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Thursday 22, Jun 2017

  Russia Bans Four Athletes For Doping

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The Athletics Federation of Russia has announced suspensions of four years have been imposed on Russian runners whose samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics tested positive for a banned steroid.

Last year, Long-distance runner Inga Abitova and 400-metre specialists Anastasia Kapachinskaya and Denis Alekseyev were disqualified by the International Olympic Committee after their samples from Beijing were found to contain banned substances in retesting, including the steroid Turinabol.

The results of Alekseyev between August 2008 and June 2013 are annulled, according to the Russian athletics federation. Alekseyev won bronze in Beijing as part of the Russian men’s 4×400-metre relay team but the International Olympic Committee ordered that he and his teammates be stripped of their medals. The Russian athletics federation also announced the results of Kapachinskaya starting from August 2008 are annulled. The athlete and her 4×400-metre relay teammates were also stripped of their silver medals from Beijing. Kapachinskaya also tested positive for Stanozolol and her retested sample from the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu also showed up as positive.

American Francena McCorory will now inherit the 400 bronze of Kapachinskaya from the 2011 world championships. Alekseyev took bronze in the men’s 4x400m and Kapachinskaya claimed silver in the women’s 4x400m relay. Their medals had already been reallocated by the International Olympic Committee and Great Britain is set to receive bronze in both events.

Christine Ohuruogu, Kelly Sotherton, Marilyn Okoro and Nicola Sanders – the GB women’s quartet – finished fifth but now have moved to the third place as a result of both third-placed Russia and fourth-placed Belarus being disqualified because of subsequent failed tests. Andrew Steele, Robert Tobin, Michael Bingham and Martyn Rooney – the men’s four – moved from fourth to third when the International Olympic Committee stripped third-placed Russia of their medal in September.

The Athletics Federation of Russia said the suspensions handed out to Alekseyev and Abitova will end next year because the suspension terms already include two-year bans they had previously served for doping offences. European silver medalist Irina Maracheva was also suspended.

Abitova, the 2006 European Champion in the 10,000 meters reached the final at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and specializes in the 10,000 meters and the marathon. The Russian athlete received a doping ban of two years for abnormal hemoglobin profile in her biological passport. In 2006, Abitova had become European champion over the 10,000 meters at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Alekseyev tested positive for the anabolic steroid Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Oral Turinabol) in an out-of-competition control 27 June 2013. Alekseyev was one of 14 Russian athletes and nine medalists who were implicated following the retesting of urine from the 2008 Olympic Games.

Kapachinskaya was disqualified from competitions in 2004 and 2008 because of doping offences. The sprint athlete was initially awarded gold in the 200 m event at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest but she was later stripped of the title after testing positive for Stanozolol, the banned anabolic steroid. Kapachinskaya face a lifetime ban from the sport as this would be a second doping offence.

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Thursday 27, Apr 2017

  Criticism Of Testing Procedure For Turinabol Dismissed By WADA

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has dismissed the suggestions made by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko that questioned the method for detecting Turinabol.

In an interview with news agency TASS, Mutko had remarked the method for detecting Turinabol would find the banned substance “even in coffee”. Mutko also commented that the test for Turinabol could not be trusted because it was designed by Grigory Rodchenkov. Testimony of the former director of the Moscow Laboratory sparked the Independent Commission investigation into widespread doping in Russia.

Mutko, who was promoted from Sports Minister to Deputy Prime Minister in October of last year, said a number of athletes have filed lawsuits against the method of Rodchenkov that can detect steroids in the body for far longer. Mutko said most violations are currently detected according to a technology designed by a former head of the Russian lab and added Turinabol tests are his invention.

A WADA spokesperson said Oral Turinabol is a synthetic anabolic steroid developed by a pharmaceutical company and we are not aware of any natural source of Turinabol. The spokesperson added we have tested hundreds of thousands of coffee drinkers’ urine samples over the years without detecting any Turinabol or metabolites of Turinabol.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently disqualified two Russian athletes – Tatyana Chernova and Maksim Dyldin – from Beijing 2008 for failing retrospective tests.  A statement by the International Olympic Committee reads that re-analysis of Chernova’s samples from Beijing 2008 resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substance Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Turinabol). The statement also reads that the Russian Olympic Committee shall notably secure the return to the IOC, as soon as possible, of the bronze medal, the medalist pin, and the diploma awarded in connection with the women’s heptathlon event to the athlete and the decision is effective immediately. Dyldin, a relay specialist, is already serving a four year suspension after refusing to participate in drugs tests. The 29-year-old would be ineligible until 2021.

