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Thursday 09, Mar 2017

  Russia Doping Reforms Not Happening Quick, Says WADA Chief

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World Anti-Doping Agency director general Olivier Niggli has remarked that the anti-doping reforms of Russia are not happening quickly enough. Niggli said though the country is making changes but he is not pleased with the speed he would have liked to see.

Speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport conference, Niggli said it is too early to comment whether Russia will be allowed to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The World Anti-Doping Agency director general said we are working with them to see if things can be put into place and a credible system be reinstated in Russia in the coming months. Niggli added we will see where they are when we get closer to the Games and added they still have a number of months to do the right thing. The WADA director general commented the ball is in their camp and they know what they have to do.

Niggli also added the World Anti-Doping Agency is considering a complete ban on corticosteroids. Presently, athletes are allowed to make use of the anti-inflammatory medicines out of competition and can even take them in competition if they can prove a medical need, called a ‘therapeutic use exemption’ (TUE).

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently admitted to some shortcoming in the anti-doping system of the country. Putin however denied any state-sponsored program of systematic doping and cheating. The country claims to have implemented a series of changes to address the “roadmap” laid out by the World Anti-Doping Agency that will see it return to competition.

Last year, a WADA-commissioned McLaren report claimed that more than 1,000 Russians benefited from a state-sponsored doping program between 2011 and 2015. Several sports federations, including the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), have banned Russian athletes from international competition until the anti-doping efforts of the country have met requirements.

On the other hand, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opted not to enforce a total ban on Russia.

In another development, the World Anti-Doping Agency added caffeine to its Monitoring Program for 2017. The addition means experts would now study whether athletes are using the substance “with the intent of enhancing performance.”

Caffeine can enhance speed and stamina. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently limits the consumption of caffeine for college athletes to 15 micrograms per milliliter, or roughly six to eight cups of coffee ingested two to three hours before a competition.

A report published by the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association states caffeine consumed at very high levels – 6-9 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight – can cause gastrointestinal issues, nausea or shaking, as well as ‘overstimulation’ that can negatively impact training, sleep and performance.

Russian Federal Microbiological Agency chief Vladimir Uiba said Caffeine is currently on WADA’s waiting list of prohibited substances. Uiba added we will be forced to recommend everyone against drinking coffee as well as soft drinks containing caffeine if it eventually makes its way into the list of the prohibited substances. The Russian Federal Microbiological Agency chief added it can theoretically happen this year.

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Wednesday 28, Jan 2015

  Former Team Sky Doctor Given Life Ban

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The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has imposed life ban on former Rabobank cycling team doctor and board member Geert Leinders, according to an announcement by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD), and Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands (Doping autoriteit).

The Belgian physician was banned for his involvement in supply of performance enhancing drugs to riders. The investigation of Leinders started with the discovery of evidence by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in 2012 during the course of its investigation of doping in cycling.

A three-member panel of the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport made the decision to ban Leinders, according to USADA. The panel agreed with the charges that the charges that the alleged doping offenses involved aggravating circumstances to justify a lifetime period of ineligibility. It was found by the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel that the physician administered banned performance enhancing drugs and methods, including EPO, blood transfusion paraphernalia, testosterone, insulin, DHEA, LH, and corticosteroids without any legitimate medical need to athletes under his care.

In a statement, Travis T. Tygart, head of USADA, said it shocks the conscience that a board member and team doctor would abuse his trusted position by overseeing and participating in this type of dangerous and fraudulent activity. Tygart also added that ridding those in the system who attempt to justify doping as a means to an end is the only way to truly clean up cycling for current and future generations of athletes.

Leinders was the team doctor in 2007 with Rabobank when Michael Rasmussen was expelled from the Tour de France for evading doping controls in buildup to the race. In 2009, Geert Leinders left Rabobank and later worked for some riders from Team Sky.

Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD) director Lone Hansen said in a statement that Rasmussen cooperated and testified in the case. Hansen added athlete eyewitness testimony can play an important and powerful role in the investigative process, and in this case, Michael Rasmussen’s cooperation and testimony was integral to the outcome. The ADD Director added this case was an important opportunity for ADD to collaborate with our partners at USADA and Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands to pursue a level playing field in cycling, and we know that continued global collaboration is the only way to provide a level playing field for all athletes in all sports.

Herman Ram, Director of Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands, said this case demonstrates that intelligence gathering and investigations in close cooperation between independent anti-doping organizations can lead to the prosecution and sanctioning of not only athletes but also – and more importantly – of athlete support personnel. The Director of Anti-Doping Authority Netherlands also remarked we appreciate the collaborative work done on this case, and we will continue our efforts to bring to light the full truth about the culture of doping.

The physician is prohibited from training or advising athletes and participating at any event sanctioned by USA Cycling, the International Cycling Union, or any other sports agency that follows the World Anti-Doping Agency codes.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Former Team Sky Doctor Given Life Ban

Saturday 03, Nov 2012

  WADA Would Not Appeal Against Armstrong Verdict

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Wada would not appeal against armstrong verdict

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will not be appealing against the ban imposed on American cyclist Lance Armstrong, according to an announcement by the anti-doping agency.

