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Monday 30, Nov 2015

  Seven Kenyan Athletes Banned For Doping

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Athletics Kenya has banned seven athletes including two-time cross-country world champion Emily Chebet for doping offences.

Chebet, the cross-country world champion in 2010 and 2013, received a doping ban of four years after he tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic and masking agent. The 29-year-old Chebet was a bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and she will be unable to compete until July 16, 2019.

The list of sanctions also included bans for Joyce Zakary and Koki Manunga, who failed drugs tests at the World Championships in Beijing in August. Joyce and Koki were provisionally suspended at the World Championships and received bans of four years for Furosemide. Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto announced plans to criminalize doping after Koki and Zakari tested positive in Beijing.

The other four athletes banned were Agnes Jepkosgei, Bernard Mwendia, Judy Jesire Kimuge, and Lilian Moraa Marita. Agnes Jepkosgei received a doping ban of four years after he tested positive for metabolite of Norandrosterone, an anabolic steroid. A ban of two years was imposed on Bernard Mwendia for testing positive to Norandrosterone. Lilian Moraa Marita received a two-year ban for the blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO) and Kimuge was banned two years for Norandrolone.

The future of Kenya in World Athletics hangs in the balance as pressure mounts on the country to tackle doping and corruption issues. A harsh warning was issued by Colm O’Connell, the coach of leading Kenyan 800-meter runner David Rudisha, who remarked better testing and monitoring of our athletes has to be put in place immediately if Kenya wants to really move into the Olympics with a clear conscience and with global credibility. Two-time Olympic Champion Kip Keino warned that the next generation of athletes is in danger of being dragged into a world of doping.

In the last few years, there has been a significant spike in doping cases among Kenyan athletes. Since 2012, more than 40 athletes have now failed tests that included high-profile athletes such as Rita Jeptoo. A few days back, Kenyan track officials came under scrutiny after allegations of doping cover-ups surfaced and some officials were accused of money embezzlement at the national federation.

A group of athletes this week stormed the federation headquarters in Nairobi to demand the resignation of top officials over the doping scandals and corruption allegations. The protestors include the 2012 Boston marathon winner-turned politician, Wesley Korir, and former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang. Top Professional Athletes Association of Kenya (PAAK) official said we want to solve the long standing issues affecting us in regards to corruption, doping and other matters. In reply, Athletics Kenya (AK) chief Jackson Tuwei said we are waiting for the outcome of the meeting and were taken by complete surprise. Tuwei and the other Athletics Kenya officials have been barred from their offices since Monday morning.

It was recently reported by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel that Kenya also has a serious doping problem just like Russia that was recently banned from international athletics competitions.

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Thursday 05, Feb 2015

  Russian Steeplechaser And Heptathlete Banned, Bans For Skiing Champions

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The Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA has announced that steeplechaser Yulia Zaripova has been banned for two and a half years for doping offences.

The 28-year-old was suspended after her biological passport showed abnormalities and her results from June 20 to August 20 2011 and July 3-September 3 2012 have been annulled. Zaripova set a new personal best by winning the gold in the women’s 3,000 meters steeplechase at the London Olympics in 2012.

Zaripova also won gold in the world championships in South Korea in 2011. Her Olympics result has been annulled and she could lose the gold medal though she is allowed to keep her gold of world championships. The suspension imposed on Zaripova was backdated from July 2013 that leaves her eligible to compete in next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. If she is stripped of the gold medal, it could go to second-placed Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia.

RUSADA also announced that heptathlete Tatyana Chernova has also been banned for taking illegal substances. Tatyana, the double Olympic bronze medalist, had a sample from the 2009 world championships in Berlin retested in 2013 following a request by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). She tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol and has been suspended for two years, starting from July 22 2013. Tatyana’s results from August 2009 to August 2011 have been annulled but she is allowed to keep her gold medal at the 2011 world championships.

The Russian anti-doping agency also announced that a ban of three months has been imposed on Yuri Gavrilov, the cross-country skier, after he tested positive for a banned substance.

