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Sunday 31, Jul 2016

  Russia Never Engaged In State-Backed Doping, Says New Russian Anti-Doping Chief

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Vitaly Smirnov, member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and chief of Russia’s newly-created doping watchdog, has rejected allegations of Russia having a doping program at the state level.

Smirnov also vowed to create a totally transparent anti-doping mechanism and remarked Russia is determined to achieve an absolutely transparent doping control system but expects the same from other countries as well. The chief of Russia’s newly-created doping watchdog said our task is to create an absolutely transparent system and we are ready to invite any experts but we expect the same system to be formed everywhere. Smirnov also commented that Russian anti-doping policies should be handed over to the Health Ministry and it would not ask the government for money, in order to ensure its independence. Smirnov also said we are counting on the necessary and modest subsidies from the Olympic committee.

The new Russian anti-doping commission head previously served as the minister of sport of the Russian Federation from 1981 to 1990 and was a full member of the IOC from 1971 to 2015.

Smirnov went on to remark he would meet Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren (at the Rio Games) who recently submitted report that the Russian Sports Ministry actively participated in swapping samples at its laboratories in Moscow and Sochi. In the McLaren report, it was also claimed that Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia was involved in the alleged doping and cover-up scheme.

Russian Olympic Committee President Aleksandr Zhukov announced the creation of a public anti-doping commission headed by Smirnov the day the International Olympic Committee decided to allow Russian athletes to compete at the Rio Games and left the decision to ban Russian athletes to individual federations. While creating the commission, Zhukov welcomed the IOC’s decision not to impose a blanket ban forbidding all of Russia’s athletes from competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The Russian Olympic Committee President commented the IOC decision was rather a balanced decision and said the Executive Board of International Olympic Committee decided that clean Russian athletes should be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games but added a number of steps must be queued out and a number of requirements must be met.

Zhukov also said these are at the same time very serious requirements and conditions regarding athletes from Russia. The ROC President said athletes from other countries with a doping record have not been banned from the Olympics, while Russian athletes with previous records have been effectively banned from the Games.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said we believe that the IOC decision is a positive decision, and we regard it positively. The spokesman added we definitely welcome the ultimate solution, which allows so-called ‘clean’ athletes to take part in the Olympics after an endorsement from international federations.

Russian Vladimir Putin called for the introduction of unified international standards for doping controls. Putin added Russia must show that it is fully committed to a clean and honest fight and that it is ready for a real partnership with the sporting world in its opposition to the use of doping.

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Saturday 09, Jul 2016

  Richard Driscoll Awarded MBE For Anti-Doping Services

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Richard Driscoll, a leading British Doping Control Officer (DCO), has been awarded a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List for services to anti-doping in sport.

The Doping Control Officer has worked in the same capacity for the last 25 years. A passionate advocate for clean sport, Richard strives to motivate his doping control colleagues for attaining a uniformly high level of service delivery across a wide range of sports. Richard also works as a Doping Control Advisor to UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and leads on the recruitment, training and ongoing development of a workforce of 181 DCOs and Chaperones.

Richard, internationally recognized for his work at major sporting events, including the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, played a crucial role in the anti-doping program for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games as Head Doping Control Station Manager. He supervised and helped train 60 Doping Control Station Managers, 240 DCOs and over 600 Chaperones. Richard has contributed to the anti-doping programs in over 30 countries, including supporting the development of new National Anti-Doping Organizations in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the Maldives, Brunei, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan.

On receiving the news of the prestigious honor, Richard remarked he is thrilled and humbled to receive this honor. The DCO said he thoroughly enjoys working in the field of anti-doping and have had the privilege of working at some great events and with some fantastic people who are all committed to clean sport.

UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead remarked we are absolutely delighted that Richard has received such a special honor and that his dedication and commitment to clean sport has been recognized at the highest level. Sapstead remarked Richard is highly valued by UKAD and is an exemplary ambassador for anti-doping, fair play and professionalism.

The UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive said his exceptional understanding of the doping control process, coupled with his humility and a quiet charm, puts colleagues and athletes at ease and he is able to diffuse tension should it arise and also commented his vital contribution enables the delivery of uniformly high standards of testing across the UK’s program. She also said Richard often works with staff that is either paid a nominal amount or work as volunteers and he shows a particular skill and charisma in regularly motivating people and instilling a desire to raise standards. Nicole Sapstead said Richard indeed himself volunteers a vast amount of extra time because he is so dedicated and determined to provide a professional service for athletes and to evolve doping control procedures and he makes an inspirational contribution in doing so to the fight for clean sport.

