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Saturday 15, Apr 2017

  Ukraine Apologize Over Embarrassing Amnesty Claim For Drugs Cheats

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Ukraine has been forced to apologize to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following an embarrassing mix-up.

The Ukrainian Athletics Federation (FLAU) recently posted on its website that a month-long amnesty period is due to expire on April 3. The amnesty offered a promise to athletes that they would avoid punishment if they admitted using banned drugs. The website promised athletes would avoid any public sanctions apart from a temporary suspension from competition for the period taken for traces of banned substances to leave the body if they “voluntarily confess” to taking drugs.

It is now claimed by the FLAU that it was a mix-up and they were not trying to operate outside the rules.

IAAF spokesman Chris Turner remarked we sought clarification from the Ukrainian Federation and they replied that this was a bad summary of an athlete seminar held last month and they would never do anything to break the WADA Code or that did not follow IAAF rules. Turner remarked they have apologized for the miscommunication and have removed it from their website.

Last year, Ukraine was placed on an IAAF monitoring list and it is currently being reviewed on a monthly basis. The doping situation in Ukraine is likely to be discussed by the ruling council of IAAF during a two-day meeting that begun at the Marriott West India Quay.

FLAU President Ihor Hotsul had previously claimed Ukraine have a zero tolerance policy regarding all forms of doping following criticism at the last IAAF Council meeting in Monte Carlo in February.

Last December, Ukraine was one of the 15 countries out of 197 members who failed to back the reform package by IAAF President Sebastian Coe. The package included several measures specifically designed to help combat anti-doping. The country never specified why it voted against the reforms even though former world pole vault record and 1988 Olympic champion Sergey Bubka, the country’s most famous athlete, is the senior vice-president of the IAAF.

The country has the second worst doping record in athletics behind Russia. Six Ukrainian athletes have been retrospectively disqualified from the 2012 Olympics in London following re-analysis of their doping samples and the biggest name was Oleksandr Pyatnytsya, the silver medalist in the javelin before he was stripped of it in February 2016. The list of other doping cheats included Lyudmyla Yosypenko and Tetyana Hamera-Shmyrko, fourth and fifth respectively in the heptathlon and marathon at London 2012. Svitlana Shmidt and Anna Mishchenko have already lost the silver medals they had won in the 1500 and 3,000 meters steeplechase respectively at the 2012 European Championships in Helsinki following the retests.

In the past, shot putter Yuriy Bilinog was stripped of his Olympic gold medal from Athens 2004 after retests showed traces of anabolic steroid Oxandrolone. Two-time world champion sprinter Zhanna Pintusevich-Block was implicated in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative scandal and was given a ban of two years. Heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska was stripped of her Beijing 2008 silver medal after she failed an anti-doping test for Methyltestosterone, another anabolic steroid.

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Tuesday 21, Feb 2017

  European Athlete Of The Year Prize May Be All Lost For Russian Athlete

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Mariya Sergeyevna Savinova, the Russian former athlete who specialized in the 800 meters, is likely to be stripped of her 2011 European Athlete of the Year award after a doping ban of four years was imposed on her.

Svein Arne Hansen, the President of European Athletics, confirmed that the female athlete of the year award of Savinova could be removed. Vladimir Kazarin, her coach, may also lose his coach of the year prize from the same year. The European Athletics Council is likely to review the case of Savinova at its meeting in Paris between April 28 and 30.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) sanctioned Savinova and declared her results between July 26, 2010 and August 19, 2013 void. She will be unable to return to competition until August 2019 at the earliest. This means the Russian 800 meters runner was stripped of her Olympic gold medal from London 2012 and her world title from Daegu in 2011.

In a statement, the CAS said the 31-year-old Savinova was found to have been engaged in using doping with her ban backdated to begin from August 2015. A CAS statement read Mariya Savinova-Farnosova on the basis of clear evidence, including the evidence derived from her biological passport (ABP) is found to have been engaged in using doping from 26 July 2010 (the eve of the European Championship in Barcelona) through to 19 August 2013 (the day after the World Championship in Moscow) and accordingly to have violated Article 32.2(b) of the IAAF Competition Rules (the IAAF Rules) which concerns “Use or Attempted Use by an Athlete of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method.

