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Wednesday 01, Mar 2017

  Phelps Urges Lawmakers To Push For Anti-Doping Reform

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Michael Phelps, the American former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, has urged U.S. lawmakers to push for a reform of the global anti-doping effort in sport. Phelps also remarked he was never confident he was competing against clean athletes.

The most decorated Olympian, testifying in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Finance, also expressed his frustration at the lack of progress in the fight against the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport. Phelps said he does not believe he had stood up at an international competition and the rest of the field has been clean. The US swimmer went on to remark he does not think he had ever felt that and added throughout his career he had thought that some athletes were cheating and those suspicions were confirmed in some cases.

Phelps went on to remark that he was tested 13 times before the Rio Olympics when close to 2,000 athletes in ‘high risk’ sports were not tested even once. The 31-year-old swimming great took home five gold medals at the Rio Games and one silver to bring his total medal count to 28 over the course of four Olympics.

The 31-year-old himself has his own very history with usage of problematic substances. Phelps was photographed with a marijuana pipe in early 2009 and twice arrested for drunk driving. The US swimmer even went to rehab ahead of the Rio Games. In his time at the rehab, Phelps’ self-proclaimed former flame Taylor Lianne Chandler revealed graphic details of their alleged sex life. Plus-sized dominatrix Kim Petro claimed the swimmer gave her a $900 ‘donation’ for her to come to his hotel in February 2013 and allegedly engage in explicit acts while Phelps was wearing ‘skimpy women’s underwear.’

Phelps was joined at the hearing by Adam Nelson, Athens Summer Games shot put gold medalist. Nelson waited for nine years before he received the gold medal after Yuri Belonog of Ukraine was stripped of his gold following a failed drugs test. Nelson delivered an emotional account and said the medal came with a side of fries and a free toy and added the color and timing of a medal matter. Nelson said silver does not hold the same value and gold loses its shine over time.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart remarked at the hearing that the International Olympic Committee has been extremely soft on cheaters. Tygart said it was wrong on part of the IOC to ignore calls to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics and instead leave it on individual sport governing bodies to determine if Russian athletes should be allowed to compete in the Rio Summer Games of last year. Tygart also remarked at least two Olympic Games were corrupted and at the Rio Games this past August scores of Russian athletes were allowed to compete without credible anti-doping measures.

The USADA chief also said he IOC chose to welcome the Russian Olympic Committee to Rio when the moment came, despite mountains of evidence and vocal opposition from anti-doping leaders and clean athletes from around the world.

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Sunday 14, Aug 2016

  Drug Cheats Should Not Be Allowed To Compete At Olympics, Says Michael Phelps

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Olympic superstar Michael Phelps has remarked drug cheats should not be allowed back into sport.

The American competition swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time said it is sad that today in sports in general, not just only swimming, there are people who are testing positive who are allowed back in the sport and multiple times.

Phelps was speaking after it was made clear by young teammate Lilly King that she did not think Russian Yulia Efimova should be competing in the Rio Games. Lilly backed up her comments with a 100m breaststroke victory over world champion Efimova, who has served a steroid ban of 16 months but was allowed to swim in the Rio Olympics despite her testing positive this year for Meldonium, the drug which Maria Sharapova has been banned over.

King, a 19-year-old first-time Olympian, said she did not think Efimova belonged in the pool and many agreed as the 24-year-old world champion was showered with boos as she took the blocks. King won in an Olympic record of 1:04.93, with the Russian second in 1:05.50 and remarked she thinks it just proved that you can compete clean and still come out on top. King further remarked that people like US world champion sprinter Justin Gatlin should not be competing in Rio.

Phelps remarked he believes sport should be clean and sport should be on an even playing field, and he thinks that it is sad that in sports today we have people who are testing positive not only once but twice and still having the opportunity to swim at these Games. King spoke of her solidarity with the stance of Mack Horton of Australia and said she totally agrees with him.

Mack Horton of Australia recently taunted Chinese swimmer Sun Yang about his 2014 drugs ban, which drew a furious response from Chinese officials and media. The Chinese swimmer served a doping ban of three months after he tested positive for Trimetazidine, which Chinese officials said he had taken for years to treat an existing heart problem before the stimulant was added to World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list in January 2014. French swimmer Camille Lacourt weighed into the debate and said Sun “pisses purple”.

