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Sunday 19, Feb 2017

  FLAU President Defends Anti-Doping Measures

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Ihor Hotsul, President of the Ukrainian Athletics Federation (FLAU), has come out strongly to justify improvements made by his organization to improve its anti-doping procedures.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) last year placed Ukraine along with Belarus, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Kenya on a special monitoring list. The National Anti-Doping Agency of Ukraine was briefly declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) before it met a series of conditions in March last year.

In recent years, dozens of Ukrainian athletes have been tested positive for banned performance enhancing drugs. The list includes Heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska who failed a drug test for Methyltestosterone and was stripped of her Beijing 2008 silver medal.

Shot putter Yuriy Bilinog was stripped of his Athens 2004 Olympic gold after traces of anabolic steroid Oxandrolone were revealed in retests. Oleksandr Pyatnytsya, London 2012 javelin silver medal winner, was retrospectively disqualified after testing positive for Oral Turinabol.

Hotsul said there will be further improvements in the anti-doping procedures of the Ukrainian Athletics Federation following a pledge of support from the Government. Recently, the law was officially passed through Ukrainian Parliament.

Hotsul said the loss of many sponsors and partners made it hard for the FLAU to reimburse the costs of sample analysis through its low budget. Hotsul thanked the world governing body of athletics and its President Sebastian Coe for their support. He further commented that around 10 urine and 70 blood samples taken from the 2016 National Championships in Lutsk have already been analyzed this way by a testing group from Global Sports GmbH. The FLAU President said these examples clearly show the positive dynamics of measures taken in order to fight doping and also commented that we are very grateful to the IAAF for understanding our situation and for the support regarding testing and promoting the new edition of the anti-doping law. Hotsul also said we would like to emphasize once again that our Federation takes a tough and uncompromising approach to the fight against doping and it makes every possible effort for its successful implementation.

Ukraine Sports Minister Igor Zhdanov had previously remarked that his country will take the “necessary decisions” after they studied observations of the IAAF. Zhdanov had also remarked we are working closely with WADA and further commented that we had some problems but we have no systemic problems.

IAAF Sebastian Coe remarked at the end of the IAAF Council meeting in last March that Kenya, Ukraine, and Belarus have been put on a monitoring list for 2016 to strengthen their anti-doping regimes and make sure their journey to compliance is completed by the end of the year.

Morocco and Ethiopia are among the top countries in the world for middle and long-distance running. Since 2003, a lot of Moroccan athletes have been accused of doping and 37 of its athletes were suspended by the IAAF, the majority of them in the last four years. In the last three years, more than 40 Kenyan athletes have been caught up in drug scandals. Athletics Kenya chief executive Isaac Mwangin was suspended for corruption involving cover-ups.

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Thursday 12, Jan 2017

  Manchester City Charged By Football Association Over Anti-Doping Rules

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The Football Association (FA) has charged Premier League club Manchester City with breaching its anti-doping procedures.

An FA statement read Manchester City has been charged in relation to the FA’s rules on anti-doping. The statement further reads that it is alleged the club failed to ensure that their ‘Club Whereabouts’ information was accurate. The charge is not under the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Agency or UK Anti-Doping. It is a breach of FA rules only.

Manchester City faces a fine over the charge issued under FA Regulation 14d and is related to the “whereabouts” rule that dictates the Football Association must be told on a daily basis when the first team, Under-21s, and Under-18s squad are scheduled to be training. Anti-doping authorities must be given a timeframe of one hour if a player is not training, or leaves a session before he is scheduled to do so that same day when the club can say for sure where a player will be. The whereabouts regulations considered a key part of the integrity of the testing system. Clubs are obliged under the rules for updating any change to the schedule so that testers and players are in the right place.

It is believed that the charges concern training schedules not being updated in the context of players’ whereabouts at particular times, including members of City’s elite development squad. The charges concern a breach of Football Association rules only and are not under the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Agency that has no provision for team violations in its code or UK Anti-Doping. The Premier League club is instead charged under FA rules only. Manchester City is rather facing a code of conduct charge that is likely to lead to a reprimand or fine.

UK Anti-Doping conducts tests on behalf of the FA on all players on professional contracts at clubs. There is a three strikes policy under the FA regulations where three violations of the whereabouts procedure trigger a FA charge. This can be incurred across all levels of professional players, and not limited to the senior squad.

Manchester City has fallen foul of the three strikes rules and now has time until Jan 19 to either accept the FA charge or contest it. It is likely that the club will be fined. If it decides to contest the charges and is found guilty, punishments could include a ban, ground closure, points’ deduction, and expulsion from competitions. The club is likely to say that the breaches are down to administrative errors.

The charge comes as City midfielder Samir Nasri is presently investigated over claims that he received an intravenous drip during a trip to Los Angeles last month. Nasri, on loan at Sevilla, is the subject of a probe by the anti-doping agency of Spain.

Intravenous therapy is banned under the World Anti-Doping Agency rules unless it is administered in quantities of no more than 50 milliliters per six-hour period or in cases where an athlete has obtained a certificate of dispensation on medical grounds.

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Sunday 20, Dec 2015

  UK Government Open For Criminalization Of Doping

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UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has remarked the government would be open to the criminalization of doping. Crouch’s remarks are in collusion course with UK Anti-Doping, the country’s anti-doping agency, which is opposed to such measures.

Crouch remarked we actually have very strong anti-doping procedures in place, and that is what makes the UK anti-doping agency one of the best in the world. The sports minister added but now we have to look at criminalization to see whether or not that’s something we can add to the toolbox of combating corruption in sport.

Sports lawyer James Pheasant, of Burges Salmon, remarked any effort to criminalize doping would have to be done in association with the U.K. anti-doping agency, which currently administers all testing in areas it oversees. Pheasant added there is no reason, in principle, why U.K. Anti-Doping could not co-operate and provide information to organizations, so criminal charges could be brought.

The U.K. anti-doping agency remarked it had no interest in criminalizing doping as of now as adequate preventative measures are already in place. Nicole Sapstead, U.K. Anti-Doping chief executive, said we feel the current rules, set out in both the World Anti-Doping Code and the U.K. National Anti-Doping Policy, are proportionate. Sapstead added U.K. anti-doping is open to dialogue around new ways of protecting sport, but our focus remains on tackling the supply chain and the source of the problem through strong working relationships with a wide range of law-enforcement partners, and a comprehensive anti-doping education program.

A few days back, an 18-year-old U.K. semi-professional cyclist, admitted to having used Erythropoietin. Gabriel Evans admitted he used EPO, the banned blood-boosting drug that is used in the treatment of anemia.

This year, the world of athletics has been rocked by repeated doping scandals, the biggest of which resulted in indefinite suspension of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world athletics’ governing body.

Last month, the former IAAF President Lamine Diack was accused of money laundering and accepting bribes to hide doping cases. Diack recently told French investigators that £1 million of Russian money was given for financing the campaign of Macky Sall against incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade, in return to conceal positive doping tests.

This claim by Diack has taken the athletics’ doping crisis to a completely different level by suggesting that the leadership campaign of Senegal was funded with dirty money. French newspaper Le Monde disclosed that Lamine allegedly told French investigators that this was required at this time to win the’ battle of Dakar’, that is to say, overthrow the government in power in his country and this required financing the movement of young people in order to campaign. Diack is also believed to have told investigators that the money was required to rent vehicles, meeting rooms, and to produce leaflets. Diack also alleged that Valentin Balakhnichev, former president of the Russian Athletics Federation, was part of the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s team and there were problems of Russian athletes suspended for the world championships in Russia at that time and we agreed to help and Russia supported us.

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