In another development, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has delivered the ‘Win Clean’ anti-doping education program at the 2016 Henley Royal Regatta from 28 to 30 June. UKAD’s Director of Business Services Philip Bunt said UKAD believes that ensuring athletes, and athlete support personnel, are well informed and have the opportunity to make the right choices, is a fundamental part of protecting clean competition and preventing doping in sport.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Richard Driscoll Awarded MBE For Anti-Doping Services

Thursday 12, May 2016

  Russian Authorities Frustrate Doping Testers Before Olympics

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UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) officials are facing huge challenges in their attempts to test athletes of Russia, which has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of tests that will be carried out before the Olympics.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked UKAD to take over drug testing earlier this year. This was after allegations of state-supported doping within Russian athletics emerged. The world governing body of athletics suspended Russia and athletes of the country were ejected from international events. Moscow’s laboratory lost its accreditation to carry out tests and the Russian anti-doping agency was disbanded.

In January, UK Anti-Doping officials started testing Russian athletes but now it has emerged that Russian officials have been asking for 30 days’ notice of tests and payments for doping control officers are being disputed by Russian authorities. In addition to this, significant delays are made at the end of Russian customs that are preventing blood samples’ transportation to laboratories outside the country within the 48-hour window required for accurate testing. Due to this, the number of tests carried out by the UKAD-run team is falling well below the almost 1,000 tests per-month that were conducted by the Russian anti-doping agency.

These challenges will be brought into the notice of WADA board members when they will meet this week in Montreal. These revelations could further harm the chances of Russia of being readmitted to track and field in time for the Rio Olympics. Furthermore, these claims could possibly have a big impact on public confidence in Russian athletes across other sports who will compete in Brazil.

Reacting to these claims, the Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko insisted Russian athletes should be allowed to travel to the Olympics and are cooperating with the UKAD operation. Mutko remarked there is no basis for our team not to be participating in the Olympic Games and added athletics is hugely popular in Russia, most of our athletes are honest. The Russian sports minister added we have been working with UKAD for four months and it took 67 tests the first month, the next month 150, now it is 200. Mutko added the amount of positive tests by the end of the year will be no larger than when we did it ourselves.

British athlete Paula Radcliffe, one of the most vocal advocates of clean sports, said it was not fair that Russian athletes in other sports had not been punished, sanctioned, or banned from competing in Rio. The world record holder for the women’s marathon remarked it was obvious from the beginning this wasn’t just an athletics problem. Reacting to troubles faced by UKAD anti-doping staff at the hands of Russian officials, Radcliffe said they know what they have to do if they want to get back in. The British athlete also commented they first of all have to accept that there is a problem, and then actively do something about it.

UK Anti-Doping declined to comment and the World Anti-Doping Agency remarked it would respond to these claims once the issues have been discussed by its board.

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Friday 31, Jan 2014

  Vancouver Cyclist Suspended For Two Years

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Vancouver Cyclist Suspended Two Years

Vancouver cyclist Sebastian Salas has received a suspension of two years for tampering with doping control during in-competition testing last summer, according to an announcement by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).

Salas tampered with a doping control during an in-competition test on July 10, 2013, at the Gastown Grand Prix, held in Vancouver, according to a release from the CCES. The cyclist is now banned from the sport through August 1, 2015. The release from the CCES reads that Salas in response to the CCES’ notification of the violation fully explored his rights under the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP) and eventually chose to admit the doping control violation, waive his right to a hearing, and accept a two-year sanction ending August 1, 2015. The statement added that Salas, who resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, is ineligible to participate in any capacity with any sport signatory to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP), including training with teammates.

In a statement, Cycling Canada president John Tolkamp said it is unfortunate to learn that an athlete in our sport has been seen to have competed outside the rules of the Canadian Anti-doping Program. He added that the fact that the rigorous testing regime of the national body with the collaboration of the CCES identified the problem should serve as a reminder to any that would cheat that they will be caught and sanctioned appropriately. Tolkamp also remarked we will continue to enhance our efforts to educate around doping in our sport so that all athletes are able to compete on a fair and equal basis.