Horton won over drug-tainted Chinese star Sun Yang in the men’s 400m freestyle final. Horton had named his rival a “drug cheat” a few days back in a clear reference to Sun’s three-month suspension over banned heart medication in 2014. The comments of Horton got the Chinese swimming team fuming and an apology is sought by Chinese officials. Horton stood by his comments and the Australia Olympic Committee and numerous athletes, both Australia and otherwise, have backed the Aussie gold medalist on his stance. Australia Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said there would be no apology from Horton or the Australian team. The Chef de Mission said Mack obviously has very strong views about the need for clean sport, as every single one of us does and added he has every right to express his views and his displeasure in that sense.

US Olympic medalist swimmer Katie Meili also supported the stance of Horton and said swimming is so special that she hopes the powers that be are working hard to keep the integrity of the sport.

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Thursday 04, Sep 2014

  Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Suspended

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The NFL has suspended Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker on Tuesday for four games after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, reportedly a stimulant.

Welker, a powerful part of the NFL’s most productive scoring attack in history, will be a free agent at the end of the season. He just returned to practice on Monday after suffering a concussion during a pre-season game against Houston, his third concussion in the past 10 months. Welker will resume playing when the Broncos visit the New York Jets on October 12. He will lose the games at home against Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City, a rematch at Seattle Seahawks, and at home against Arizona on October 5.

It is rumored that the failed test of Walker could be because of him having ingested “molly” – MDMA, also known as ecstasy – at the Kentucky Derby in May. Welker was even clicked handing out $100 bills to strangers after having won $50,000 at Churchill Downs. However, Welker denied the Molly report and remarked he would not have any idea where to get a Molly, or what a Molly is. Walker went on to say that he does not do drugs and added he is as shocked as everyone at the news. Welker said he would never knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way. The fans of NFL are not to such denials. Last month, Dallas Cowboys’ Orlando Scandrick gave a similar excuse after he tested positive for amphetamines.

The use of performance enhancing and recreational drugs is not new to NFL.

Bill “Spaceman” Lee used to sprinkle marijuana on his Buckwheat pancakes. In the NFL of the 1970s and 80s, the Dallas Cowboys linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson was known to keep a liquid inhaler filled with a mixture of cocaine and water in his pants and had a habit of spraying into his mouth throughout the game.

In a remarkably frank 2010 interview with the Boston Globe, Boston Red Sox’s Bernie Carbo admitted that he smoked two joints, drank about 3-4 beers, used amphetamines, took a pain killer, drank a cup of coffee, chewed tobacco, and had a cigarette before he hit the three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Carbo was eventually traded by Red Sox after the team learned he used to toss baseballs into the stands during batting practice in exchange for joints (marijuana).

In 2009, USA Swimming suspended Michael Phelps who was fresh off conquering a record eight gold medals in a single Olympics in Beijing the year before, from competition for a period of three months after a photograph of him smoking from a “marijuana pipe” emerged. In a statement explaining the ban, USA Swimming didn’t made attempts to argue that the doping of Phelps was meant to give him an edge over his competitors. It was remarked by USA Swimming that we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and hero.

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Thursday 02, Aug 2012

  Teen Sensation Ye Shiwen Defended By IOC

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Teen Sensation Ye Shiwen Defended By IOC – Cliff Notes

Ye Shiwen 5 - doping accusationsOrganizers of the London Olympics and the governing body of swimming leapt to the defense of teen sensation Ye Shiwen.

Sport’s president said suspicions that China’s world record-breaking teen sensation Shiwen doped were “crazy” and motivated by jealousy and the IOC stressing its confidence in the drug testing program.

“We need to get real here,” said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams. “These are the world’s best athletes competing at the very highest level. We’ve seen all sorts of records broken already all over the place.”

Top five athletes in each event, in addition to two others, are tested as part of “a very, very strong drug-testing program, and we are very confident if there are cheats we will catch them, Adams said.

“We can’t stop speculation. It is inevitably a sad result of the fact that there are people who dope and who cheat,” Adams said. “It’s very sad we can’t applaud a great performance. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the athletes.”

