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Thursday 01, Sep 2016

  More Medalists Stripped For Doping At Beijing Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee has stripped four athletes, including three Russians, after their doping samples from 2008 were retested and came back positive for banned drugs.

The IOC sanctioned a total of six athletes — one runner and five weightlifters — on reanalysis of their samples with improved techniques. The athletes were among the 98 positive cases recorded in the retesting of more than 1,000 samples from Beijing and the 2012 London Olympics.

Yarelys Barrios of Cuba was stripped of the silver medal in the women’s discus from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after he tested positive in a reanalysis of her doping samples. The Cuban discus thrower tested positive for Acetazolamide, a banned diuretic and masking agent. The drug is used to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness and has the ability to reduce nausea, headache, tiredness, dizziness, and shortness of breath. This “water pill” (diuretic) can work less well over time.

The 33-year-old has been retroactively disqualified and loses the silver medal that she won with a throw of 63.64 meters. Olena Antonova of Ukraine would now receive the silver medal and Song Aimin of China will move from fourth to bronze. Stephanie Brown Tratfton of the United States won the gold with a throw of 64.74 meters. Yarelys also competed at the 2012 London Olympics and was upgraded from fourth place to the bronze medal after Darya Pishchainikova of Russia was retroactively stripped of the silver for doping.

The International Olympic Committee asked the IAAF, the track and field’s world governing body, to modify the 2008 discus results and consider any further action against the two-time silver medalist at the world championships and two-time gold medalist in the Pan American Games.

The Nigerian-born Qatari sprinter Samuel Adelebari Francis was disqualified from the Beijing Games after testing positive for the steroid Stanozolol. Francis was eliminated in the 100-meter heats and did not start in the 200-meter heats. The Qatari sprinter was the 100-meter champion at the 2007 Asian Games in Amman where won in a personal best time of 9.99 seconds.

Russian weightlifter Marina Shainova was stripped of her silver medal in the 58-kilogram class after testing positive for Stanozolol and Turinabol. Nadezda Evstyukhina was stripped of her bronze medal in the 75-kilogram weightlifting division after her samples came back positive for Turinabol and EPO. Armenia’s Tigram Martirosyan, who tested positive for Stanozolol and Turinabol, was stripped of the bronze medal in the men’s 69 kg weightlifting class. Russian runner Tatyana Firova was stripped of her silver medal in the women’s 4×400-metre relay after she tested positive for Turinabol and a cocktail of other steroids. Tatyana had her ninth-place finish in the individual 400 meters annulled.

Alexandru Dudoglo of Moldova (ninth place in the 69 kg division) was also disqualified for Stanozolol and Intigam Zairov of Azerbaijan (ninth place in the 85 kg class) tested positive for Turinabol.

Previously, Russia was stripped of the relay medal when runner Anastasia Kapachinskaya tested positive. The country also lost the Beijing gold medal in the 4×100 relay after Yulia Chermoshanskaya failed a retest of her samples.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: More Medalists Stripped For Doping At Beijing Olympics

Friday 04, Dec 2015

  Tygart To Join USA Swimming For Meeting With FINA

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USA Swimming has decided to team up with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart. The man who brought down Lance Armstrong will join former USA Swimming president Jim Wood for a meeting next month with FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu in Lausanne, Switzerland. This meeting will be held to check in on anti-doping actions of swimming’s governing body.

The concern lies with the way doping cases of Australia’s Kylie Palmer, China’s Sun Yang, and Russia’s Yuliya Efimova were handled.

Palmer, a member of the Australian 4×200-meter freestyle relay team that conquered won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games, tested positive for low levels of a banned masking agent at the 2013 worlds in Barcelona. However, she was not informed of the failed test until earlier this year. The Aussie swimmer denied taking any performance enhancing drug but accepted a provisional suspension that ruled her out of the Kazan World Championships. Thereafter, anti-doping tribunal of FINA issued only a reprimand and warning to Palmer and allowed her to resume her bid to compete in Rio Olympics.

A doping suspension of three months was imposed on Sun, the gold medalist in the 400- and 1,500-meter freestyle at the London Olympics, for using a banned stimulant. The suspension of Sun started immediately after he failed the drugs tests in May 2014 but news of his suspension was kept quiet by Chinese officials for six months and the world governing body of swimming waited until late November to announce the sanction. The Chinese swimmer was thereafter named male swimmer of the meet at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in August.

