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Saturday 14, Nov 2015

  Former IAAF Anti-Doping Chief Charged With Bribery And Money Laundering

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Lamine Diack, the former anti-doping chief of International Association of Athletics Federations, has been placed under criminal investigation on charges of bribery and money laundering. Diack is suspected of taking about 200,000 euros ($220,000) in bribes in an alleged cover-up of positive Russian doping tests.

Jean-Yves Lourgouilloux, a French prosecutor, revealed Diack and other IAAF officials were suspected of taking money in the year 2011 to permit at least six athletes from Russia to continue competing, some of them participating at the London 2012 Olympics, when they should have been barred for doping. Lourgouilloux said they decided not to act and now we understand why as it was in exchange for money.

Dr. Gabriel Dolle joins former IAAF President Lamine Diack and Diack’s legal adviser, Habib Cisse, under formal investigation, according to a statement by the French office for financial prosecutions. Diack is being investigated on preliminary charges of aggravated money laundering and corruption while Cisse and Dolle face only the corruption charge. Diack was released on bail of 500,000 euros. The French investigation began after a complaint by the World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA initiated a commission for investigating allegations raised during the December 2014 documentary by German broadcaster ARD.

In a statement, the World Anti-Doping Agency said its goal was to investigate the validity of allegations of doping practices; corrupt practices around sample collection and results management; and, other ineffective administration of anti-doping processes that implicate Russia, the IAAF, athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and other members of athletes’ entourages; as well as, the accredited laboratory based in Moscow and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

The entire controversy started when ARD and Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper alleged hundreds of athletes had returned “suspicious” doping tests results after examination of a leaked database that had more than 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes between 2001 and 2012. Eminent Australian scientists Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto confirmed the findings but IAAF condemned as ‘naive’ the two blood experts. The world governing body of athletics said the two scientists conveniently ignore the fact that more than 60 athletes have been sanctioned on the basis of abnormal blood values collected after 2009 and added that their statement does not address the fact that they had no knowledge whatsoever of the actions taken by the IAAF in following these suspicious profiles. The athletics’ governing body said it acknowledges that these two scientists have a great degree of expertise in the analysis of blood profiles and it is for these reasons that we are so disappointed.

Arne Ljungqvist, the former chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, also came to the defense at that time. Ljungqvist said the world governing body of athletics did more than others, before others but is now criticized by people, who have no insight into the work of International Association of Athletics Federations, for not having done enough that is highly unfair to the governing body, an institution that should be regarded in high respect for its innumerable efforts and investment, throughout its history, for tackling doping in athletics in the most efficient and intelligent ways.

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Thursday 04, Jul 2013

  Enough Is Enough, Riders Say About Doping

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Enough Is Enough, Riders Say About Doping

On the eve of this year’s Tour de France, riders protested angrily against the burden of suspicion they have been forced to carry because of the doping practices by the previous generation.

In a statement, the riders said it is degrading to be dragged through the mud and be run down by some who look to make money on our backs. The statement was issued after Lance Armstrong was quoted by Le Monde newspaper as saying it was impossible to win the Tour de France without doping.

The cyclist, stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling, also said he still considers himself the record-holder for Tour victories. He added that his life has been ruined by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation and said the USADA investigation did not paint a faithful picture of cycling from the end of the 1980s to today. He added that all the investigation did was to destroying one man’s life that did not benefit cycling at all.

A few weeks ago, sports daily L’Equipe said a urine sample from Frenchman Laurent Jalabert in 1998 showed traces of EPO, the banned blood-booster, when it was re-tested in 2004. The rider issued a statement in response to the publication, “Enough is enough!!!!!!,” and added today the limits of the bearable have been reached and we have for many years shown our will to work for a flawless fight against doping. Jalabert also remarked if there was a culture of doping in the 1990s, in the past 15 years our sport has been fighting alone against the plague of doping. He added that we are professional bike riders and we are proud of that but do not treat us like sub-citizens as you have been doing for too long.

In another development, Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters said cycling was cleaning up its act and the science points to a trend that racing is cleaner, that it is possible to win the Tour de France clean. Vaughters said cycling cannot let its guard down and we should gather information from the past to find a way to correct those mistakes the next time around.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme backed the complaints of the riders and said almost every year a doping-related story breaks days before the Tour and remarked the Tour is a unique opportunity for some to communicate their message. Prudhomme said he can appreciate that some agendas have nothing to do with cycling but 14 times in the last 15 years, it cannot be a coincidence.

A former doper turned anti-doping campaigner, Garmin-Sharp rider David Millar, remarked it was important cycling learned from previous mistakes. The former Armstrong teammate said what needs to change is that we need complete truth and transparency into what happened in the 15-year era of the 1990s and early 2000s so we can understand what mistakes were made and we can make sure those mistakes do not happen again. He added this is because he thinks racing has cleaned up a lot, and he believes the Tour de France can be won clean.

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