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Monday 08, Sep 2014

  China Commits US$10 Million In Anti-Doping Research

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China Commits US$10 Million In Anti-Doping Research

China has become the first country to formally announce an investment of US$10 million in anti-doping research following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) pledge to its member nations for their contribution to a government equivalent fund.

The IOC President Thomas Bach in December 2013 announced that the organization would invest US $10 million to fund innovative athlete-centered anti-doping research, which would include new techniques for detecting prohibited substances and methods, and further called on governments to match the amount. WADA President Sir Craig Reedie since then has been encouraging world governments to pledge their own support to protect clean athletes by making commitments before 16 November to make contributions that will help raise the total research fund for the joint IOC / WADA initiative to US $20 million.

The Vice Premier of State Council for China, Ms. Liu Yandong, has become the first national government leader to commit support by contributing $1M to the cause. Sir Craig Reedie remarked WADA is hugely appreciative of the support shown from the Chinese government in contributing to this fund for innovative anti-doping research and added that this marks a significant step forward for the anti-doping community. The WADA President added the IOC’s initial commitment to the research, and the signal sent by the Chinese government, provides an excellent example of how sport and government can work together for the greater anti-doping good and, importantly, to help give athletes the level playing field they so deserve.

Sir Reedie also added following a very productive personal meeting on a wide range of anti-doping matters with the Vice Premier of China, Ms. Liu Yandong, he would like to offer my thanks to her government and also to Mr. Liu Peng, the Minister for Sport for China and President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, for their strong demonstrations of support in the protection of the rights of clean athletes. China has led the way and set an example for other national governments to follow. The WADA chief added over the coming weeks, as the IOC’s 16 November deadline approaches, he will continue to engage governments and encourage them to follow China’s lead so that we can keep sport clean for all athletes.

IOC President, Thomas Bach said it is vital for the future of sport that we protect the clean athletes and that is why he so warmly welcomes this contribution by the Chinese government. Bach urged other governments to follow suit and match the ten million dollars the IOC has provided to improve anti-doping research and added without clean athletes there can be no credible competition, and without credible competition sport will also cease to be attractive to spectators and fans and would ultimately wither and die.

Vice Premier of China, Ms. Liu Yandong said she would like to thank WADA for its significant contribution to the development of anti-doping in China over the course of many years. Sport is an integral part of social development. Ms. Yandong added the Chinese government always attaches great importance to the development of sport and its instrumental role in society, and anti-doping plays a critical role in the healthy development of the Olympic Movement. She also remarked the Chinese government is continuously committed to the fight against doping in sport, and the promotion of clean sport and upholding a “zero tolerance” of doping.

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Thursday 10, Jul 2014

  UCI Efforts To Stamp Out Doping Applauded By IOC

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Anti-doping efforts initiated by UCI, the world governing body of cycling, have impressed the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.

The IOC remarked Brian Cookson, the UCI president, and other UCI officials met Bach in Lausanne and briefed him on measures for protecting clean athletes and the integrity of the sport of cycling. Bach remarked the efforts of UCI to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping were indeed impressive.

Bach spoke positively of the progress being made by the UCI after having a meeting with the UCI President, UCI director-general Martin Gibbs, and IOC counterpart Christophe De Kepper in Lausanne. Bach remarked the UCI informed me of all the measures they are taking to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping and added these efforts are indeed impressive. The International Olympic Committee President added it was great to see all the stakeholders equally committed to the fight for clean athletes and remarked we also discussed the UCI’s contributions to Olympic Agenda 2020, which will be looked at in even greater detail by Working Groups, and we are thankful for their input.

Cookson thanked Bach for a positive discussion covering a range of issues and said it was very useful to talk with him on the Olympic Agenda 2020 review and, in particular, discuss how cycling can play its role in those plans. Cookson also said among other things we believe cycling can be a big part of the IOC’s sustainability and legacy work by helping bid cities transform themselves into places where cycling is a preferred way of getting around, making those cities better places to exercise, live and work.

The election manifesto of Cookson comprised primarily of adopting a “zero tolerance” approach to doping in cycling to combat problems in the sport. After defeating Pat McQuaid to become the UCI President last September, Brian Cookson decided to establish an independent audit for looking into the approach of the International Cycling Union (UCI). The audit recommended “urgent” improvements to the anti-doping practices of the world governing body of cycling. It recommended that the possibilities for advance-testing should be eliminated and a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee should be established.

