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Sunday 30, Sep 2012

  Arbitrator Upholds Sanction for U.S. Track & Field Athlete

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Arbitrator Upholds Sanction for U.S. Track & Field Athlete

An independent American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitrator has issued a decision upholding the suspension for two years of Mark Jelks, of Kansas City, Kan., an athlete in the sport of Track & Field, for committing an anti-doping rule violation, according to an announcement by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA).

The 28-year-old Jelks is a member of the USADA Registered Testing Pool that consists of a select group of athletes subject to certain whereabouts requirements in order to be located for USADA Out-of-Competition testing. The athlete failed to comply with the whereabouts requirements and, as a result, accrued three Whereabouts Failures within a period of 18 months. The combination of three Whereabouts Failures within an 18-month period constitutes an anti-doping rules violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), both of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”).

A Whereabouts Failure includes failure to offer required quarterly whereabouts filings (Filing Failure) and failure to be available for testing during a 60-minute window designated by the athlete (Missed Test). Mark Jelks accrued two filing failures and one missed test within a period of 18 months.

Jelks was sanctioned with a two-year period of ineligibility in 2010 after he failed to respond to numerous communications from USADA concerning his violation of anti-doping rules. The athlete contacted USADA in December 2011 and made a request for a reduction in his ineligibility period. The anti-doping agency declined to unilaterally reduce ineligibility period of the athlete but agreed to have the matter heard by an AAA arbitrator because of the unique circumstances of his case. The hearing started on April 18, 2012 and was declared closed on April 30, 2012. A decision was issued by the arbitrator on May 25, 2012 that denied the request made by Jelks for a reduction in his period of ineligibility and the two-year period of ineligibility for Jelks completed on August 22, 2012.

Athletes, including Jelks, are required to complete the Athlete’s Advantage online tutorial of USADA before being enrolled in the USADA registered testing pool that explains to athletes in detail their responsibilities as members of the Pool, including their obligations to comply with the whereabouts requirements. Jelks received a two-year period of ineligibility that began on August 23, 2010, consistent with the code, and the athlete was disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to April 18, 2010, the date of his last Whereabouts Failure, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

Born on April 10, 1984, the American track and field athlete specializes in the 100-meter dash and has a personal best of 9.99 seconds for the event and represented the United States at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics. Jelks competed in the 60-meter dash and won the national title at the 2009 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships with a personal record of 6.51 seconds. He broke the 10-second barrier for the first time at the 2008 United States Olympic Trials and started the 2010 indoor season in top form by winning the 60 m in Düsseldorf with a time of 6.56 seconds.

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Friday 14, Oct 2011

  Tainted athlete not to be considered for Award

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Indian Sports Minister Ajay Maken said on Wednesday said double Asian Games gold medalist Ashwini Akkunji‘s name has been struck off from the list of nominees for this year’s Arjuna Award following her dope flunk.

“The Committee on Arjuna Awards will decide on who would be conferred the award. But SAI will scrutinised the list and this year Ashwini Akkunji will not be considered as her ‘B’ sample has also tested positive (for anabolic steroid),” Maken told a press conference.

Maken said, “The dope scandal has affected us. We would have won medals from some of them. They were medal hopefuls.”

Thursday 29, Sep 2011

  Dope cases transferred to NADA

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Bringing an end to the duplication of results management process between the two bodies, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Wednesday agreed to transfer the dope cases of quartermilers Mandeep Kaur and Juana Murmu to the National Anti-Doping Authority of India (NADA).

The AFI medical panel that heard the cases of the two athletes who tested positive in an out-of-competition test conducted by the world body at the NIS in Patiala, has concluded its proceedings.

NADA supremo Rahul Bhatnagar said the NADA panel, headed by Dinesh Dayal, will decide on the dates in the next two days.

Wednesday 21, Sep 2011

  NADA and AFI resolve jurisdictional issue

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The issue of jurisdictional overlapping between Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) over the disciplinary hearing of dope tainted athletes Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu was resolved with the AFI deciding to transfer the case to NADA.

NADA had written a letter to the AFI to transfer the case to its disciplinary panel after receiving a clarification from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The issue was resolved after NADA said the tainted duo had also tested positive in the test conducted by it.

Thursday 21, Aug 2008

  Christine Ohuruogu is now track’s golden girl despite missed steroid tests

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Christine Ohuruogu SteroidsYou’ve got to give to it to Christine Ohuruogu. This 24-year-old Brit girl is so good in running – running on the track and running from doping-steroid tests.

Despite being banned for one year, Ohuruogu stood on the podium on Tuesday, basking in Olympic glory after finishing the 400-meter event at 49.62 seconds. Stunning is what many described the race, in which Shericka Williams of Jamaica took the silver while Sanya Richards of the United States, the event’s favorite, earned the bronze medal.