The CAS statement further reads that a four-year period of ineligibility, beginning on 24 August 2015, has been imposed on Mariya Savinova-Farnosova and all results achieved by her between 26 July 2010 and 19 August 2013, are disqualified and any prizes, medals, prize and appearance money forfeited. Savinova was also stripped of her 2010 European title from Barcelona.

Savinova was named as one of five Russian athletes implicated in the first WADA Independent Commission report. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) initially called for Savinova to be banned for life.

Whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova filmed Savinova in undercover footage back in 2014. In the footage, Savinova was caught admitting to injecting banned substance Testosterone and using Oxandrolone. Savinova said on the recording that is our system and in Russia that only works with doping. Savinova also claimed in the video that her husband, Russian 1,500m runner Aleksey Farsonov, had very good contacts to the doping control laboratory in Moscow. This prompted the World Anti-Doping Agency to launch an investigation that culminated in the Russian Athletics Federation being banned from international competition in November 2015.

The 800m specialist also had ties to two coaches suspected of involvement in a state-sponsored doping scheme in her native country. Vladimir Kazarin remains suspended pending the results of an investigation and Alexei Melnikov, a long-distance running and race walking coach, was banned for life last year.

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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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Sunday 25, Dec 2016

  Coach Of Whistleblower Banned For 10 Years

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has banned Vladimir Mokhnev, former athletics coach of Russian whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova, for a period of ten years because of offenses involving banned substances.

Mokhnev was seen continuing training in a series of documentaries on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports aired by German TV Channel ARD in December 2014 though the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had dismissed him for life.

The CAS also suspended Anastasiya Bazdyreva, an 800 meters runner, in the same ruling for a period of two years for the use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method. The results of Bazdyreva between April 23, 2014 and August 24, 2015 had been disqualified and any prizes, medals and appearance money forfeited.

Bazdyreva was one of four Russian runners and four coaches as alleged by ARD and the program claimed to show footage of her talking about taking anabolic steroids. Bazdyreva’s coach Vladimir Kazarin, who has also been accused of cheating, previously threatened to take legal action against ARD.

Tatjana Myazina (800m) and Kristina Ugarova (800m) were also named in findings of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission. The two athletes competed in the Olympics and were recommended for sanctioning. The report also made allegations against middle-distance runner Anna Alminova, Svetlana Cherkasova (800m) Aleksey Farsonov (1,500m) and Yekaterina Kupina (800m). These athletes were however not recommended for sanctioning and not expected to face an immediate IAAF ban. The report recommended lifetime bans for Dr. Sergey Nikolaevich Portugalov, Chief of the ARAF Medical Commission; Alexey Melnikov, senior coach and head Russian endurance coach; Vladimir Kazarin, Russian national team 800m coach; Vladimir Mokhnev, Russian endurance coach for 1000m – 3000m; and Viktor Chegin, Russian race walking coach.

In its ruling, the CAS said it was acting as the decision-making authority in place of the All Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) as it was banned by the world governing body of athletics last year following widespread allegations of corruption and state-sponsored doping.

In a statement, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Mokhnev was found to have violated the IAAF rules relating to possession, trafficking and administration of banned substances and/or methods. It was remarked Mokhnev coached a number of elite Russian athletes including Stepanova who went on to expose state-backed doping in Russian sport and fled the country. Stepanova provided evidence to an independent World Anti-Doping Agency after serving a ban for blood passport abnormalities in 2013. This evidence resulted in suspension of Russia by the World governing body of athletics. Russia was also barred from the athletics events at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In the past, Jenny Meadows, Britain’s leading 800m runner over the past decade, has remarked she would be frustrated if Bazdyreva would compete at the world championships in Beijing. Meadows had also expressed suspicion about Russian 800m runner, Mariya Savinova who won 800m gold at the London Olympics in 2012. Last year, a documentary by ARD revealed footage of her appearing to admit to using the banned steroid Oxandrolone.