The audit team added that risk assessment should be regularized and documented as per the International Standard for Testing and communication between the CADF and LADS relating to results management should be clarified and formalized. It also remarked that UCI and Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) rules and procedures should be altered to align them with the revised World Anti-Doping Code. CADF looks after anti-doping for the UCI.

The audit team included Anne Cappelen, director of systems and results management at Anti-Doping Norway and Marjorit Nurmi, quality manager at the Finnish Anti-Doping Agency. After this audit, Cookson remarked he was pleased that the audit found that the Biological Passport program is outstanding and that results management is excellent and had remarked that the UCI will now make the necessary changes to policies, structures, and procedures in order to further improve the program and ensure compliance with the 2015 WADA code.

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Friday 22, Mar 2013

  Doping Samples From 2006 Turin Olympics To Be Retested

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Doping Samples From 2006 Turin Olympics To Be Retested

The International Olympic Committee will retest doping samples from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin with the eight-year deadline approaching in a bid to catch any drug cheats who may have escaped detection at the time.

The statute of limitations for Turin expires in February 2014. The Turin samples are stored at the doping laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland and they include urine and blood samples.

The international Olympic body has been storing samples for eight years since the Athens Games to allow for retesting when new methods are made available. Samples will be retested with more advanced techniques to search for banned substances that could not be found in 2006, IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist said and added that any positive tests would result in athletes being retroactively disqualified and stripped of any medals. The IOC is presently in consultation with the World Anti-Doping Agency on how many samples to retest and what all events to target. Endurance events like cross-country skiing are considered the most open to doping abuse while Ljungqvist said no samples are immune.

Ljungqvist said we could see from the retests of the Athens Games that there are good reasons for going back to Torino with methods that were not available then. The IOC last year retested samples from the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and caught five athletes who were retroactively stripped of their medals for using anabolic steroids, including men’s shot put winner Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine. The International Olympic Committee in 2010 re-analyzed some Turin samples for insulin and the blood-booster CERA but all those tests came back negative. During the Turin Games, there was only one positive test with Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva stripped of a silver medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant but the games were hit by a major doping scandal when Italian police on a tip-off from the IOC raided the lodgings of the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team and seized blood-doping equipment. Four athletes received life bans from the IOC after no athlete from Australia testing positive initially.

CERA retests from the 2008 Beijing Olympics led to five positive cases that included the stripping of Bahrain runner Rashid Ramzi’s gold medal in the 1,500 meters.

Ljungqvist said the IOC is discussing with WADA what to do and how much we do, just like we did with Athens and the joint effort was confirmed by WADA director general David Howman. Leaders of WADA last year criticized the IOC for not retesting more of the 3,000-plus samples from the Athens Olympics; the international Olympic body re-analyzed about 100 samples. Officials of the IOC are hopeful to wrap up the Turin retesting process, including any disciplinary procedures, before the next Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014.

Meanwhile, the International Association of Athletics Federations has also conducted retesting of doping samples and recently announced that six athletes from Russia and Belarus, including three gold and two silver medalists, had been caught for doping in retests from the 2005 track and field world championships in Helsinki.

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Sunday 24, Apr 2011

  Further checks on samples by IOC

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Further checks on samples by IOCThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) made it clear that it would not hesitate carrying out further checks on samples given during doping tests in Beijing.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said: “Our message is very clear. The IOC will not miss any opportunity to further analyse samples retroactively. We hope that this will work as a strong deterrent and make athletes think twice before cheating.”

Andy Parkinson, UK Sport’s head of operations, has appreciated the IOC announcement.

Monday 14, Mar 2011

  IOC confirms more of drug tests

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IOC confirms more of drug testsThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently confirmed that it will be carrying out further checks on samples given during doping tests in Beijing.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said: “Our message is very clear. The IOC will not miss any opportunity to further analyse samples retroactively. We hope that this will work as a strong deterrent and make athletes think twice before cheating.”

Andy Parkinson, UK Sport’s head of operations, has welcomed the IOC step.

Thursday 27, Jan 2011

  Olympic athletes will face new drug testing

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Olympic athletes will face new drug testingGreater grasp of time management for a selection of elite athletes of New Zealand will be required to execute a controversial new process governing drug testing.

Drug Free Sport NZ has been asked by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ensure sportsmen included in their registration pool for testing can be found at a precise time of day, 365 days of the year.

Drug Free Sport NZ’s chief executive had lobbied successfully for limiting the size of New Zealand’s registration pool.