Teen Sensation Ye Shiwen Defended By IOC – Video

The Chinese swimmer won the 400-meter individual medley on the opening day of the Olympic swimming competition and sliced through the last lap of the 400 in 28.93 seconds, which was faster than the 29.10 American winner Ryan Lochte posted in the last 50 of the men’s race.

John Leonard, head of the American Swimming Coaches Association, was among those openly questioning legitimacy of Ye Shiwen. Leonard was quoted him as saying the last 100 of her race “was reminiscent of some old East German swimmers.”

“History in our sport will tell you that every time we see something, and I put quotation marks around this, ‘unbelievable,’ history shows us that it turns out later on there was doping involved,” Leonard was quoted as saying.

“It’s a big mistake,” FINA president Julio Maglione said of Ye’s doubters. “The people that said this is crazy.”

Maglione added he has absolutely no suspicions about Ye and said FINA spends $1 million to drug-test the top 30 swimmers in the world two or three times a year and “swimming is absolutely clean.”

“Some people are just biased,” the official Xinhua News Agency quoted the anti-doping chief for China’s General Administration of Sport, Jiang Zhixue, as saying. “We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing.”

Sebastian Coe, head of the London organizing committee, said it would “very unfair to judge an athlete by a sudden breakthrough.” “What you tend to forget is probably the 10 years of work that’s already gone in to get to that point,” he said on ITV News. “You need to look back through her career. I think you’ve got to be very careful when you make judgments like that, but, yes, it is an extraordinary breakthrough.”

“Drug testing procedures in place at the London 2012 Olympics are extremely rigorous, and the storage of samples for eight years after the games makes doping a very high-risk strategy,” John Brewer, a board member of UK Anti-Doping and director of sport at the University of Bedfordshire said. “We should not be surprised by exceptional performances since gold-medal winning athletes are inevitably different to the rest of us due to their talent, training and lifestyles.”

Ye Shiwen Achievements in 2011-2012

  • 2011 Chinese Nationals – 1st 200 m individual medley; 1st 4×200 m freestyle relay
  • 2011 World Aquatics Championships – 1st 200m individual medley
  • 2012 Olympics – 1st 200m individual medley; 1st 400m individual medley


 

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Wednesday 01, Aug 2012

  Michael Phelps Dragged Into Doping Speculation

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Michael Phelps Dragged Into Doping Speculation – Cliff Notes

A former Olympic doctor from China has decided to throw @Michael Phelps and his fourteen gold medals under doping speculations. This was immediately after new swimming sensation of China, Ye Shiwen, was accused by media of doping accusations.

The 16-year-old Shiwen has won two gold medals at the London Olympics (the individual medley at 200 and 400 meters) and has denied using any banned drug. Organizers of the London Olympics also supported her claims and said every one is fair unless proven otherwise. ”The West still judges China with an old mentality, and is petty about the progress China makes,” the state-run China’s Global Times said in an editorial.

A former Olympic doctor says he has always suspected Phelps of using performance enhancing drugs but has kept silent till now due to lack of evidence.

“I suspect Phelps, but without evidence, I have to recognise that we should be grounded in facts,” said Dr Chen Zhanghao, who headed the Chinese Olympic medical team in Los Angeles, Seoul, and Barcelona. “The Americans have made many extraordinary performances but without evidence we have kept silent,” Dr. Chen revealed in an exclusive interview with Fairfax.

He added that China had cleaned up its act in the 1990s and “Once caught, the athlete, coach and sometimes team manager are dismissed.” “The Americans are very bad, they do a lot of evil,” he said. “But they don’t talk about themselves.”

Phelps is an American swimmer and holds the all-time records for gold medals (15) and gold medals in individual events (9). The most decorated Olympian of all time with 19 medals, Phelps is the present individual long course world record holder in the 100 meters butterfly, 200 meters butterfly, and 400 meters individual medley and the former long course world record holder in the 200 meters freestyle and 200 meters individual medley. His tally of eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games surpassed the seven-gold performance at Munich in 1972 by Mark Spitz. Michael Phelps won six gold and two bronze at Athens in 2004 and eight gold at Beijing in 2008 and his illustrious career has seen him earning the World Swimmer of the Year Award six times and American Swimmer of the Year Award eight times.

