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Wednesday 27, Jan 2016

  Radcliffe Slams MPs For The Doping Allegations

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Women’s marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe has suggested a parliamentary hearing into doping last year was “a set-up”. However, Radcliffe accepted a partial apology from Jesse Norman, chairman of the culture, media, and sport select committee during the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show.

Radcliffe remarked personally she feels she would appreciate an apology. The English long-distance runner, who is the current women’s world record holder in the marathon with her time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds, remarked Norman may not have intentionally meant to name her but if you ask him to name a winner or medalist of the London Marathon she doesn’t think he could name any of the others in that period and it shouldn’t have come down to that.

Norman had remarked winners of the London marathon including “potentially British athletes” were among those with suspicious blood tests. The chairman of the culture, media, and sport select committee did not use the name of Radcliffe but she argued there are so few people that fit that description he may have well have.

The three-time winner of the London Marathon added it just smacks to me of a little bit of a set-up and an exercise for the MPs instead of an exercise to get to the truth and to determine is the UK huge, does it have a problem with blood doping in athletics. Paula was implicated in doping allegations after a leak of blood data to The Sunday Times. She vehemently denied the allegations and was cleared by the International Association for Athletics Federation (IAAF). The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and UK Anti-Doping, following the accusations and rumors, remarked they had no evidence of doping and wrongdoings against the women’s marathon world record-holder.

Reacting to Paula’s call for an apology, Norman said no apology is required since he was not naming Paula. Norman added he thinks it is a terrible shame that her name was linked with the hearing and I am amongst millions of people in this country who has nothing but admiration for the sporting achievements linked to her name. Norman was however to say he was “sorry” if his actions had results in Paula Radcliffe being linked with the athletics’ blood doping scandal. Norman remarked he was perfectly happy to say that he is sorry to hear about what has happened and he is sorry it has been taken in this way. Norman also went on to say that what he does think is a pity, and what he had not realized at the time, was that Radcliffe had been pursued by people in and outside the sport on this issue beforehand, and that may have been why the link was made, but it had nothing to do with him. Norman also said he was not able to name any other winners or medalists of the London marathon.

Paula Radcliffe, who won the 10,000 meters silver medal at the 1999 World Championships and was the 2002 Commonwealth champion at 5000 meters, has earned her a number of accolades including the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Laureus World Comeback of the Year, IAAF World Athlete of the Year, AIMS World Athlete of the Year (three times), and a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Paula was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Wednesday 26, Aug 2015

  Liliya Shobukhova’s Sanction Reduced

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Liliya Bulatovna Shobukhova, the Russian long-distance runner who competed in marathon races, has finally received a reprieve from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Shobukhova, who was stripped of three Chicago and one London Marathon titles, had her ban reduced by seven months for providing “substantial assistance” to WADA. The 37-year-old Russian athlete was banned for a period of three years and two months after abnormalities were found in her athlete biological passport. She was initially banned for a period of two years but her ban was extended to run from January 24, 2013 to March 23, 2016 after the world governing body of athletics appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports. Her ban is now reduced after the World Anti-Doping Agency agreed to the cut in the sanction and the athlete is now eligible to compete again.

A WADA statement said it has agreed to a seven-month reduction in the athlete’s sanction that brings the total length of the athlete’s ineligibility period to two years and seven months, which ended on 23 August 2015. The anti-doping agency remarked reduction in the ban was due to substantial assistance that Shobukhova provided in line with the provisions of the world anti-doping code. The statement also reads that Liliya Shobukhova approached WADA in May 2014 to offer substantial assistance within the meaning of the code and it was also disclosed that the athlete accepted from the outset that she had committed an anti-doping rule violation.

It was also remarked the information and documentation provided by Shobukhova has been of substantial value in uncovering and investigating anti-doping rule violations committed by other individuals, including athlete support personnel and WADA considered the information provided by Shobukhova to be of significant value to clean sport. Therefore, WADA decided to exercise its authority and use the Substantial Assistance provisions in the 2015 Code [Article; also reflected in Rule 40.7(a) (ii) of Chapter 3 of the IAAF Competition Rules].

