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Wednesday 27, Jan 2016

  Radcliffe Slams MPs For The Doping Allegations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday 29, Mar 2015

  Nike Criticized For Justin Gatlin Deal

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Nike Criticized For Justin Gatlin Deal

Nike’s decision to sponsor Justin Gatlin has stirred controversy in elite running circles with many top athletes criticizing the deal.

Recently, Nike gave a new sponsorship deal to U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin who has served a doping ban of four years from 2006 to 2010. In 2006, Nike dropped its initial sponsorship of Gatlin.

Last year, the 33-year-old was the fastest man in the world but many doubted that he will get such a lucrative contract after twice being banned for doping. The American sprinter, who is an Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters, ran the fastest-ever time for a man over the age of 30 when he ran a time of 9.80 in June 2012 at the US Olympic trials. He went on to become the world leader in the 200 meters on July 18, 2014 when he won his race in 19.68 seconds at the Diamond League event in Monaco.

Jason Gardener, who helped Great Britain to the 4×100-meter relay title at the 2004 Athens Games, remarked nothing surprises me but this another bad message being sent by our sport. Jason pointed to mounting evidence that systematic dopers reaped long-term residual benefits from their cheating and they therefore should receive harsher punishments.

Olympic silver medalist Steve Backley questioned message of Nike to young athletes. Former heptathlete Kelly Sotherton hit out at the deal and remarked what sort of a message is that from Nike signing new sponsorship with multiple drugs cheat Justin Gatlin.

Paula Radcliffe, the world record holder in the women’s marathon who is sponsored by Nike, also expressed her displeasure and said she is very disappointed to hear this news and added that she does not believe it truly reflects the core values of the Nike she is proud to represent, nor the integrity and ideals of the people there that she works with on a daily basis.

In 2001, Justin Gatlin received a brief suspension for an amphetamine contained in an attention deficit disorder drug he had been taking since childhood. On appeal, his suspension was shortened. Gatlin received an eight-year sentence for using “testosterone or its precursor” in 2006 though the athlete denied ever using such a substance. It was claimed by Gatlin’s coach, Trevor Graham, that the athlete had been sabotaged by a massage therapist who rubbed a cream containing testosterone onto Justin Gatlin. His ban was later reduced to four years as he cooperated in providing information to doping authorities and the “exceptional circumstances” of his first ban.

Travis Tygart, the head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, had remarked Justin Gatlin deserved a second chance after his drug ban. The USADA chief executive refused to read too much into reports that the use of steroids may have long-lasting benefits in an athlete’s body. He had remarked there is some recent science on the effect of steroids on mice, but there is no proof yet it translates to humans and went on to add that if somebody commits a violation, serves a ban and comes back to the sport, part of the rule is this idea of redemption.

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Saturday 07, Feb 2015

  Radcliffe Angry At Doping Accusations

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Paula Radcliffe, the current women’s world record holder in the marathon, has disclosed that authorities must fight to protect clean athletes and the integrity of athletics.

Paula remarked that the doping epidemic has casted a shadow over athletics that have prompted many to believe that she took drugs during her career. She remarked people regularly questioned the legitimacy of her 2 hours and 15 minute 25 seconds marathon world record and added she knows it is a proud achievement but it does make you angry and it does make you think we have to put a system in place that protects those athletes. Paula Radcliffe added it is hard to her to understand how other people who have cheated can stand there and look their competitors and family in the eye.

Recently, Liliya Shobukhova, the only woman to have run within three minutes of the 12-year-old record of Radcliffe, was banned for two years after abnormalities in her biological passport. Kenyan Rita Jeptoo, the fifth fastest marathon runner of all time, received a doping ban of two years from the sport after she tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), a blood-boosting banned drug.

Last November, the world of athletics was rocked by claims made in a German documentary Top Secret: How Russia Makes Its Winners that 99 per cent of Russian athletes use banned substances as part of a state-sponsored doping regime.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) recently banned Olympic steeplechase champion Yulia Zaripova for doping. RUSADA also banned Russian heptathlete Tatiana Chernova for two years. London Olympic 50 kilometer walk champion Sergei Kirdyapkin was banned along with Olga Kaniskina and Valery Borchin, who won the women’s and men’s 20 kilometer respectively in Beijing 2008, were also in the banned list as were the 2011 world champion in the 50 kilometer walk, Sergei Bakulin, and Vladimir Kanaikin, silver medalist at the 2011 world championships.

