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Thursday 16, Apr 2015

  Elite Kenyan Athletes Criticize Federation

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Elite Kenyan Athletes Criticize Federation

A group of elite Kenyan athletes led by former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang, the president of the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya, have criticized the Athletics Federation of Kenya for suspending their agents in a doping investigation. The athletes remarked the suspensions have hurt their preparations for the world championships and other major competitions this season.

In a joint statement, the athletes questioned move of Athletics Kenya to suspend Italy’s Rosa & Associati and the Netherlands’ Volare Sports from working in Kenya for six months. The two European athlete management companies were suspended on Monday pending investigations into the recent spike in doping cases involving Kenyan athletes.

Reading from a prepared statement, Wilson Kipsang said accusing Rosa and Volare of doping has caused unrest locally and internationally. Kipsang added it is unprofessional since Athletics Kenya has not tabled facts and evidence to prove the agents are involved in doping.

In the last five years, more than 30 Kenyan athletes have failed doping tests with women’s marathon star Rita Jeptoo the highest profile case so far. Jeptoo, represented by Rosa, was banned for two years in January after she tested for the blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition test in Kenya last year.

Kenyan officials have been blaming the influence of foreign agents for some of the doping.

Meanwhile, Rosa & Associati and Volare Sports both said they were talking to world governing body IAAF. They added they had not received any information on their suspension or the reasons for it from Athletics Kenya. Gerard van de Veen, who heads Volare Sports, said Athletics Kenya is doing the opposite of what they should do — they ban and then investigate.

Rosa and Volare represent many elite athletes of Kenya including Kipsang, Kiprop, current marathon record-holder Dennis Kimetto, women’s 800 world champion Eunice Sum, two-time New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai, among others. Van de Veen represents Kipsang and Kimetto, among others.

The 2011 World 200m champion Amantle Montsho from Botswana who is in the Rosa camp was banned for two years after failing a dope test after winning the 2014 Commonwealth Games 200m title. Matthew Kisorio, who was banned for a period of two years before he completed his term, last year was also in the Rosa camp.

Van de Veen denied claims made by Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat that there were more doping cases among the runners of Volare. Van de Veen, referring specifically to marathoners Kipsang and Kimetto, said many times in the year they get doping control but they never found something and went on to add that he really does not understand the reason for the allegations.

Kiplagat, who later stepped aside as the boss of Athletics Kenya, said the athletic federation will appoint a manager who will be handling affected athletes in the IAAF and Diamond Leagues before investigations are completed. Kiplagat said we shall involve the IAAF, Kenya Police, AK and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya in the investigations.

The Athletics Federation of Kenya has suggested providing the athletes with temporary managers during suspension of their agents but the suggestion has been rejected by the runners. Kipsang said Athletics Kenya “is not trustworthy” in handling finances, allowances and prize money and added they cannot manage the over 250 athletes in the two camps.

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Wednesday 29, Jan 2014

  Italian Cyclist Receives Doping Suspension

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Italian Cyclist Receives Doping Suspension

The 2008 world road race champion, Italy’s @Alessandro Ballan, has received a doping ban of two years from Italy’s Olympic Committee (CONI). The Italian’s BMC Racing team announced soon after the verdict that it had terminated its contract of Ballan.

The 2008 world road champion was banned for two years by the Italian Olympic Committee for using ozone treatment in 2009. Ballan claimed he used the ozone treatment for cytomegalovirus when he was ill and it was not to improve his cycling performance. Ballan’s name figured in the Mantova-based doping investigation that was centered on his former Lampre team. According to phone taps from investigators, the cyclist had undergone a blood transfusion in the spring of 2009, which was his final season at the Lampre team before he joined BMC.

In a release, team president Jim Ochowicz said Ballan received a two-year suspension from CONI Friday for charges in connection with his former team. He added that Ballan is no longer a member of the BMC Racing Team in accordance with the BMC Racing Team’s strict anti-doping policy. A BMC statement revealed that it is terminating the contract of Alessandro Ballan who received a two-year suspension from CONI for charges in connection with his former team.

CONI’s anti-doping tribunal ruled that Ballan had contravened article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code relating to the use or attempted use of banned substances. According to a statement by CONI, Ballan received a suspension of two years with effect from January 17, 2014 until January 16, 2016 and has also been condemned to pay the costs of this proceeding, estimated at 400 euros and was also asked to pay a fine of 2,000 euros.

The Italian cyclist was suspected to being involved in a doping affair that also implicated two doctors, Guido Nigrelli and Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi, who have aided Ballan’s attempt to procure and use banned substances. CONI banned Nigrelli for life and Bonazzi for four years. According to the CONI statement, Nigrelli was punished under article 2.7 and 2.8 of the World Ant-Doping code and has ordered him to be banned from practicing for life from January 17, 2014 while Bonazzi has been sanctioned for a period of four years, from January 17, 2014 until January 16, 2018.

Previously, Ballan was suspended by BMC Racing because of doping allegations but the cyclist resumed racing after being cleared by the Swiss-American team. Ballan won the Tour of Flanders in 2007 and the road race at the 2008 worlds in Varese.