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Wednesday 21, Dec 2016

  Cheating Russian Athletes Exposed By Anti-Doping Scientists

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Canadian law professor Richard McLaren has revealed a ‘well-oiled’ machine was geared up by Russia to undermine advances in science and anti-doping strategies to help Russian athletes cheat at major international competitions including the London and Sochi Olympic Games.

The report disclosed state-sponsored doping by Russia benefited more than 1,000 athletes at the London and Sochi Olympic Games. The extent of the doping and evolved techniques for hiding the evidence was uncovered by the report.

Commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the McLaren report used science for confirming the testimony of Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the Russian anti-doping laboratory who fled to the United States in January. The former anti-doping laboratory head developed a test for metabolites of the anabolic steroid Turinabol while working for the lab. He undermined that advance by developing a cocktail of Oxandrolone, Methenolone, and Trenbolone, with a very short detection window.

The Russian lab conducted a program of ‘washout’ testing to verify if the athletes have been successful in moving from the Turinabol doping regime to the new cocktail so that they do not test positive at the London Olympics. This form of pre-competition testing was facilitated to ensure athletes would be able to compete without being detected by doping control. The Moscow labs recorded negative results on the reporting system of WADA even though a positive pre-competition test would have resulted in an athlete being banned. Non-official sample bottles were used to hide pre-competition results. Athletes that failed to come “clean” were left out of international competitions.

The report also revealed the Russia’s sports ministry and the Centre for Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia compiled a ‘protected’ list of 37 athletes who were likely to win a medal and managed to dope right up to and possibly during the Sochi Games. These athletes provided “clean” urine that was possibly taken from them while not on the cocktail and the samples were frozen and stored for swapping at the Sochi games.

McLaren had previously accused the International Olympic Committee of completely misrepresenting his findings that were never designed to prove individual doping cases. McLaren said he was asked to write a report to determine the facts and he did that but the IOC turned it upside down. McLaren went on to add that the IOC made it look like whether the report could prove the guilt of individual athletes when it was actually about state-sponsored doping.

Christiane Ayotte, the inquiry’s medical and scientific adviser, noted that ‘significantly high levels of prohibited substances’ were demonstrated by a number of positive results on the washout list. The samples were destroyed by the Moscow labs so that they cannot be retested at a later stage. However, 62 urine samples from 27 of the 37 ‘protected’ athletes were still available to the investigation.

Alan Brailsford at the Drug Control Centre in London aid one normally looks to detect something that should not be there but the Russian labs were trying to work out what would indicate tampering.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Cheating Russian Athletes Exposed By Anti-Doping Scientists

Saturday 20, Aug 2016

  Fresh Doping Blow For Russia

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The International Olympic Committee has announced Russia is stripped of another athletics medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This was after three Russian athletes were retroactively caught in drug tests.

The IOC said Anastasia Kapachinskaya tested positive for the steroids Stanozolol and Turinabol in a reanalysis of her doping samples that resulted in Russia losing its silver medal in the women’s 4 x 400 meters relay. This is the second 2008 relay medal stripped this week from Russia because of doping. The IOC took away the gold medal of Russia in the 4 x 100 meters after Yulia Chermoshanskaya tested positive for the same two steroids. An entire relay team loses its medals if one of the runners tests positive under international rules.

The Jamaican team would now receive the silver medal and Belarus would get the bronze medal while USA has the gold medal.

On Friday, Alexander Pogorelov and Ivan Yushkov were the other two Russian athletes disqualified from the 2008 Games. Yushkov, who placed 10th in the shot put, tested positive for Stanozolol, Oxandrolone, and Turinabol. Pogorelov, who placed fourth in the decathlon, tested positive for Turinabol. The IOC earlier this week stripped Ukrainian javelin thrower Oleksandr Pyatnytsya of his silver medal from the 2012 London Games. The International Olympic Committee also disqualified three other athletes — weightlifters Nurcan Taylan of Turkey, Hripsime Khurshudyan of Armenia, and Pavel Kryvitski of Belarus — for doping violations at the last two Olympics.

