team at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

Athletics Australia confirmed that the 27-year-old Alozie received an infraction notice by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority for two failures over the filing of his whereabouts while the other breach was for missing a drug test. Grace remarked that negligence or carelessness is not the same as being a drug cheat. Last year, Australian Football League side Western Bulldogs received a small fine after it failed to properly lodge whereabouts documents for their players while no individual player was banned.

Athletics Australia President said this case again highlights the uneven treatment under the AFL drug code and what allowed the Western Bulldogs to be fined rather than players being suspended and added we could not waive the requirements even if we wanted to and it is our obligation under the ASADA that our athletes are compliant and we have no leeway. Grace also remarked they have been drug tested umpteen times each one of them, but in between each one of those tests they have missed a drug test or missed a whereabouts listing and added there is nothing to suggest that Ross, the third-fastest Australian on record with a 100 meters best of 10.08sec, or Alozie are drug cheats.

Under present rules, athletes are required to advise their National Federations of one hour every day they will be in a specific location so they can be tested. An athlete, failing to lodge his or her whereabouts properly or missing at the specific location, constitutes a breach and three whereabouts breaches or missed drug tests in a period of 18 months are treated the same as having returned a positive result, which means that the athlete can be banned for a period between 12 months and two years.

In one of the high-profile cases, Britain’s 400m runner Christine Ohuruogu in 2006 was suspended for failing to be present for doping testers on three occasions but returned the next year in Osaka to win the first of her two world titles.

Last year, Jarrod Bannister was banned for missed drug tests. The javelin thrower missed three drug tests, despite one of the three missed tests occurring when the hotel Bannister was staying in under an Athletics Australia group booking did not know the athlete was still staying there.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Athletics Australia President Slams Uneven Treatment

Friday 22, Aug 2008

  Ohuruogu’s Olympic gold tarnished by missed steroid tests

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Christine Ohuruogu SteroidsBritish printer Christine Ijeoma Ohuruogu should have been touted as heroine back in her homeland, but that is not the case. Her triumphs in the track are overshadowed by her three – yes, not one but three – missed doping tests.

Her missed doping tests calls for the question: Did she win the Olympic gold through legitimate means?

Ohuruogu, who specializes in the 400 meters, is currently the most successful and probably the most notorious track athlete in Great Britain today. She currently holds the Commonwealth, World and Olympic titles in said event. That’s some accomplishment for a girl of 24 years, yet the Britons are having second thoughts of raining praises on Ohuruogu. Many ask: Does she deserve to be the poster girl for the 2012 Summer Games London.

Based on the accounts of several newspapers in her homeland the answer to that big Q could be a big NO. One British newspaper has the headline “New golden girl Christine Ohuruogu will be forever tarnished”, which sort of sums up the public’s image of the track champ.

Ohuruogu beat the favorite Sanya Richards of the USA with her time of 49.62 making the Nigerian-born Ohuruogo as the first British woman to top the event and only the fourth to earn a gold medal on the track. But, still there are the three missed doping tests.  The Times provides details of those missed tests.

Ohuruogu missed three random drug tests between October 2005 and July 2006. Athletes have to say where they will be for an hour every day for five days a week; a UK Sport tester can then turn up at the allotted place unannounced.

After the third missed test, Ohuruogu received a one-year ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations, athletics’ governing body, and had her British Sport Lottery funding stopped. She took her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but it upheld the ban while stating that there had been “no suggestion that she is guilty of taking drugs” and that “this case can be viewed in all the circumstances as a busy young athlete being forgetful”.

Ohuruogu was also banned for life from the Olympics because of a British Olympic Association bylaw barring anyone with a doping conviction from representing Britain. Ohuruogu completed her one-year exile only three weeks before the World Championships in Japan last year, where she made a remarkable comeback by winning the 400 metres. She then overturned her BOA ban on appeal. The independent Sports Dispute Resolutions Panel agreed that there had been significant mitigating circumstances.

Her reason for missing the second test was that she was at home finishing an article for a charity newspaper when she should have been at Northwick Park, North London. Ohuruogo said she spoke to the tester, who told her she was allowed to wait for only an hour, when it would have taken the athlete 90 minutes to make the trip.

The final straw came when she was not at the Mile End stadium when a tester turned up. “We went to train at Mile End but there was a school sports day so we made a last-minute change and went to Crystal Palace,” she said.

The article continues that it remains to be seen whether Ohuruogu will be honored the way past female track champions were recognized – Ann Packer is an MBE, Sally Gunnell an OBE and Kelly Homes is a Dame.

If you asked us, we think she deserves some kind of recognition from the British Empire. If Elton John was knighted by singing “candle in the wind” then, certainly, Ohuruogu merits a “Dame” before her name.