Both athletes were caught because of new techniques provided by Rodchenkov. Chernova was stripped of the bronze medal she won in the heptathlon event in Beijing; the heptathlete has already been stripped of her 2011 world title and the Olympic bronze medal she won at London 2012 for doping.

A total of 83 athletes have tested positive for Turinabol that is at the centre of the IOC’s retesting of samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 retests across both editions of the Games. Turinabol was also the substance of choice for East German officials in the infamous state-sponsored doping scheme of the country. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) conducted a widespread doping regime, known as State Plan 14.25, during a 20-year period in the 1970s and 1980s prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The widespread doping regime was overseen by the Ministry for State Security, known as the Stasi. It is widely believed that up to 9,000 athletes were part of the program, often being given banned drugs without their knowledge.

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Sunday 19, Feb 2017

  FLAU President Defends Anti-Doping Measures

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Ihor Hotsul, President of the Ukrainian Athletics Federation (FLAU), has come out strongly to justify improvements made by his organization to improve its anti-doping procedures.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) last year placed Ukraine along with Belarus, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Kenya on a special monitoring list. The National Anti-Doping Agency of Ukraine was briefly declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) before it met a series of conditions in March last year.

In recent years, dozens of Ukrainian athletes have been tested positive for banned performance enhancing drugs. The list includes Heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska who failed a drug test for Methyltestosterone and was stripped of her Beijing 2008 silver medal.

Shot putter Yuriy Bilinog was stripped of his Athens 2004 Olympic gold after traces of anabolic steroid Oxandrolone were revealed in retests. Oleksandr Pyatnytsya, London 2012 javelin silver medal winner, was retrospectively disqualified after testing positive for Oral Turinabol.

Hotsul said there will be further improvements in the anti-doping procedures of the Ukrainian Athletics Federation following a pledge of support from the Government. Recently, the law was officially passed through Ukrainian Parliament.

Hotsul said the loss of many sponsors and partners made it hard for the FLAU to reimburse the costs of sample analysis through its low budget. Hotsul thanked the world governing body of athletics and its President Sebastian Coe for their support. He further commented that around 10 urine and 70 blood samples taken from the 2016 National Championships in Lutsk have already been analyzed this way by a testing group from Global Sports GmbH. The FLAU President said these examples clearly show the positive dynamics of measures taken in order to fight doping and also commented that we are very grateful to the IAAF for understanding our situation and for the support regarding testing and promoting the new edition of the anti-doping law. Hotsul also said we would like to emphasize once again that our Federation takes a tough and uncompromising approach to the fight against doping and it makes every possible effort for its successful implementation.

Ukraine Sports Minister Igor Zhdanov had previously remarked that his country will take the “necessary decisions” after they studied observations of the IAAF. Zhdanov had also remarked we are working closely with WADA and further commented that we had some problems but we have no systemic problems.

IAAF Sebastian Coe remarked at the end of the IAAF Council meeting in last March that Kenya, Ukraine, and Belarus have been put on a monitoring list for 2016 to strengthen their anti-doping regimes and make sure their journey to compliance is completed by the end of the year.

Morocco and Ethiopia are among the top countries in the world for middle and long-distance running. Since 2003, a lot of Moroccan athletes have been accused of doping and 37 of its athletes were suspended by the IAAF, the majority of them in the last four years. In the last three years, more than 40 Kenyan athletes have been caught up in drug scandals. Athletics Kenya chief executive Isaac Mwangin was suspended for corruption involving cover-ups.

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Thursday 05, Feb 2015

  Russian Steeplechaser And Heptathlete Banned, Bans For Skiing Champions

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The Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA has announced that steeplechaser Yulia Zaripova has been banned for two and a half years for doping offences.

The 28-year-old was suspended after her biological passport showed abnormalities and her results from June 20 to August 20 2011 and July 3-September 3 2012 have been annulled. Zaripova set a new personal best by winning the gold in the women’s 3,000 meters steeplechase at the London Olympics in 2012.

Zaripova also won gold in the world championships in South Korea in 2011. Her Olympics result has been annulled and she could lose the gold medal though she is allowed to keep her gold of world championships. The suspension imposed on Zaripova was backdated from July 2013 that leaves her eligible to compete in next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. If she is stripped of the gold medal, it could go to second-placed Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia.

RUSADA also announced that heptathlete Tatyana Chernova has also been banned for taking illegal substances. Tatyana, the double Olympic bronze medalist, had a sample from the 2009 world championships in Berlin retested in 2013 following a request by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). She tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol and has been suspended for two years, starting from July 22 2013. Tatyana’s results from August 2009 to August 2011 have been annulled but she is allowed to keep her gold medal at the 2011 world championships.

The Russian anti-doping agency also announced that a ban of three months has been imposed on Yuri Gavrilov, the cross-country skier, after he tested positive for a banned substance.