In another development, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva – who was part of a doping-tainted track and field team – has been elected to the International Olympic Committee. Yelena was voted into an eight-year term as an athletes’ representative. The women’s pole vault world record-holder remarked her selection demonstrates her fellow athletes still trust her despite the scandal. Isinbayeva has never failed a drug test but was one of 67 Russian track and field athletes who were barred from the Rio Games.

The 34-year-old was one of four candidates who beat 19 others to be elected to the IOC athletes’ commission. The three other athletes elected to the IOC were Britta Heidemann of Germany, Ryu Seung-min of South Korea, and Daniel Gyurta of Hungary. Isinbayeva said in the Olympic Village she is very thankful to all athletes who voted for her here in Rio and remarked she will protect the rights of clean athletes all over the world. Isinbayeva announced her retirement to focus on a new career in sports politics and considers an offer to lead Russian track and field. A day after being among the four winning candidates, Yelena Isinbayeva decided she doesn’t want to compete anymore.

Yelena remarked one of her priorities would be to campaign for Russia’s IAAF suspension to be lifted so fellow clean athletes can resume their professional careers. Isinbayeva also termed investigations by the World Anti-Doping Agency as “unfair” and remarked all of the accusations that have leveled have been built upon assumptions, there are no facts, no proof but for some reason investigator Richard McLaren’s assumptions were sufficient to raise the question of banning the entire Russian team from the Olympics.

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Saturday 25, Jun 2016

  English Rugby League Player Receives Doping Ban

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UK Anti-Doping has announced English rugby league player John Todd has received a suspension of four years after he tested positive for the presence of anabolic steroid Nandrolone.

Todd is banned from all sport from December 18, 2015 until midnight on 17 December 17, 2019. The 23-year-old from Maryport in Cumbria, who was registered with Whitehaven RLFC in the Kingstone Press Championship, failed an out-of-competition test on November 27 last year. Todd promptly admitted to the offence.

UKAD’s director of legal Graham Arthur, referring to Todd, said this case continues to highlight the worrying and growing trend of steroid use amongst young men. Arthur added UKAD works alongside the Rugby Football League (RFL) to provide players with vital anti-doping education and resources to ensure that they are aware of the risks that steroid use poses to both their health and their sporting careers.

In a statement on the club’s website, Whitehaven RLFC chairman Tommy Todd said the club is very sad to have to announce that John Todd has received a four-year ban due to him taking performance enhancing substances. The Whitehaven RLFC chairman added we are disappointed that he saw fit to do so but would stress that it did not take place during the short period he trained with the club and added he hopes young players take note of how taking these substances has a huge impact on their lives and families and friends. The Whitehaven RLFC chairman also commented that the club has refrained from commenting on rumor about this situation until we had something in the way of confirmation from the RFL and he is somewhat annoyed that after consistently asking the RFL for a definitive ‘statement’ that they chose to release it on their website without informing the club first.

This suspension came after Andrew Quarry received a handed a suspended 12-month prison sentence for dealing with anabolic steroids in 2013. Quarry was named among three English rugby union players to have been given lengthy bans from the sport. The Rugby Football Union suspended Quarry, registered with North 1 West outfit Kendal RUFC, with a suspension of 12 years. This follow his guilty plea at Carlisle Crown Court in July 2013 to conspiracy charges to supply a controlled Class C drug.

Former Esher RFC player Brandon Walker was given a ban of four years after testing positive for anabolic steroid Oxandrolone in an out-of-competition test on November 19 last year.

In another case, Connor Stapley, registered with English National League Division One outfit Henley RFC, received a ban of two years. It was ruled by the RFU Disciplinary Panel that Connor had not intentionally violated anti-doping rules after he tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic agents Methandienone and Mesterolone in an out-of-competition test on August 25, 2015.

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said it is important to recognize that all three cases are different, must be treated individually and cover a broad range of rule violations.

The suspensions took the total count of British rugby union players presently serving bans for failing drugs tests to 25.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: English Rugby League Player Receives Doping Ban

Sunday 05, Jul 2015

  Ex-Bellator Champion Suspended And Fined For Positive Drug Test

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The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has suspended former Bellator MMA middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko for three years and fined him $10,000 at an appeal hearing in Downtown Los Angeles.