Radcliffe remarked there will be some Russians athletes who are not cheating, there are a lot of Kenyan athletes out there who are not cheating, and they are all being lumped together. She also said it spoils it so we have to do something to protect that and protect the sport. Radcliffe has been a fierce advocate of harsh punishments for athletes who are caught doping and she stirred controversy at the 2001 World Championships by holding up a sign reading “EPO Cheats Out” after a rival failed a test for the drug. Radcliffe remarked she is considering taking on a formal anti-doping role and added if you are going to have strong views about something you might as well get involved in actually doing something proactively to back it up.

Paula Radcliffe was appointed recently by Great Run, the world’s favorite Run series with 17 runs in the UK and abroad, as its women’s running ambassador. Radcliffe, speaking to launch a scheme to encourage people to take up running at the Great Manchester Run, said running is always going to be a huge part of her life and she just wants to try and get as many women and children as possible involved. The English long-distance runner said so getting involved, whether it’s with the IAAF or WADA or with this scheme, then great – it’s something she really feels passionate about.

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Monday 03, Nov 2014

  Kenyan Marathon Champion Fails To Clear Preliminary Doping Test

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Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons for the past two years, has tested positive for a banned substance, according to the World Marathon Majors that represents the world’s six most prominent marathons.

The 33-year-old Jeptoo won back-to-back titles at the Boston Marathon, where she set the course record on April 21 in 2:18:57. She won the Chicago Marathon on October 12 in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 35 seconds, which was her fourth straight major marathon victory. The Kenyan runner presently leads the World Marathon Majors series. Jeptoo is by far the most prominent runner from Kenya to have failed a doping test. She won Boston marathon three times and Chicago marathon twice. Jeptoo failed a doping test a few weeks before she won her second consecutive Chicago Marathon, her agent and national federation said.

Jeptoo’s agent Federico Rosa said the athlete tested positive in an out-of-competition test in Kenya in September. The test was conducted on September 25 and the athlete’s “A” sample “indicated the presence of prohibited substances”, said Athletics Kenya. The athletic governing body of Kenya added it was disappointed to announce that we have received communication from IAAF that Rita Jeptoo failed a test.

The medical and anti-doping commission of Athletics Kenya will meet with the athlete early this week to find out whether Jeptoo wants to have her backup “B” sample tested. Jeptoo’s agent however remarked the backup test was not required. Rosa added we will legally go after the person or the people that convinced Rita to do this and added Jeptoo’s management had “nothing to do with” any doping. In a statement, the IAAF remarked it was not in a position where it can confirm or deny Jeptoo’s positive doping test. The IAAF said the case remains in the confidentiality phase although that should be lifted within the next week.

Earlier Friday, the World marathon group said it had postponed the awards’ ceremony that was scheduled for Sunday due to the positive test. The group said no athlete can win the World Marathon Majors Series title who has been in breach of IAAF anti-doping rules. Jeptoo was to receive a check for $500,000 for winning the World Marathon Majors after the New York City Marathon. George Hirsch, chairman of the board of New York Road Runners, said the stakes are so high and added it is far more money than almost anybody in that country could earn in a lifetime while referring to the temptation to use banned substances in a country such as Kenya.

On Jeptoo’s positive test, marathon world record holder and former world champion Paula Radcliffe said it shows that testing is being carried out and added maybe at least this time it comes before the (World Marathon Majors) payment is made.

Her coach Claudio Berardelli said the doping test failure of Jeptoo is indicative of a larger problem in Kenya. Berardelli, who has coached Jeptoo since 2012, said it is bad for the reputation of the sport in that country. Berardelli added if the story of Rita can be the key to open the door of the dirty system, please let Rita pay for it.

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Monday 05, May 2014

  Liliya Shobukhova Banned For Doping

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Liliya Shobukhova Banned For Doping

Liliya Shobukhova, the second fastest female marathon runner of all time, has received a doping ban of two years from the Russian athletics federation.

The Russian athlete was banned for abnormalities in her biological passport. Russian Athletics announced all her results since October 9, 2009 have been annulled. This means her marathon best of two hours 18 minutes and 20 seconds, which was set in winning in Chicago in 2011, will be wiped from the record books. Shobukhova’s suspension is backdated to January 24, 2013 and will end on January 23, 2015. The biological passport can be used to trace fluctuations in hematocrit, hemoglobin, and red blood cell counts and is also effective for tracing changes in testosterone, epitestosterone, and testosterone/epitestosterone ratio that are possible indicators of steroid use.