Armstrong, the winner of seven Tour de France titles, was banned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testimony from former teammates, including Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Frankie Andreu, and Floyd Landis, who all were involved in what the USADA called the most sophisticated doping program ever seen in sport. The ex-teammates of the disgraced cyclist testified that Armstrong used and even encouraged the use and provided performance enhancing drugs and threatened cyclists in the team who didn’t doped of losing their place in the team.

The evidence against Armstrong showed prolonged use of a range of performance enhancing drugs including erythropoietin (EPO), blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids, human growth hormone, and masking agents, according to the USADA.

The 41-year-old Armstrong, a cancer survivor, has denied cheating and never failed a doping test but was stripped of all titles and given a lifetime ban after electing not to fight the charges made against him. The USADA banned Armstrong for life and stripped him of all his titles and results since August 1, 1998, a decision that was later ratified by the UCI, the governing body of cycling.

After the USADA sent the report to the the governing body of cycling, UCI, and World Anti-Doping Agency, they had the option of taking the matter to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) or ratify the sanctions imposed by USADA on the cyclist. The UCI said Lance had no place in cycling and annulled all his results besides banning him for life. Now, WADA that had the option to challenge the ruling made by USADA has joined USADA and UCI against the cyclist.

WADA President John Fahey said in a statement that the anti-doping agency has no concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence against Lance Armstrong. Fahey added that the Armstrong doping scandal has resulted in a proper and right sanction for the cyclist and has served as a revelation to the world of sport for which USADA must be applauded. WADA also called on the governing body of cycling to disclose details of its independent investigation that it vowed to undertake after widespread doping revelations. Fahey said the anti-doping agency has had no communication from the UCI with regard to the Armstrong-reasoned decision, the UCI management decisions, or their upcoming inquiry and added that WADA would like to make a contribution to the inquiry, if it is established and resourced beyond reproach. Fahey further added that this is not a situation wherein just because an athlete didn’t return a positive test there was nothing for the UCI could do.

After being exposed as a drug cheat, Lance Armstrong has been asked to pay back millions of dollars in prize money, threatened with lawsuits, dropped by sponsors, and stepped down as the chairman of his charity foundation, Livestrong. The International Olympic Committee is even considering taking back his 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: WADA Would Not Appeal Against Armstrong Verdict

Sunday 14, Oct 2012

  Investigators Claimed Lance Armstrong Was Doping Ringleader

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Investigators Claimed Lance Armstrong Was Doping Ringleader

If the claims made by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) are right, the seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong cheated his way to the top of the cycling world through an elaborate doping scheme that has never seen before in the sport.

The anti-doping agency claimed that doctors were paid off, competitors were warned about tests in advance while hotel rooms were transformed into blood banks as riders were given late-night transfusions. The agency revealed the findings of its investigation into Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team more than six weeks after it banned Armstrong for life and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles. The anti-doping agency also claimed that financial payments, emails, and laboratory test results prove the use of performance enhancing drugs by the cyclist and the USPS team and Armstrong was not only a willing participant but the ringleader ordering teammates to cheat.

The agency released a 200-page summary of the dossier it had sent to UCI, the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, and the World Triathlon Corporation, or WTC. The USADA report included testimony that the cyclist and his team made use of a wide range of performance enhancing drugs such as erythropoietin (EPO), blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids, human growth hormone, and masking agents. Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Christian van de Velde, Tom Danielson, David Zabreskie, and George Hincapie were identified among former Armstrong teammates who testified against him. Armstrong was accused of trafficking drugs and encouraging teammates to use drugs and conspiring with team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctor Pedro Celaya, doctor Luis del Moral, doctor Michele Ferrari, and trainer Jose Pepe Marti.

The lawyer of Lance Armstrong called the investigation a “hatchet job” and “witch hunt.” Armstrong has always vehemently denied cheating and has never failed a doping test but decided not to fight the charges made by the USADA. He was thereafter banned for life and stripped of all his titles, including his seven Tour de France titles.

The most surprising witness against the cyclist was George Hincapie, who rode alongside Armstrong when he won each of his Tour de France titles and was one of his most loyal and trusted friends. Hincapie recently admitted that he cheated and used performance enhancing drugs during his association with Armstrong.

The dossier of USADA was the most comprehensive report detailing his alleged transgressions and the agency remarked that it had offered undeniable proof Armstrong was the center of a sophisticated doping program. The report said the goal of Lance Armstrong led him to depend on EPO, testosterone, and blood transfusions and to expect and require that his teammates would likewise use drugs to support his goals. It added that the cyclist not just used, but also supplied performance enhancing drugs to his teammates.