In 2001, Liliya Shobukhova started her career in middle-distance running and grabbed headlines when she reached the final at both the European Indoor Championships and European Athletics Championships in 2002. Her first big success moment came at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2006 European Athletics Championships where she won silver medals. In 2007, she won the Prague Half Marathon and reached final of 5000 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Shobukhova is the present European record holder in the 3000 meters and 5000 meters and a former world indoor record in the 3000 meters.

Her personal best of 2:18:20, set to win the Chicago Marathon in 2011, will be struck and the Russian athlete would no longer be considered the second fastest woman in history behind world record holder Paula Radcliffe. After a ban was imposed by the Russian federation, the World Marathon Majors announced it will amend the standings for WMM Series IV and WMM Series V and confirm a woman’s series winner. This meant that Irina Mikitenko of Germany will replace Liliya Shobukhova as the 2009-2010 series champion and Edna Kiplagat of Kenya will get the 2010-2011 title.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Liliya Shobukhova’s Sanction Reduced

Sunday 16, Aug 2015

  Ashenden Hits Back At IAAF Presidential Candidate

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Michael Ashenden, who was one of two anti-doping experts to be enlisted by the Sunday Times, has hit back at IAAF Presidential candidate Lord Sebastian Coe. Ashenden accused the world governing body of athletics in an open letter to Coe accusing the International Association of Athletics Federations of lacking the drive to clean up the sport.

Ashenden recently analysed leaked data belonging to the IAAF that included more than 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes. The two scientists concluded that hundreds of athletes had recorded suspicious test results that were not followed up. The under-fire IAAF recently criticized Ashenden and fellow expert Robin Parisotto and Coe was particularly outspoken. The IAAF Vice-President, who is fighting against Sergey Bubka for the Presidential post, called the scientists “so-called scientists” and branded the allegations of widespread doping as a “declaration of war” on athletics.

In the open letter, Ashenden asked Coe whether the IAAF was pursuing its anti-doping mandate with the same single-minded, all-consuming dedication that athletes adopt in their pursuit of winning. Ashenden commented he does not believe that the IAAF has done a fair and commendable job after looking at the leaked database.

In December, Coe admitted that doping in sports as serious as those sparked by the Ben Johnson and BALCO doping scandals. The former London 2012 chairman had remarked then that allegations of systematic doping among Russian athletes had added to ghastly days for athletics. At this time, Coe had also remarked that he had no knowledge about a list of 150 athletes with suspicious blood test results referred to by ARD, the German broadcaster. The list, produced between 2006 and 2008 by an IAAF official, included the names of three British athletes including one household name considered to have suspicious blood values.

The Sunday Times added the winners of 34 major marathons around the world – one in four – during the period of 12 years should have faced investigation or censure due to their test results, with those athletes collecting more than £3million in prize money. The Sunday Times also reported that London Marathon was the worst affected with seven wins, six second places and seven third places out of 24 men’s and women’s races allegedly involving suspicious blood results.

Reacting to doping allegations, London Marathon chief executive Nick Bitel criticized the IAAF and remarked race organizers are very much concerned by claims made by ARD and the Sunday Times that seven winners in a 12-year period recorded suspicious blood scores. Bitel added we continue to be at the forefront of anti-doping measures for marathon runners as we are determined to make marathon running a safe haven from doping but we cannot do it all on our own and rely heavily on the IAAF.

Earlier this week, Liliya Shobukhova was stripped of her three Chicago Marathon titles and 2010 London Marathon win, with all her results from 2009 onwards annulled. In 2014, Shobukhova was banned because of irregularities in her biological passport. The ban on Shobukhova was extended after the IAAF made a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It was argued by the IAAF that her ban should be extended; the ban now lasts until March 23, 2016.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Ashenden Hits Back At IAAF Presidential Candidate

Wednesday 11, Aug 2010

  Professional sport performance can be maximized

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Professional sport performance can be maximizedAthletes training for the London Marathon could expect to deliver dramatic performance by keeping a close eye on what they eat and drink, as per a recently concluded study by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire.

Some food products and drinks could be of great use to sportsmen striving to attain maximum energy levels while participating in sporting events, according to Dr Peter Jones, a Senior Lecturer at the University’s School of Life Sciences.

It is worth noting here that anabolic steroids, like Winstrol and Deca Durabolin, have been instrumental in providing unmatched advantages to sportsmen for staying ahead of the competition.