In March, Yuliya Efimova made a return from a doping ban of 16 months after she tested positive for DHEA, the banned stimulant. The Los Angeles-based swimmer claimed she ingested the steroid in a nutritional supplement. Efimova added her English was poor enough and she did not notice that DHEA was written on the package of the supplement. The swimming’s governing body accepted that the swimmer was not intending to improve performance and FINA decided not to give Yuliya the standard doping ban of two years that would have ruled her out of her home worlds.

USA Swimming is keen to ensure that the likes of Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps compete against only clean athletes at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said this is an effort to see if we can understand what’s going on and maybe why certain decisions were made the way they were. Wielgus added USA Swimming has been extremely supportive of FINA’s leadership and also remarked the FINA executive director was very quick to agree to a meeting so we were very pleased by that and we saw that as a very positive response.

Wielgus added we want clean competition and ensure that the water is clean for open water swimmers. He however added that quality of water will not be discussed in the meeting with the FINA executive director.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Tygart To Join USA Swimming For Meeting With FINA

Monday 29, Dec 2008

  Suspended Vikes said they used diuretic to get $400,000 bonus

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williams-steroidsAccording to Minneapolis Star Tribune Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, also known as the Williams’ Wall, used a banned compound to be eligible for the $400,000 bonus. They will get said reward if they weigh at or below the prescribed weight during several weigh-ins conducted throughout the year.

This information was included in the NFL letter to the Williams’ lawyer in connection with both players’ appeal of their four-game suspensions. More on this from Star Tribune.

The letter was sent by NFL executive vice president Jeffrey Pash on Dec. 2 to Peter Ginsburg, lawyer for the Williams’, denying their appeal of the suspensions. According to the document, the players tested positive “on or about July 26″ and were advised by letter two months later. They appealed, and at their appeal hearing Nov. 20, both players said they took StarCaps “on more than one occasion” the night before a scheduled weigh-in. The supplement contained the banned diuretic known as bumetanide.
According to the letter, both Pat and Kevin Williams get their bonuses if they are at or below their prescribed weight 11 times during the year (eight during the season, three off-season). That weight clause, however, provided that the players “would not engage in any ‘last-minute weight reduction techniques,’ which included ‘use of diuretics.’” Pash also wrote “I accept the representations of both players that they did not use steroids.”

Diuretics, such as bumetanide, have the ability to aid in rapid weight loss by enhancing rapid water loss through urine excretion. Sports organizations like the NFL consider diuretics as masking agents since they can banned compounds such as anabolic steroids by diluting urine.

Tuesday 09, Dec 2008

  Suspended (and doped) Vikes gets TRO

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nfl-steroids-dopingMinnesota Vikings Pat and Kevin Williams, who received a four-game suspension each on Tuesday for violating NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances, may see action in Sunday’s match at Detroit.

The two tackles were granted temporary restraining order by Hennepin County District Court Judge Gary Larson and they are now back at their team’s active roster. Larson’s ruling, however, could be reversed depending on the outcome of the full hearing he will have with the league.

The NFL, of course, was displeased with the issuance of the TRO. It said in a statement:  “The NFL policy on steroids and related substances is a collectively bargained program between the league and the NFL Players Association. The program and the collective bargaining agreement expressly bar precisely this kind of lawsuit.

“All of the steroid program’s rules and procedures are established in agreement with the players’ union. In other words, the players have agreed to the rules and the procedures that they are now challenging. There is no merit to this lawsuit, and we will promptly seek to have the order reversed.”

Dan Nash, a lawyer for the NFL, said  he will  consult with the league.
“I’m not sure what our next step will be,” he said.

More background scoop from Star Tribune:

Random drug testing revealed July 26 that both players had bumetanide in their systems. They claimed they took the substance to lose weight. Neither player showed traces of anabolic steroids or urine dilution, the lawsuit noted.

But the NFL suspended both players for four games and upheld the suspensions after both players appealed Nov. 20 in New York. “The instant suspensions provide the NFL with a politically palatable solution to convincing public officials that the league is seriously policing the use of steroids,” the players’ legal documents said.

But Dan Nash countered there is no dispute the players took a banned substance. “It doesn’t matter whether you took them to mask a steroid or whether you took them to lose weight,” he said.

Friday 21, Nov 2008

  Saints players did not take steroids, says lawyer

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nfl-steroidsNFL’s independent drug administrator reportedly knew of the StarCaps weight-loss supplement containing the banned compound bumetanide but failed to inform the players about this fact.