The ex-Bellator champion tested positive for anabolic steroids before he won his second-round knockout against Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133 on February 13 in Fresno. The 30-year-old Russian showed elevated testosterone levels in his screening and was suspended indefinitely by the California Athletic Commission in March. The win of Alexander Shlemenko will be overturned into a no contest.

The testing of his urine sample that was screened at UCLA showed Shlemenko had a 50:1 testosterone/epitestosterone ratio. For MMA fighters and boxers in California, anything more than 4:1 is illegal. The steroid Oxandrolone and Oxandrolone metabolites also showed up in the system of Shlemenko and a second test on the sample confirmed the initial results.

News about positive drug test of the former Bellator MMA middleweight champion broke in March. On Tuesday, Shlemenko appealed and the fines and suspension were upheld. This was after Howard Jacobs, the lawyer of Shlemenko, argued that the disciplined could be wiped away as the California State Athletic Commission never collected a B sample from Alexander Shlemenko. Jacobs also said that the suspension of three years was only put on the table just five days before the hearing. During the hearing, Shlemenko denied making the use of banned performance enhancing drugs.

The commission upheld the discipline brought to the table by executive officer Andy Foster since taking a B sample is not a California State Athletic Commission requirement. It was testified by Anthony Butch, the director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, that he has never seen a B sample that didn’t confirm an A sample in a steroid test.

Alexei Zhernakov, Shlemenko’s manager, said they will take things to the next level. Zhernakov remarked we are extremely disappointed with the way this hearing went and went on to add that all the materials that we prepared, they didn’t bother listening to them or reading to them and also said we were not given even a slight chance to give our side of the story.

The Russian mixed martial artist is ranked as the #8 Middleweight in the world by Fight!Magazine. An expert in hand-to-hand combat and traditional Kickboxing, Shlemenko made his professional MMA debut at the age of 20 in 2004. He received the attention of Russian media and fans after he had an impressive 15-2 record after only one year of his professional MMA career.

Shlemenko (51-9, 1 NC) boasts an impressive record of 11-3 (1 NC) with Bellator. He won the Bellator middleweight title in February 2013 and held it until he lost to Brandon Halsey last September. Shlemenko is now thinking about suing the CSAC and said he believes every part of the drug test procedure was flawed from the start. The Russian fighter said he is not considering the opportunity to compete in Russia. Shlemenko is fully aware that taking a fight in Russia would permanently end his U.S. career.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Ex-Bellator Champion Suspended And Fined For Positive Drug Test

Sunday 07, Dec 2014

  Liliya Shobukhova Paid Bribe To Avoid Doping Ban, Says Agent

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Liliya Shobukhova Paid Bribe To Avoid Doping Ban, Says Agent

Three-time Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova paid more than $600,000 to the Russian track federation for avoiding a doping suspension, according to his agent Andrei Baranov.

The French sports newspaper L’Equipe made this stunning revelation and cited a deposition that the agent provided to the Ethics commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). L’Equipe also reported that Liliya was allowed to compete in the 2012 Olympics after she paid the money in three installments in January, June, and July 2012 despite she violating doping rules in 2011.

Liliya was eventually banned in April 2014 by the Russian Federation for two years after blood doping was indicated by irregularities in her biological passport. Her suspension annulled all her results after October 9, 2009 that included all three Chicago wins and her 2010 London Marathon victory. However, the Russian athlete is still listed as Chicago champion in 2009-10-11 pending the outcome of her appeal. After her suspension was announced, Liliya asked for reimbursement of the apparent bribes and received only two-thirds of what she had paid. L’Equipe reported the bribe money could have been used for paying off an official of the International Association of Athletics Federations or officials for suppressing positive tests.

The IAAF has now appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for imposing a ban of four years on Shobukhova. In a statement, the IAAF said there is already an on-going investigation by the IAAF Ethics Commission into these allegations but is not informed as to the status of this investigation or any other details related to the investigation.