Gavrilov received the three-month ban backdated to September 23, 2014, by the Russian cross-country skiing federation. The ban imposed on Gavrilov is the third to emerge in the last few days after reigning national junior champion Nikita Mashkin and another skier, Arina Kalinina, received doping bans of two years each for unspecified breaches of anti-doping rules. Nikita, the 20-year-old reigning national junior cross-country skiing champion over 50 kilometers from Russia, and female youth skier Arina Kalinina, were banned for anti-doping violations.

Recently, three Olympic walking champions, Olga Kaniskina, Valery Borchin and Sergei Kirdyapkin, as well as 2011 world champion Sergei Bakulin and silver medalist Vladimir Kanaykin were suspended for doping offences.

Russia has been under clouds of doping suspicion after a German TV documentary revealed recorded statements of athletes including 800-meter gold medal winner Maria Savinova and bronze medalist Ekaterina Poistogova who admitted to taking banned substances. Investigations have been opened by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the IAAF into the accusations made by the German broadcaster ARD program that alleged Russian athletics bosses oversaw systematic doping and RUSADA officials covered up positive tests.

In a statement, Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the doping bans imposed on Chernova and Zaripova proved that the existing system of doping controls was working despite a series of scandals. Mutko said we are of course very upset with our top athletes’ doping violations but added on the other hand it shows that the system of doping control in our country works well. The Sports Minister also remarked we work hard to protect the young generation of honest athletes, to show them that every doping offence will be sooner or later penalized.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Russian Steeplechaser And Heptathlete Banned, Bans For Skiing Champions

Sunday 02, Jun 2013

  Star Skier Linked To Notorious East German Doping Doctor

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Star Skier Linked To Notorious East German Doping Doctor

Olympic star Lindsey Vonn, who has been seeing golfing legend Tiger Woods, has become embroiled in controversy after it emerged that she has paid a number of visits to a sports facility overseen by a notorious former ‘doping doctor’.

Lindsey has visited the Red Bull-owned Diagnostics and Training Centre in Austria that is run by German doctor Bernd Pansold, 71, according to an investigation by the New York Daily News.

The doctor was one of hundreds of doctors at the forefront of a doping epidemic in the former East Germany that “forced” unwitting young athletes into hardcore performance enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids in what was a state-sponsored program in the 1970s and 80s. Pansold is believed to be at the heart of a program which plied female competitors with highly dangerous muscle-strengthening drugs like Oral Turinabol. Pansold was convicted of aiding and abetting assault for his part in the program in 1998 and was hired by Red Bull in 2000 and is now a specialist in analyzing physical testing data to see how on-field performances can be improved and there is no suggestion that he continues to be involved in doping.

Athletes from East Germany experienced severe side effects such as deepened voices, cancer, ruined ovulation cycles, and an increase in the growth of facial and body hair.

While it is still rumored that the Apline Ski champion has ever taken performance enhancing drugs and has never failed a dope test, her visits to the lab in the village of Thalgau, shows how vulnerable the Olympic stars of today are to the murky past of doping. The publicist of Vonn initially denied that Vonn has been a visitor to the facility but later acknowledged that Lindsey had undertaken tests at the lab and had exchanged nothing more than pleasantries with the doctor.

In an interview in March, Pansold had confirmed Vonn had visited his facility twice a year and called her a ‘very nice girl’. The 28-year-old poster girl for the US team has been sponsored by the energy drink company Red Bull since 2005 and is given a number of perks, including other state-of-art training facilities at the company-sponsored Salzburg football team’s headquarters.

The World Cup alpine ski racer who competed with the United States Ski Team has won four overall World Cup championships – one of only two female skiers to do so, along with Annemarie Moser-Pröll. Lindsey won the gold medal in downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics and has also won six consecutive World Cup season titles in the downhill discipline (2008–2013), four consecutive titles in Super G (2009–2012), and three consecutive titles in the combined (2010–2012). She has become the most successful American skier in history with her Olympic gold and bronze medals, two World Championship gold medals in 2009 (plus three silver medals in 2007/2011), and four overall World Cup titles. The alpine ski racer received the Laureus World Sports Awards Sportswoman of the Year for 2010 and was also honored again as the USOC’s sportswoman of the year for 2010.

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Monday 02, May 2011

  Sports drug has home in Dublin

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Sports drug has home in DublinA drug used by many leading sports figures, Androstenedione, which is banned by the International Olympic Committee, has been patented on the continent and in America by a Dublin company.

An Irish company, backed by associates of Deutsche Bank, owns patents to the substance found in the Michelle de Bruin urine sample taken on January 10, 1998.

Androstenedione is available over the counter in America and on the internet.