This has come up during the appeal hearing of three New Orleans Saints players with NFL’s top officials. The testimony of Dr. John Lombardo was disclosed by Atty. David Cornwell via email to the Associated Press. Cornwell is representing Saints’ Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant.

According to Cornwell’s email, Lombardo learned in late 2006 that the StarCaps product contained bumetanide, a loop diuretic considered to be a masking agent for anabolic steroids and other prohibited compounds.

Apparently, Lombardo intentionally omitted the warning because “he feared that a specific warning regarding StarCaps could be used as a defense to alleged violations of the steroid policy that involved weight reduction products other than StarCaps.”

Cornwell, however, said that Lombardo’s decision to not disclose the information that bumetanide was in StarCaps “may have exposed NFL players to the significant health risks associated with the unintentional ingestion of diuretics.”

“If Dr. Lombardo had notified NFL players that StarCaps contained Bumetanide, Will, Deuce and Charles would have never used the product to lose weight,” Cornwell said.

Other players who got implicated with the bumetanide controversy include defensive tackle Grady Jackson of Atlanta and defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams of Minnesota.

The Williamses are also appealing their cases.

Thursday 20, Nov 2008

  Falcons Grady Jackson sues StarCaps for his doping suspension

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starcaps_steroids_nflGrady Jackson, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle, has followed the example of New Orleans Saints Jamar Nesbit.

Jackson is also suing Nikki Haskell’s StarCaps for getting him banned for four games, the typical penalty for first time offenders of the NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

Jackson and Nesbit are just two of the several NFL players who got suspended for doping for testing positive for bumetanide. It was alleged that StarCaps diet pills were tainted with the loop diuretic.

Bumetanide is among the NFL’s prohibited compounds since it is sometimes used as a masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs including anabolic steroids.

From the StarCaps.com is this statement: “We’ve received notice of a problem with an NFL player.We have referred the matter to our counsel and are taking all necessary steps to ensure that our customers receive product that is safe and effective. We have temporarily suspended shipping of StarCaps pending the results of our investigation.”

The other players who got involved in the bumetanide controversy were defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams of the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints trio Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant.

There was discussion that Grady Jackson was going to buy steroids and diuretics, but is now blaming starcaps on his problems.  Grady Jackson has been known to buy steroids in the past in the fairly open, which he shouldn’t do.

Monday 03, Nov 2008

  Williams Wall, other NFL players likely to receive punishment for violating NFL’s steroid policy

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nfl-steroidsThe NFL players who are currently under investigation for testing positive for bumetanide have a slim chance of winning their cases.

The league’s Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances is explicit about use of prohibited compounds. The following is an excerpt from this policy relating to the use of masking agents like bumetanide, a loop diuretic.

“The use of so-called ‘blocking’ or ‘masking’ agents is prohibited by this policy. These include diuretics or water pills, which have been used in the past by some players to reach an assigned weight. In addition, a positive test will not be excused because it results from the use of a dietary supplement, rather than from the intentional use of a prohibited substance. Players are responsible for what is in their bodies.”

And in case players are unsure of a certain dietary supplement or other product, they are advised to call the NFL Advisor on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances and players don’t have the excuse of not having enough quarters to dial the payphone- it’s a toll-free hotline.

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards knew the futility of appealing his case. He said he “knew there was no chance” of him winning it. The 25-year-old was suspended December last year for an unidentified substance.

Speaking from experience, Edwards likes to impart to players to be cautious with supplements and other products they use.

“This is our job. We just have to make sure we protect ourselves. That’s about it. That’s all I’m saying,” he said. “I had the situation last year. You’ve just got to protect yourself.”

It’s unfortunate that Edwards failed to advise his fellow Vikes, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, before the duo known as the ‘Williams Wall’ opted to use bumetanide.

Tuesday 28, Oct 2008

  Sports fans couldn’t care less about players’ steroid use

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MLB-steroidsYou must have read by now countless blogs tackling the latest controversy in the National Football League re several players testing positive for Bumetanide. The controversy arises not on the number of players; it was significant based on either report – Fox 31 television in Denver says there are between six to10 players who tested positive for this masking agent while ESPN.com says the number may exceed 15 – but on the way the names of the two athletes had popped out in the media reports.

Fox 31’s Josina Anderson reported that three or four positive tests emanated from the New Orleans Saints and named two athletes from that team. Saints’ Deuce McAllister and Will Smith are among the players who may face suspension, said the Fox 31 report.

The NFL is yet to react on the reports; however, sports and entertainment attorney David Cornwell has taken umbrage at the leaked information. It has been reported by AP that Cornwell will facilitate the appeal cases of some of the athletes involved.