Gavrilov received the three-month ban backdated to September 23, 2014, by the Russian cross-country skiing federation. The ban imposed on Gavrilov is the third to emerge in the last few days after reigning national junior champion Nikita Mashkin and another skier, Arina Kalinina, received doping bans of two years each for unspecified breaches of anti-doping rules. Nikita, the 20-year-old reigning national junior cross-country skiing champion over 50 kilometers from Russia, and female youth skier Arina Kalinina, were banned for anti-doping violations.

Recently, three Olympic walking champions, Olga Kaniskina, Valery Borchin and Sergei Kirdyapkin, as well as 2011 world champion Sergei Bakulin and silver medalist Vladimir Kanaykin were suspended for doping offences.

Russia has been under clouds of doping suspicion after a German TV documentary revealed recorded statements of athletes including 800-meter gold medal winner Maria Savinova and bronze medalist Ekaterina Poistogova who admitted to taking banned substances. Investigations have been opened by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the IAAF into the accusations made by the German broadcaster ARD program that alleged Russian athletics bosses oversaw systematic doping and RUSADA officials covered up positive tests.

In a statement, Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the doping bans imposed on Chernova and Zaripova proved that the existing system of doping controls was working despite a series of scandals. Mutko said we are of course very upset with our top athletes’ doping violations but added on the other hand it shows that the system of doping control in our country works well. The Sports Minister also remarked we work hard to protect the young generation of honest athletes, to show them that every doping offence will be sooner or later penalized.

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Thursday 19, Sep 2013

  Scottish Rugby Player Banned For Two Years

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Scottish Rugby Player Banned For Two Years

Sam Chalmers, the son of former Scotland and British Lions fly-half Craig, has been banned for two years from rugby for doping offences.

The 19-year-old Chalmers, who plays for Scottish club Melrose, rendered an apology after he was given the ban at an International Rugby Board hearing during which he admitted using a pill called Pro-SD to put on weight. The player tested positive while on duty with the Scotland Under-20s ahead of a Test with Ireland in May for methandienone and Stanozolol, which are both listed as anabolic androgenic steroids in the list of prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency. This match was a warm-up for the Junior World Cup in France.

The IRB committee said Sam Chalmers on his own account said he took Pro-SD thinking it was a ‘testosterone pill’ in the hope it would help him gain weight. The committee added he carried out no research or advice and accepted the risks in doing so and he was entirely at fault and he accepts the consequences.

The rugby player admitted in a statement issued to the media that his actions were stupid and naive. Chalmers also remarked that he would apologize to his club Melrose RFC, teammates, the Scottish Rugby Union, friends and family. He further added he is disappointed in himself and have to take personal responsibility for this incident, which has ultimately led him to being banned from the game he have grown up with and love so much. He went on to add he would certainly encourage young players to seek out the correct advice from the right places before taking any kind of supplement or product.

Graham Ireland, Scottish Rugby’s head of regulation, said Scottish Rugby takes a very clear stance on anti-doping and we have a zero-tolerance policy on doping offences in Scotland. He added we are committed to keeping the game in Scotland clean through a program of robust drug testing coupled with education on the dangers of illegal substances. Graham also remarked since the 2009-2010 season there have been around 800 drugs tests in Scottish Rugby, at all levels of the game, and, in that period, there have now been two adverse findings – an amateur club player in 2010 who was found to have taken a slimming product that contained an illegal substance and, this latest case, involving a club player who took a product because he naively thought it could help him to put on weight.

His father played 60 times for Scotland and remarked he believes the lessons Sam has learned from this experience will only make him stronger and when he does return to rugby you will see a player who has matured. He added that Sam has made a huge mistake and added his message to young players would be not to take any short cuts. The former Scotland and British Lions fly-half Craig Chalmers added these products may not only damage your career, but they can also damage your health and it is best to get the right advice from the right people before you take any product or supplement.

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