The American swimmer is regularly tested to ensure that his system is clean of performance enhancing drugs since he is a participant in the US Anti-Doping Agency’s “Project Believe” program. He won a silver medal in the 200 meter butterfly and a gold medal in the 4 × 200 meter freestyle relay on July 31, 2012 during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and surpassed Larisa Latynina to become the all-time record holder for most Olympic medals won.

Michael Phelps Doping – Video

He was suspended by USA Swimming after the News of the World published a photo of him inhaling from a glass pipe usually used to smoke cannabis.

The swimmer idolized Australian Ian Thorpe as a teenager and was congratulated by Thorpe when Phelps and his teammates captured the gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, “I’m really proud of him not just because he won eight golds. Rather, it’s how much he has grown up and matured into a great human being. Never in my life have I been so happy to have been proved wrong. I enjoyed every moment of it.” Thorpe added, “I just couldn’t envision it happening. And I didn’t think he would get all eight, not because Michael couldn’t win, but because of the competition. It’s been a very tough week to get through. I couldn’t do it. You couldn’t imagine much closer races. The 4×100 free goes down as one of the all-time great races.”

 

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Thursday 29, Oct 2009

  Famous players to have been involved in steroids scandals

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Famous players to have been involved in steroids scandalsAccording to Andre Agassi’s autobiography, he used crystal meth while still playing professional tennis. Agassi was not the only famous world-class player to have been involved with steroids.

Some of the most famous players were Diego Maradona, one of Argentina’s greatest football player who tested positive for ephedrine in the 1994 World Cup series.

Baseball’s highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. However, no penalties were imposed for a positive test until 2003.

Sports Illustrated broke the story about A-Rod’s use of steroids after they found that the Yankees slugger was among the list of 104 players that tested positive in a confidential testing.

Other athletes to have failed anti-doping tests were Olympic gold medalist swimmer, Michael Phelps, who was photographed to have been smoking pot at a student party in 2009.

Richard Gasquet, the French tennis star and a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, tested positive for cocaine use. However, he claimed that he got the residue from kissing a girl in a bar. He was later cleared of all charges.

Martina Hingis, one of the famous players in the tennis scene opted to retire early than undergo further tests for testing positive for cocaine use.

So far, these are the brightest stars in the sports arena to have also graced the news pages because of positive anti-doping tests.

Friday 29, Aug 2008

  Monetary incentives can tempt athletes to use steroids

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Michael Phelps used Steroids?

Michael Phelps used Steroids?

This maybe a cynical view but money is indeed a great motivating factor nowadays. It has been reported that one of the reasons why athletes risk their career and health and use steroids to win is money. And an athlete, who’s an icon in his/her sport, can receive sponsorships that amount to millions of dollars.

Take a look at Michael Phelps. Phelps is a now a hot and global commodity and we heard he is receiving a whopping $1 million dollars from Speedo as a bonus for a job well done in the recently concluded 2008 Olympics. Phelps, along with several Olympic swimmers, wore Speedo’s LZR Racer in Beijing. The LZR Racer swimwear has been dubbed as the “most hydro-dynamically advanced swimsuit to date.”

“When I hit the water, I feel like a rocket”, said Phelps of the LZR Racer in February when the suit was officially introduced. “I can’ wait to race in it, this is going to take the sport of swimming to a new level.” And when he did race in it, he delivered jaw-dropping (jaw-dripping, to some) performances.

Reports also say that aside from that huge bonus “The Barracuda from Baltimore” receives around $5 million dollars a year for various endorsement projects. Of course, we’re not saying that Phelps had used steroids to win eight gold medals in Beijing Olympics. Our point here is an athlete, who wants to be at Phelps’ shoes (or flippers) right now, can be tempted to use performance-enhancing drugs for monetary incentives.

Well, here’s the (very good) business side of sports from SBN.com:

All that glitters is gold when it comes to Michel Phelps and while he may not be buying a stairway to heaven, Michael Phelps future includes millions of dollars in endorsements. Today in part V of Sports Business News week long Michael Phelps series SBN will focus at Phelps relationship with Speedo as part of the look at the marketing machine that is Michael Phelps and take a look at the world wide interest in Michael Phelps.