Thursday 21, Aug 2008

  Christine Ohuruogu is now track’s golden girl despite missed steroid tests

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Christine Ohuruogu SteroidsYou’ve got to give to it to Christine Ohuruogu. This 24-year-old Brit girl is so good in running – running on the track and running from doping-steroid tests.

Despite being banned for one year, Ohuruogu stood on the podium on Tuesday, basking in Olympic glory after finishing the 400-meter event at 49.62 seconds. Stunning is what many described the race, in which Shericka Williams of Jamaica took the silver while Sanya Richards of the United States, the event’s favorite, earned the bronze medal.

FYI, Ohuruogu missed three doping (steroid) tests in the period between October 2005 and July 2006 and because of those infringements she was served one-year ban lasting until August last year. After a mere three weeks after serving her ban, she won her world title in Osaka, Japan.

Subsequent to her third missed test, she received the ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations. Ohuruogu attempted to overturn the ban by taking her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. CAS upheld the decision of the IAAF.  CAS, however, stated that “no suggestion that she is guilty of taking drugs” and that “this case can be viewed in all the circumstances as a busy young athlete being forgetful”.

The Nigerian-born Ohuruogu also received a lifetime ban from the Olympics because of a British Olympic Association bylaw barring anyone with a doping conviction from representing Britain. She was able to challenge and won the BOA ban on appeal as the independent Sports Dispute Resolutions Panel agreed that there had been “significant mitigating circumstances.”
We thought that being ‘forgetful’ is a lame excuse for going around dope tests, but it seems it’s considered as a valid reason. Other athletes, we’re sure, we’ll be a tad forgetful during screening time.

As for her recent victory in Beijing, Ohuruogo says: “I am just so proud of myself. I know I am the type of athlete who rises to the big occasion.”

The AFP describes Ohurougu’s winning moment and the dejection of those who aspired for the gold and lost it to the controversial Briton. The drama unfolds in Beijing:

Ohuruogu … looked out of it rounding the bend and with 100 metres to go.

(Sanya) Richards, who had said last week that she thought the Briton was fortunate to be competing here, looked at that point set fair for the gold she believed was her due after a miserable year suffering from a rare illness in 2007 as she had a clear lead.

However, down the straight the Jamaican-born naturalised American started to tie up and Ohuruogu’s more measured and controlled race paid off as she passed two Russians and then the final prize of 23-year-old Richards.

Ohuruogu crossed the line just ahead of the fast-finishing Williams, who had passed a tiring Richards.

Ohuruogu could scarcely believe what she had achieved, sinking to her knees and then lying on her back.

Richards, who as a result of Behcet’s disease suffered such bad mouth ulcers that she could not eat or talk and dreadful lesions on her legs, cut a dejected figure.

“I’m not well. I just worked so hard for this.

“This is so devastating for me. I was in control coming round the curve and then my right hamstring cramped on me.

“It went with 70 metres to go. I feel so betrayed by my body again.

“It’s such a tough break.”

Wednesday 06, Aug 2008

  Steroid-free Olympics? An oxymoron, if you asked us

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steroids-2008olympicsWith the recent upsurge of steroid-related news making it to the mainstream media, it is now obvious how the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids has become prevalent in the world of competitive sports.

Despite the much publicized crackdown of China on steroids and performance-enhancing drugs recently, don’t expect a chemical-free Olympic Games.

And don’t let John Fahey and WADA assure you that this will be the cleanest Olympics ever, because it would not be so. To say that winners of events that require strength, endurance, and speed are steroid-free is to say that China is a totally democratic country.

And the more juiced-up athletes are caught, the more the public would think that winners are likely fueled by PEDs.

Well, we’re putting it rather mildly here.

Here’s a sterner view on China and the Olympics from Mail Online:

No one with a grain of intelligence will question that such diverse sports as cycling, in which Britain anticipates a medal haul, and weightlifting are rife with steroids.

It requires a leap of faith – of which not even the amazing Hildreth would be capable – to predict that the Beijing Games will not be blighted by drugs.

Even if that were to happen, the only rational conclusion would be that the organisers had cooked the tests to avoid killing the Peking duck. Catch 22 for the IOC is that the more cheats they reel in, the more doubting the world’s population becomes.

Even athletes who deny all guilt are acutely aware of the implications.

Top sprinters Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt acknowledge that whichever of them wins Saturday week’s 100m dash to be crowned fastest man on earth will be the subject of suspicion.

Our unlikely world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu and triathlete Tim Don – both of whom managed to overturn their British Olympic Association life bans for missing three drugs tests – complain that no matter what they achieve in the next two-and-a-half weeks they will still be stigmatised. Too right they will.

Public perception of the Olympics will not be improved by the number of convicted drugs cheats coming back from suspension around the world to compete in these Games. Beijing has more problems than termites in rotting wood . . . air pollution, Tibet, human rights, Darfur, media freedom, dog-meat on restaurant menus and typhoons threatening the sailing events, to name but a few.