In another development, German TV network ARD disclosed Russia has been funding a widespread “East German-style” doping program for its athletes participating in national and international events. The investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt’s documentary revealed that a wide network of corruption exists to cover up doping positives and doping products are used by up to “99%” of the Russian Olympic team. ARD also disclosed that Mariya Savinova, the reigning Olympic 800-meter champion, was captured admitting to making the use of Oxandrolone (Anavar). The German broadcaster also revealed that Yulia Rusanova, who previously competed as an 800-meter runner, said banned substances were provided to her by her coach. Valentin Balakhnichev, who serves as the treasurer for the IAAF and is the President of the Russian Association of Athletics Federations, was also accused by ARD in the Shobukhova case. ARD also implicated Russian Athletics Federation coach Alexey Melnikov and leading sports physician Sergey Portugalov in the cover-up of drug positives and the drug procurement system.

Yulia Stepanova accused Sergei Portugalov, the head of the Russian federation’s medical department, of supplying doping products in return for 5 percent of the earnings of an athlete plus bonuses for competition wins. The former 800m runner who is now banned for abnormalities in her biological passport also remarked Russian athletes had avoided out-of-competition testing by using false names during foreign training camps.

David Howman, the general director of the World Anti-Doping Association, described Hajo Seppelt’s documentary allegations as “shocking”.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Liliya Shobukhova Paid Bribe To Avoid Doping Ban, Says Agent

Tuesday 14, May 2013

  Drugs Are A ‘Huge Problem’ In Athletics

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Drugs Are A ‘Huge Problem’ In Athletics

Scotland’s athlete of the year, Lynsey Sharp, has remarked that drugs are a “huge problem” in athletics after she was upgraded to European 800m gold following a doping scandal. Sharp is now 2012 European champion after Russian Yelena Arzhakova received a two-year doping ban.

Arshakova was banned following an abnormal hemoglobin profile in her biological passport. She came first even though Sharp ran a personal best in Helsinki in June but finished 2.01 seconds behind winner Arzhakova.

The 22-year-old Sharp said doping is a huge problem and there are a lot of people being caught, but it’s nothing compared to the amount of people getting away with it. Sharp said if you spoke to any athlete, they would say there’s a lot of people who get away with it and probably don’t get caught and she is trying to see the positives, but at the same time you’re thinking ‘what’s the point in this?’ if this sort of thing happens. Lynsey Sharp was however happy to now call herself European champion and said she was honestly happy that she was been upgraded, but at the same time disappointed that another athlete in the sport and her event has been done. Sharp also expressed her disappointment that she wasn’t able to do a lap of honour and stand on the podium and have the national anthem playing and be European champion from that day.

Nigel Holl, chief executive of Scottish Athletics, on the possible gold of Sharp, said we are delighted she will now be recognized as a European champion and added it is another boost for Lynsey’s career and a reward for last summer when she won the UK Champs, did so well a few days later in Finland and represented Team GB and NI at the London 2012 Olympics. Holl also remarked you always feel more than a little sorry for athletes in these circumstances, because the very nature of testing afterwards and retrospective bans means they are denied that wonderful and deserved moment of glory standing on top of the podium and said we would love to be involved in any formal presentation to Lynsey of a gold medal by European Athletics and make that as grand and as fitting an occasion as possible.

Scottish Athletics could host a medal ceremony for Sharp, possibly at their annual awards dinner in the autumn if Arzhakova choose not to challenge her suspension or fails with an appeal.

In another development, the Russian athletics federation (VFLA) has handed a suspension of ten years to Olympic discus silver medalist Darya Pishchalnikova after she failed a drugs test for the second time. A sample taken from the 27-year-old in May was re-tested and proved positive for the anabolic steroid Oxandrolone, the VFLA said on its website, after which the VFLA annulled all of Pishchalnikova’s results from 20 May 2012, meaning she is set to lose her London Olympic medal. The Olympic discus silver medalist had already served a doping ban from July 2008 to April 2011.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Drugs Are A ‘Huge Problem’ In Athletics

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