Armstrong’s lawyers condemned the investigation as an inquisition based on unreliable accusations and sloppy procedures. Sean Breen, one of Armstrong’s lawyers, said the agency has continued its government-funded witch hunt of only Armstrong in violation of its own rules and due process and has no jurisdiction and the witch hunt is in blatant violation of the statute of limitations.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Investigators Claimed Lance Armstrong Was Doping Ringleader

Saturday 13, Oct 2012

  Bradley Wiggins Shocked At Evidence Against Armstrong

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Bradley Wiggins Shocked At Evidence Against Armstrong

Tour de France 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins recently said he is shocked to learn the scale of evidence against the disgraced seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong. Armstrong was labelled a serial drug cheat by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Wiggins, who became Britain’s first Tour de France winner, clinched a gold medal in the road time trial at the London Olympics, and led Team GB to eight gold medals in the London Olympics and the Beijing Games, insisted he was already suspicious about Armstrong, who maintains his innocence, after persistent rumors of drug use. Wiggins added that the deluge of evidence against the American still came as a surprise to him and said it is certainly not a one-sided hatchet job. The Briton said he has no sympathy for Lance Armstrong and said he is frustrated that the behavior of the American cyclist remains the main talking point in cycling at the end of his memorable year.

The concerns of Wiggins were supported by British Cycling head Dave Brailsford who said the emergence of Armstrong as a confirmed drug cheat may lead the general public and fans to the achievements of riders such as Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy.

One of the teammates who testified against Armstrong was Michael Barry, who admitted to doping while a member of Armstrong’s US Postal Service team. Some other teammates of Armstrong who have accused him of using performance enhancing drugs include Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Christian van de Velde, Tom Danielson, David Zabreskie, and George Hincapie. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has accused Armstrong and his USPS team of using a range of performance enhancing drugs such as erythropoietin (EPO), blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids, human growth hormone, and masking agents. The cyclist was even accused of encouraging teammates to use drugs and conspiring with team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctor Pedro Celaya, doctor Luis del Moral, doctor Michele Ferrari, and trainer Jose Pepe Marti.

The anti-doping agency said Armstrong was the ringleader of the most sophisticated doping conspiracy in sporting history and charged him with six offenses covering the use of banned substances, the trafficking of drugs, the administration of drugs to teammates and supporting and abetting a massive cover-up between 1998 and 2005. A total of 26 witnesses including 11 fellow riders from the United States Postal Service team testified against Armstrong in a doping case the USADA described as “more extensive than any previously revealed in professional sports history”. The agency said the USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed for grooming and pressuring athletes to make use of dangerous drugs, evade detection, ensure secrecy, and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices. The dossier by USADA has been sent to the International Cycling Union which now has 21 days to challenge its findings and appeal to the World Anti-Doping Agency or comply with its decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong himself remained defiant after release of the USADA report, tweeting that he was “hanging with family”.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Bradley Wiggins Shocked At Evidence Against Armstrong

Wednesday 18, Jan 2012

  Steroids may be useful if given early in ARDS

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The jury is still out on whether patients with acute lung injury and adult respiratory distress syndrome derive any benefit from the use of corticosteroids, according to Dr. Stephen M. Pastores.

“This is probably the most controversial topic in acute lung injury and ARDS,” Dr. Pastores of the department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, said at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

“An important piece of this study was that [the researchers] did regular infection surveillance with regular bronchoscopies, and they avoided the use of neuromuscular blockers,” said Dr. Pastores, who is also professor of medicine and anesthesiology at Cornell University in New York.

Saturday 31, Dec 2011

  Diabetes risk increase with inhaled steroids

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Inhaling corticosteroids can elevate chances of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to investigators from the Jewish General Hospital’s Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI) in Montreal.

The investigators’ findings suggested that asthmatics and those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) taking corticosteroids may be at a considerable risk.

The study was published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Monday 26, Dec 2011

  Steroids may help in treatment of corneal ulcers

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Corticosteroids showed a neutral response to eye ulcers when considered cumulatively, according to a team from the University of California.

The steroids are believed to aid patients who were infected with more severe kinds of bacterial corneal ulcers.

The findings are published in the journal, Archives of Ophthalmology.

Thursday 22, Dec 2011

  Topical steroids of no use for eye ulcers

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According to the results of a randomized trial, bacterial corneal ulcers responded no better to adjunctive topical steroids than to placebo.

“A larger study examining only severe corneal ulcers is needed to confirm this supposition,” Nisha R. Acharya, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and co-authors wrote. “To our knowledge, this is the first large randomized controlled trial to provide evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of the use of corticosteroids in the treatment of bacterial corneal ulcers.”

The study was supported by the National Eye Institute and Alcon/Novartis provided the moxifloxacin used in the study.

Monday 05, Dec 2011

  Steroids Could Help Heal Some Corneal Ulcers

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A UCSF study has given hope to those suffering from severe cases of bacterial corneal ulcers that can result in blindness, if left untreated.

During the study, the use of topical corticosteroids in a randomized controlled trial was found to be neither beneficial nor harmful in the overall patient population.

“It’s important to note that in the worst ulcer group, not only do we not find a safety problem, we actually found that steroids resulted in a benefit in vision,” Acharya said.

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