Phelps relationship with Speedo began before the 2004 Athens Games. As will be the case later today when Phelps date with destiny arrives at the 2008 Beijing Games, Speedo offered Phelps a $1 million bonus if he won eight gold medals at the 2004 Games. Again he’ll collect that overdue $1 million bonus later tonight.

As you we all know, Phelps won his gold No. 8 in medley relay.

And there’s more.

Crain’s New York Business Friday reported that New York literary agent Scott Waxman invited publishers last week to bid on a memoir by the 23-year-old world record breaking swimmer, who has become a global sensation in Beijing.

The agent set a $1 million floor for the bidding, and wanted offers right away, which suggested to some publishers that he already had an offer.

And more.

Phelps along with James Bond and a handful of other ‘personalities’ has the designation of being an Omega Ambassador (there are a total of 13 and the list also includes retired Olympic gold medal swimmer Australian Ian Thorpe) Phelps relationship with Omega (one of the IOC’s 12 TOP sponsors) dates back to the 2004 Athens Games.

Wednesday 27, Aug 2008

  Incidents of steroid and PEDS use at 12-year low in 2008 Olympics

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Beijing Olympics SteroidsThe number of athletes who tested positive for steroids and other banned substances had hit 12-year low in the recently concluded Beijing Olympics and yet more and more athletes are being doubted for winning through legitimate means.

Take a look at the case of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and American swimming sensation Michael Phelps.

Bolt, who now currently holds both the Olympic and world records for the 100 meters, elicits some suspicion on his superb performance at the Bird’s Nest Stadium as he broke three world records in Beijing, way too easy in the opinions of fans and sports observers alike. This despite the fact that Bolt underwent rigorous and multiple drug screenings and passed them all.

Phelps, on the other hand, raked in eight gold medals in swimming and is now the proud holder of seven world records in swimming. And some opine the latest Spedoo LZR RACER swimwear might not be the only help the 23-year-old swimmer is getting when he hits the water.

The cynical view of many stems from the stark reality that former record holders and seemingly invincible Olympians have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs later on in their careers. Marion Jones and Ben Johnson are just two of the many who had once basked in Olympic glory then retreated in disgrace because of steroid use.

American sprinter Michael Johnson acknowledges this problem.

“It’s unfortunate what has happened to the sport and it has to be addressed and it is being addressed,” Johnson said. “But if someone wants to believe the only way (Bolt) can do what he’s doing is through doping, that is their prerogative.” Johnson’s world record in the 200-meter dash was broken by Bolt in Beijing.

There is also the concern of new class of PEDs, called designer drugs, and newfangled doping techniques constantly emerging from some rudimentary lab in some obscure places across the United States and elsewhere. Gene doping is at the forefront of these new doping technologies and anti-doping officials scramble as they find new ways to detect them.

Remember the case of Marion Jones, et al? Jones, who is currently serving her 6-month prison term due to lying to investigators who questioned her about her use of steroids, breezed through screenings while using the latest designer steroid at that time THG, or tetrahydrogestrinone. Jones, with her apparent use of THG, conquered the track to win five medals in the Sydney Olympics in 2000.  Jones and the other athletes might have continued with such illegal practice had it not been for the whistleblower in their coop, her track coach Trevor Graham.

Only six athletes of the nearly 11,000 participants in Beijing fell to the dragnet of the IOC and the question hangs if how many of these athletes were able to outsmart officials and got away with the gold loot.

The IOC also launched its first coordinated pre-games testing program, which caught 39 athletes and barred them from participating before the Aug. 8 opening ceremony. Such tests, for example, led to the entire Bulgarian weightlifting team to drop out before the Olympics.
While more positive drug test results could still turn up, especially for substances such as the blood booster erythropoietin, or EPOs, that take longer to detect, IOC officials were celebrating what they said was a victory for athletic fair play.

“We feel the deterrent effect played a part in what we see,” said IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies. “The athletes know that at this event the IOC, which is the organization running the doping programs, means business in not having those who cheat as a part of these events.”