FYI, Ohuruogu missed three doping (steroid) tests in the period between October 2005 and July 2006 and because of those infringements she was served one-year ban lasting until August last year. After a mere three weeks after serving her ban, she won her world title in Osaka, Japan.

Subsequent to her third missed test, she received the ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations. Ohuruogu attempted to overturn the ban by taking her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. CAS upheld the decision of the IAAF.  CAS, however, stated that “no suggestion that she is guilty of taking drugs” and that “this case can be viewed in all the circumstances as a busy young athlete being forgetful”.

The Nigerian-born Ohuruogu also received a lifetime ban from the Olympics because of a British Olympic Association bylaw barring anyone with a doping conviction from representing Britain. She was able to challenge and won the BOA ban on appeal as the independent Sports Dispute Resolutions Panel agreed that there had been “significant mitigating circumstances.”
We thought that being ‘forgetful’ is a lame excuse for going around dope tests, but it seems it’s considered as a valid reason. Other athletes, we’re sure, we’ll be a tad forgetful during screening time.

As for her recent victory in Beijing, Ohuruogo says: “I am just so proud of myself. I know I am the type of athlete who rises to the big occasion.”

The AFP describes Ohurougu’s winning moment and the dejection of those who aspired for the gold and lost it to the controversial Briton. The drama unfolds in Beijing:

Ohuruogu … looked out of it rounding the bend and with 100 metres to go.

(Sanya) Richards, who had said last week that she thought the Briton was fortunate to be competing here, looked at that point set fair for the gold she believed was her due after a miserable year suffering from a rare illness in 2007 as she had a clear lead.

However, down the straight the Jamaican-born naturalised American started to tie up and Ohuruogu’s more measured and controlled race paid off as she passed two Russians and then the final prize of 23-year-old Richards.

Ohuruogu crossed the line just ahead of the fast-finishing Williams, who had passed a tiring Richards.

Ohuruogu could scarcely believe what she had achieved, sinking to her knees and then lying on her back.

Richards, who as a result of Behcet’s disease suffered such bad mouth ulcers that she could not eat or talk and dreadful lesions on her legs, cut a dejected figure.

“I’m not well. I just worked so hard for this.

“This is so devastating for me. I was in control coming round the curve and then my right hamstring cramped on me.

“It went with 70 metres to go. I feel so betrayed by my body again.

“It’s such a tough break.”

Monday 04, Aug 2008

  Punctuality sometimes not a good thing in steroids and PEDs testing

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russia_flagTop female Russian athletes are facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle in the track ahead – a possible ban from their sport of athletics.

This arises when they were suspected of attempting to manipulate drug results. And one of the tell-tale signs, according to a report, is their showing up promptly during out-of-competition tests. The athletes reportedly were there even before the testers from the IAAF arrived. And this aroused suspicions from IAAF, the governing body for athletics worldwide.

According to BBC Sports, “athletes are not normally immediately available” for such testing. Because of their “unfailing punctuality”, the seven athletes were targeted for more than a year after the testers became suspicious.

Subsequently, they were charged for “fraudulent substitution of urine which is both a prohibited method and also a form of tampering with the doping control process”, according to a statement from IAAF.

Two of the seven suspects are track superstars Yelena Soboleva and Tatyana Tomashova.

Soboleva currently holds the 1500 m-indoor world record. She was supposed to participate in both the 800 m and 1500 m events at the Beijing Olympics. Tomashova, meanwhile, is a double world champion in the 1500 m and has garnered a silver medal in this event in the 2004 Olympics.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Now, because of doping irregularities, their chance of getting another shot at the Olympic glory is dashed.

More from BBC Sports:

Seven Russian athletes provisionally suspended for doping offences were tipped off ahead of visits from the testers, BBC Sport understands.

The International Association of Athletics Federations grew suspicious because the athletes were always available when the testers arrived.

“…the Russians were always waiting,” said BBC Sport’s Gordon Farquhar.

Five of the seven – Yelena Soboleva, Tatyana Tomashova, Yulia Fomenko, Darya Pishchalnikova and Gulfiya Khanafeyeva – were bound for the Beijing Olympics but they will now not compete at the Games.

The other two athletes are Svetlana Cherkasova and Olga Yegorova.

And Farquahar added: “IAAF sources say they began investigating the seven suspended athletes when testers expressed surprise at their unfailing punctuality.

“The athletes have an hour to show up at the specified location and give a sample, but the Russian athletes were always ready.

“The IAAF sources also say the Russian Federation knew of the problem more than two weeks ago, and they’re confident the suspected tip-offs haven’t come from within their own organisation.”

The athletes have up to 14 days to request a hearing with the national member federation.
If a hearing is requested, it must be held within a period of two months but the ARAF has said that they will not take place until after the Olympics.

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