The Optum team of Salas suspended him following the abnormal test and did not renew him for 2014. In a statement, managing director Charles Aaron said Salas due to our team policy was suspended within 24 hours of his late arrival to an in-competition control at the Gastown Grand Prix. Aaron added that removing him from all 2013 rosters and excluding him from consideration for 2014 was the strongest course of action available to our organization. He also remarked that CCES has since concluded Salas was in breach of the rules and we fully support the actions of CCES as well as USADA and WADA in their continued efforts to protect clean sport.

Salas won the king of the mountains classification at the 2012 Amgen Tour of California and the rider was placed in the top 10 at the both the Tour de Beauce and SRAM Tour of the Gila that season. He rode for Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies for the last two seasons, but did not re-sign with the team for the upcoming season. Salas is the Grouse Grind record holder after having completed the arduous North Shore hiking trail in 23 minutes and 48 seconds. He won the Grouse Grind Mountain Run for five consecutive years, from 2008 through 2012. Salas’s record will stand for now, noting it was set in 2010, well before he was sanctioned by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, Grouse Mountain representative Jacqueline Blackwell. She added the record set in our recreational race will stand as a formal Grouse Grind Mountain Run record as we have so far not received information suggesting Mr. Salas’ violations date back to 2010 or prior but added we will certainly examine it if further evidence comes to light.

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Friday 03, Dec 2010

  Request to release Valverde blood samples rejected

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Request to release Valverde blood samples rejectedA request from Italian anti-doping authorities to receive a blood sample they want to test as part of an investigation into cyclist Alejandro Valverde’s involvement was recently rejected by a Spanish judge.

Valverde has been summoned to make an appearance before the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) for discussing a possible violation of anti-doping rules.

Doping is not termed as a criminal offence in Spain though those who supply banned substances could be tried for a violation of public health.

Monday 01, Nov 2010

  Alejandro Valverde charged for involvement in Operacion Puerto doping scandal

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Alejandro Valverde charged for involvement in Operacion Puerto doping scandalCaisse D’espargne rider Alejandro Valverde has been charged with being involved in Spain’s Operacion Puerto doping scandal, according to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

The Spanish rider expressed “surprise and indignation” at being charged for an offence he had not committed.

Valverde reaffirmed before an Italian anti-doping hearing that he was innocent of any wrongdoings but CONI has now decided to charge the Spaniard.

Thursday 01, Jan 2009

  American rider Jonathan Page may face doping suspension due to “stupid mistake”

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page-steroidsCyclingnews reports that 2007 cyclo-cross silver medalist Jonathan Page may face suspension due to missed doping control.

Page failed to submit himself to doping testing on Nov. 29 at the fourth round or the UCI’s World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium. He said he was unaware he was selected to undergo doping control, saying he pulled out of the World Cup race after he suffered a crash on the third lap.

According to the 32-year-old rider, he received a letter on Dec. 19, informing him that he missed a doping control at the race. He now awaits a hearing from the United States Anti-Doping Agency which can suspend him for two years if he’s found guilty of doping infringement.

“I’m relying on a hearing from USADA and I can only hope that they listen to our story that is was nothing but a stupid mistake,” Page said to Cyclingnews.

Though no one is accusing him of using anabolic steroids, the UCI’s cyclo-cross coordinator Peter Van den Abeele confirmed to sport.be that Page didn’t show up for the post-race control in Koksijde. “When I talked with Page about this he was devastated and really upset,” UCI’s cyclocross Peter Van den Abeele said. “He was so upset by the news that he didn’t start in Zolder despite having the right to start in the race.”

“He can’t escape some sort of punishment but I’m certainly not the man to judge on that,” Van den Abeele added.

Page’s wife, Cori, blames herself for her husband’s predicament.

“I didn’t remember to go to the finish line to check for doping at the end of the race. I’m usually his backup and I failed,” said Cori. “Our second backup is a guy who is at most of the races helping another rider. He checks the control list, too, but on the days where there are chaperones no one worries because the riders will be picked up and escorted to the control. Koksijde was a race with chaperones.”

Page had a blood test done by his doctor as part of his regular checkup. The results indicated no EPO or other performance enhancing drugs.