“The author of the first report should be denied credentials and access to NFL games and other league events until she discloses her source.  Protecting players’ rights to confidentiality under the Policy is far more important than protecting the First Amendment rights of the coward who leaked confidential information or the competitive interest of a writer who is trying to scoop her colleagues.  The source knew he/she was doing something wrong and the writer encouraged it by offering anonymity.  They have no legitimate interests to protect,” Cornwell said in his email to ProFootballTalk.

“Everybody involved knows the confidentiality rules,” Cornwell added.  “The right to confidentiality overrides a reporter’s desire to break a story.  There is no public interest or public right to know.  The confidentiality rule presumes that nobody has right to know while the process moves forward.  Confidentiality is the cornerstone of every workplace testing program. It must be protected against any perceived competing interest — especially an unrelated party’s interest.”

But do you think sports fans, particularly football fans, are really that concerned about use of steroids and masking agents by the players? Or about whether or not a player’s privacy has been breached? We think not! Sports fans want to be entertained.

Remember what happened in the Major League Baseball. During the McGwire-Sosa race to beat Roger Maris’ homerun record stadiums were easily filled to capacity. When the MLB adopted a stricter anti-doping policy, and sluggers’ home runs dwindled, there had been a significant decline in the ticket sales. Obviously, baseball fans spend their legal tender to see home runs. Similarly, football fans want to see more touchdowns, and more forceful bumps-and-runs and aggression on the field. If players are using steroids and other performance enhancers, fans couldn’t care less. Fans buy tickets to see action and do not mind if players have receding hairlines, zits or zilch testosterone level. Fans just want to shout: “Let’s get it on!”

Friday 12, Sep 2008

  Somebody’s ‘butt’ got kicked because of steroids

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Nameed Ahmed Butt, a 37-year-old powerlifter who hails from Pakistan tested positive for a banned compound in the ongoing Paralympic Games in Beijing.

The urine sample was taken Sept. 4, two days before the opening ceremony.

“In accordance with the IPC anti-doping code, and after a hearing of the IPC anti-doping committee, the IPC ratified the decision to disqualify Butt from the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games,” the statement said, adding that a two-year ban had been imposed.

Peter Van de Vliet, the IPC’s medical and scientific director, said Butt’s accreditation was also being canceled.

The IPC has said it plans about 1,000 in- and out-of-competition tests on both blood and urine.

Another Paralympian also was kicked out of Beijing because he tested positive for a masking agent.

Ahmet Coskun, German wheelchair basketballer, was disqualified from the games for using a banned drug. Coskun’s pre-competition urine test on August 23 tested positive for finasteride, a compound used to treat hair loss.

According to the statement released by the German National Paralympic Committee, although finasteride does not enhance performance it can be used to mask or cover up drugs that do. Coskun, meanwhile, denied he had used performance-enhancing drugs.

“I was thinking about my hair and had no idea that the drug, which is against hair loss, contained a banned substance. I’m very upset. I never intended to do doping,” the 33-year-old Coskun stated in said statement.

“We take the issue of anti-doping very seriously. We’ve been carrying out an intensive anti-doping campaign for years in cooperation with NADA (the German anti-doping agency),” German chef de mission Karl Quade said in the same statement.

In 2004 Paralympic Games held in Athens, two powerlifters from Azerbaijan were banned after testing positive for anabolic steroids in out-of-competition screenings.

Urine samples from Gunduz Ismayilov showed traces of stanazolol while Sara Abbasova tested positive for nandrolone. They were the second doping offenses for both athletes as such they received lifetime ban from the sport.

Ismayilov had served a two-year ban after testing positive for methandienone and nandrolone metabolites at the Sydney Paralympics in 2000.

Abbasova’s first offense was at the 2001 European powerlifting championships where she tested positive also for methandienone.

Methandienone is a steroid derived from testosterone that exhibits strong anabolic and moderate androgenic properties. This compound is popular among athletes because it is one of the most effective steroids around. This steroid is known to yield impressive muscle mass and strength in just a short period of time. It derives strength for athletes by readily augmenting depleted glycogen storage. Glycogen is a form of glucose which functions as the primary short term energy storage in human cells.

The incident with the Azerbaijan athletes was the first time the International Paralympic Committee has imposed a lifetime ban.

The Paralympic Games in Beijing commenced September 6 and will run up to September 17. That’s a few more days to go and so other Paralympian might be tested positive for banned compounds. We’ll keep you posted.