Meanwhile, Australian cycling star Cadel Evans has defended former BMC teammate Ballan. Evans said he does not know all the details and so on but the only thing that appears to him is it must really be the only profession in the world that for looking after your health and trying to be healthy, you can ruin your career and ruin your whole life. The Australian cycling star said Ballan was trying to treat his health as far as he can understand.

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Saturday 08, Jun 2013

  Players Interviews To Be Stopped By ASADA

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Players Interviews To Be Stopped By ASADA

The doping investigation of the Australian National Rugby League has taken a new twist with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) terminating attempts to interview Cronulla players.

NRL chief executive Dave Smith defended his organization as news of ASADA’s decision broke against accusations of inaction over the investigation which has been under way for more than three months. The chief executive came under intense pressure after explosive details from a document reportedly written by the former ASADA deputy chair Dr Tricia Kavanagh in March following her independent investigation of alleged doping breaches at the Cronulla club in 2011 were published by News Ltd.

The document revealed Cronulla employed a systematic regime of peptides in the year 2011 in a program of injections, tablets and creams over a period of 11 weeks while sports scientist Stephen Dank was linked to the Sharks. The Kavanagh document quoted that club players were injected for three straight weeks and at least three players were given tablets of Humanofort, which included the WADA-banned growth hormone IGF-1 and all these three players showed abnormal levels of bruising after matches. The document also details a heated discussion between former Sharks doctor David Givney, and performance manager Trent Elkin.

It seems like ASADA has lost its patience after being left frustrated in its attempts to interview a number of Cronulla players because of legal argument about what they were obliged to reveal and therefore decided to pursue the doping investigation without them, at least for the time being.

The football general manager of Cronulla, Steve Noyce, revealed their decision and admitted he was not sure of what will happen next. Noyce remarked the solicitors of ASADA advised the legal representatives of the team that they will not be proceeding with the interviews and that is all he really knows. He however remarked the investigation is still ongoing and processes are still in place and have to be correctly followed.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority got the opportunity to speak to players from Cronulla a few weeks back but the meeting ended abruptly when lawyers from both parties failed to agree with the line of questioning. The fact that ASADA doesn’t have the power to ban players is a big hurdle though it can advise the National Rugby League what kind of infraction notice to issue.

National Rugby League chief Dave Smith said the reports reinforce what we have said from the outset which is that these matters are serious and we are confident that ASADA will push on with the investigation through whatever means they determine to be the best and it is worth noting that ASADA has had the Kavanagh report longer than we have and it is significant they have not been able to issue an infraction notice on the basis of that report, so there can be no suggestion that we could have acted on it independently. He also added that we are fully committed to assisting ASADA and seeing this through to the right conclusion.

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Friday 15, Mar 2013

  Bombers Launch Review After Scandal

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Bombers Launch Review After Scandal

An independent review of Essendon’s governance and processes has been announced after revelations last month that the club is involved in a doping investigation. This review will be led by former Telstra chief executive Dr Ziggy Switkowski who will draw on the assistance of Dr Andrew Garnham, a specialist sports physician with particular expertise in sports nutrition.

The review comes three weeks after Essendon asked for assistance from the Australian Football League (AFL) and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) in reviewing the 2012 supplements program of the club. The board is now aware of “irregular practices” at the club, Bombers chairman David Evans said who also added he could not elaborate on what has been uncovered. The team chairman also revealed that there was no timeline set for the review, but he expects it to be completed before the ASADA investigation.

The investigation will look into unnamed supplements that the club gave to players after it was revealed that Essendon players took substances that are banned under the World Anti-Doping Agency code. This review will also be investigating practices in other clubs and other sports to measure the actions and processes of Essendon against best practice and added that members of the club deserve to know what happened, and to have faith the club will take responsibility to fix any problems and added he expects findings of the review to be made public.

Evans further remarked it is difficult for him to reveal anything as there is an investigation going on which he does not want to compromise the integrity of that investigation or compromise the review he just announced. However, the Bombers chairman said no player has tested positive for any performance enhancing substance and the review will start with the governance of the club, from the board level down.

Recently, players of the club met with Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) representatives to be told about the next stage of an investigation that is expected to take months. Evans remarked the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency outlined the process for the investigation to continue, including interviews with players to determine if a prohibited substance had been administered. The team has also been named in an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) investigation that found the suspected use of performance enhancing drugs by their players, possibly without their knowledge.

Essendon midfielder Brent Stanton said there are still reasons for optimism that the club will not face the same sort of fallout that has enveloped NRL club Cronulla over an investigation about doping.

In another development, the parents of Essendon players with club officials at the Bombers’ Windy Hills headquarters to seek information as well as assurances in the wake of the performance enhancing drug scandal. Meanwhile, former Bombers sports scientist Stephen Dank said he did not administer any banned substances to players during his time with the club. Three-time premiership winner Tim Watson, father of Brownlow medalist and the current Bombers captain Jobe, said we are very satisfied that our boys are in good hands and the club is doing all they possibly can under the circumstances to clear their names.

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