One of the most successful marathon runners in history, Liliya Bulatovna Shobukhova previously specialized in the 3000 and 5000 meters track events and has been lately competing in marathon races. Shobukhova is the current European record holder in the 3000 m and 5000 m. Shobukhova may be stripped of her 2009, 2010, and 2011 Chicago Marathon victories, as well as her 2010 London Marathon win. Shobukhova will have to repay her prize and appearance money from these London and Chicago races.

Nick Bitel, General Counsel of World Marathon Majors, said WMM will continue to hold a stern line and supports all measures to ensure the integrity of the athletes competing in their races and added that cheats need to understand that they are not welcome in our sport and that they will be caught. Shobukhova has a right to appeal the Federation decision.

Shobukhova won the Philadelphia Distance Run and set a half marathon best of 1:10:21 after representing Russia in the women’s 5000 meters at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In October 2009, she was the female winner of the Chicago Marathon and finished in a time of 2:25:56 and was the female winner of the 2010 London Marathon by finishing in a time of 2:22:00. In October 2010, Shobukhova took the 2009–2010 World Marathon Majors jackpot of $500,000 US dollars with a Russian record of 2:20:25 for the marathon. Shobukhova finished as runner-up last April in London and became the first athlete, man or woman, to win Chicago three years in a row. She is the second-fastest woman in history and is behind only Paula Radcliffe.

Hugh Brasher, the London Marathon race director, said in a statement that London Marathon is at the forefront of the fight against doping in our sport and we are very proud to have been the first major marathon to introduce blood testing for all of our elite competitors, prior to each event. He added this mandatory blood testing commenced at the London Marathon in 2002 and has continued with all our elite competitors throughout and went on to remark that as one of the world’s leading marathons, we continue to work very closely with UK Anti-Doping, the IAAF and WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) with the aim of eradicating drug taking in our sport.

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Friday 17, May 2013

  Olympic Gold Medalist Wants Madrid Olympic Bid To Be Thwarted

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Olympic Gold Medalist Wants Madrid Olympic Bid To Be Thwarted

Olympic cycling gold medalist Nicole Cooke wants International Olympic Committee members from Britain to vote against Madrid’s 2020 Games bid following Spain’s doping scandal.

This was after a Spanish court ordered 211 blood bags to be destroyed without analysis even though it convicted Dr Eufemiano Fuentes of giving blood transfusions to cyclists.

Cooke said it is time to stand up for every one of those unknown victims of those bags of blood, every one of those robbed by the cheats. The Welsh cyclist accused dopers of bringing out the “darkest days” of the sport. She called on the British Olympic Association’s IOC members to ensure a nation that allows its legal system to act in this manner can have no part in hosting any future Olympic Games. She went on to add that we now need our representatives to send the most clear message to the Spanish authorities and it is a great privilege to host an Olympic Games.

Cooke said Madrid seeks nomination for the 2020 Games and we have our IOC representatives, who have a vote to cast and they can, today, offer tangible sanction while we athletes can do little but comment and added that Sir Craig Reedie, Sir Philip Craven, Adam Pengilly, make your views public and crystal clear as this is not an area for inaction or even for ‘behind-closed-doors’ persuasions and urged them not to be quiet on this issue.

Cooke added nothing can make good that stolen by the criminals from their innocent victims. However, by standing idly by, the authorities, both in Spain and even here in the UK, make the pain so much more unbearable and said she knows that every child in my village wanted me to do my best. Undoubtedly every single one wanted me to win, but even more, every little boy and little girl would have preferred me to lose rather than win via some weird hormone replacement therapy and Frankenstein blood recipe, said the Olympic cycling gold medalist.

In another development, British distance runner Paula Radcliffe has criticized the decision of the Spanish court to destroy evidence seized in police raids on Eufemiano Fuentes and said it was “vital” the bags of blood were preserved, adding that Spain had been given a chance to show it backed the fight against drugs. The Spanish anti-doping agency is only just bringing into line its national legislation with the rest of the world to make it a criminal offence to take part in doping and to supply doping, and that was probably done to support the bid to host the Olympics in 2020, she said. The 39-year-old is a long-standing opponent of doping, having staged a placard protest against “EPO cheats” at the World Athletics Championship in 2001 and pointed out that the court’s decision comes at a time when progress is being made in the fight against the use of drugs in sport. She suggested the decision could damage Spanish capital Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Olympic and the head of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, Arne Ljungqvist, has also spoken out against the court’s order.

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