Monday 10, Jan 2011

  Drug bans of four years considered by IOC

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Drug bans of four years considered by IOCThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to consult its member federations for doubling the durations of bans for first-time offenders using steroids.

The IAAF, Athletics’ world governing body, has proposed increasing bans from two to four years.

The US proposal calling for a life ban for first-time steroid offenders had been unrealistic, says the IAAF president Lamine Diack.

Monday 15, Dec 2008

  IOC to retest Beijing doping samples in January

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Olympic-SteroidsTo the 2008 Beijing Olympics athletes, to be stripped of medals is a bad, bad way to start 2009. Our advice to them? Take in all in stride. Look at the four riders in this year’s Tour de France who tested for CERA long after the cameras flashed and the medals awarded. Their collective sigh was: C’est la vie!

The International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday about 500 samples will undergo retroactive testing in January. Of that number are about 400 blood tests to be retested for third-generation drug CERA, while 100 are urine samples which will be tested for insulin. A WADA lab in Cologne, Germany will handle the retesting of the urine samples. According to AP report, the lab has come up with a reliable test for insulin which, like anabolic steroids, is considered a performance-enhancing drug.

IOC’s statement said the tests “will primarily target endurance events in cycling, rowing, swimming and athletics.” The test results are expected to be in by the end of March.

It was in October when IOC has announced its plan to carry out retroactive testing subsequent to AFLD’s (French anti-doping agency) statement that it will retest samples from the 2008 Tour de France riders. AFLD has developed a more effective method to test blood samples for new generation performance boosters like CERA. The new testing method caught four riders.

Wednesday 12, Nov 2008

  IOC president says Beijing doping cases are expected to increase

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olympic-oic-steroidsAs they say, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

This seems to be the case with the anti-doping testing at the 2008 Olympics. Although the international games have already commenced and concluded in August, there are still tests being carried out by the International Olympic Committee to determine who among the participants in Beijing had used the third generation blood booster known as CERA, or continuous erythropoiesis receptor activator.

IOC president Jacques Rogge himself confirmed that the number of doping cases in this year’s Olympics is expected to climb.

“There were 39 cases before the Olympics, while there were eight cases during the Olympics and seven cases are still in the pipeline, so there could be 15 cases in total,” Rogge told Austrian news agency APA.

“But we are going ahead very carefully. I expect results in four to six weeks.”

The IOC has been implementing strict anti-doping policy to deter athletes from using anabolic steroids and other prohibited compounds. Rogge, however, emphasizes a lifetime ban for first time offenders is too harsh.

“No court in the world would approve that. Any athlete would win a civil court,” he said.
“I think doping with anabolic steroids and EPO should be followed by a four-year ban.

“But first-time offenders can’t be banned for life. Criminals are also not shot the first time they are caught.”

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics more than 5000 urine samples have been taken, including more than 1,000 blood samples.

Testing for CERA is found to be more accurate when using blood samples.

The IOC had announced in October that they are going to retest blood samples taken from the participants in Beijing. The announcement came after the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) has developed a new method to effectively test for CERA. AFLD had also implemented retroactive testing for the 2008 Tour de France blood samples.

Tuesday 11, Nov 2008

  London Olympics 2012: Should we expect tougher anti-PEDs legislation?

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2012-the-summer-olympics-steroidsLondon is under pressure to toughen its stance on use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Will the 2012 Summer Olympics host city give in?

Presently, the International Olympic Committee is yet to receive any definitive action by the British government regarding legislation that will outlaw possession, supply and distribution of performance enhancing drugs.

The IOC would prefer that Britain should follow the path other European nations have taken. Countries like Sweden, Italy, Greece, and Germany have stricter doping laws where violators and suppliers can be imprisoned.

IOC’s chairman of medical commission Arne Ljungqvist, said he would be pushing for a change in the British law.

“I think legislation is very important that criminalizes certain offenses as detailed in the WADA code because it allows public authorities to intervene where we cannot,” Ljungqvist said, who is also a board member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“We as sports authorities have our limited possibilities regulated by our code. We can do testing but we cannot do searches,” Ljungqvist added.

Britain is expected to have a new independent anti-doping agency in place by next year but it is still recalcitrant as far as criminalizing doping.

“This is on my agenda so that Britain does have a law in place at the time of the Games which will allow them to take the same action as the Italians did if a similar situation occurred,” Ljungqvist said.

Ljungqvist was referring to the incident at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin when the Austrian cross-country skiing team was exposed of practicing blood doping. Italian police conducted search on said team’s accommodations and came up with banned substances and paraphernalia.

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