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Sunday 09, Oct 2016

  Anti-Doping System ‘Not Broken’, Says Athlete Commission Head

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Beckie Scott, the head of WADA’s athlete commission, has contended that the global anti-doping system is not “broken”. The former Olympic cross-country skier from Canada lamented that politics surrounding the Russian doping scandal has sown “discord” in the fight against performance enhancing drugs.

Scott urged all sides to put aside their differences and work together to combat an undeniable threat to the integrity of sport today. In an op-ed released by the Montreal-based agency, Beckie Scott, who chairs the World Anti-Doping Agency athlete committee, said the World Anti-Doping Agency has come under intense criticism and scrutiny in the wake of the allegations of state-backed doping in Russia. She remarked WADA has been right to successfully fulfilling their mandate and taking the necessary decisions. Beckie Scott said the “system” is not broken and said a “broken” system would not have exposed systematic and state-controlled doping in Russia.

WADA has been criticized by several IOC members who accused the agency of failing to act sooner on the Russian doping problems. These IOC members also criticized the anti-doping agency for releasing report by investigator Richard McLaren on systematic Russian doping just weeks before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The McLaren report led WADA to call for the exclusion of the entire Russian team from the Rio Games. The recommendation of WADA was rejected by the IOC and the Olympic body instead asked individual sports federations to determine which Russian athletes could compete.

Scott said it is unacceptable that there is a sense of discord when there should be harmony when it comes to clean, fair sport. The head of WADA’s athlete commission also remarked almost every day someone new from the Olympic family takes to the media with the critical claim that the global anti-doping system is broken. Highly critical assessments of WADA have been issued by International Olympic Committee members Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., Sergei Bubka and Gerardo Werthein in recent weeks. Scott said cynicism alone will not win the fight and added the issue has become so deeply divisive and conflicted among stakeholders that it seems athletes have another competitor in the ring — politics. Scott also added we have to be solution focused and can no longer afford to become subject to the politics, conflicted interests and game-playing that has held us back for so long and added WADA needs better funding for clean, legitimate sport.

In another development, Travis Tygart, chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping agency, said separating the anti-doping efforts from sports organizations would be an important step forward. Tygart remarked removal of the fox guarding the henhouse has been one of the principles we’ve been talking about for years. The USADA chief added sport leaders are concerned with marketability and the brand and then what happens is the status quo prevails until there is a scandal that harms and taints the brand and only then do they react to clean it up.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will convene a summit in Switzerland to address the ongoing Russian doping crisis. There is a possibility that the IOC can be separated further from the testing process; it currently runs the lab at the Games. The role of WADA will also likely be discussed as some IOC members have floated the concept of creating a new organization to oversee anti-doping testing and enforcement.

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Monday 19, Sep 2016

  Tour De France Winner Denies Link To Doctor Convicted Of Doping

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Bradley Wiggins, the first British man to win the Tour de France, is facing a fight for his reputation after recently-leaked documents showed he used banned performance enhancing drugs.

Wiggins used Triamcinolone, the same drug Lance Armstrong tested positive for at the 1999 Tour de France.

Wiggins has been forced to deny that the controversial Belgian doctor Geert Leinders was involved in his obtaining so-called therapeutic use exemptions. This was after details of the therapeutic use exemptions granted to him and fellow Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, were leaked.

The leaked documents suggested three TUEs were obtained by Bradley Wiggins for the treatment of asthma and allergies between 2011 and 2013, each before his major target race for that season. The British cyclist also had to clarify apparent inconsistencies between what he wrote in 2012 about the use of needles and the details that have emerged via the Fancy Bears hackers.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Wiggins said Brad has no direct link to Geert Leinders. The spokesperson added Leinders was ‘on race’ doctor for Team Sky for short period and so was occasionally present at races dealing with injuries sustained whilst racing such as colds, bruises etc. It was further commented by the spokesperson of Wiggins that Leinders had no part in Brad’s TUE application and added Brad’s medical assessments from 2011-2015 were processed by the official Team Sky doctor, and were verified by independent specialists to follow WADA, UCI, and BC guidelines. The statement also reads Brad’s passing comment regarding needles in the 2012 book referred to the historic and illegal practice of intravenous injections of performance-enhancing substances, which was the subject of a law change by [world cycling’s governing body] the UCI in 2011. It was also commented that the Triamcinolone injection that is referred to in the Wada leaks is an intramuscular treatment for asthma and is fully approved by the sport’s governing bodies and Brad stands by his comment concerning the use of illegal intravenous needle injections.

Belgian doctor Geert Leinders was a Team Sky doctor between 2011-2012 and Bradley won the Tour de France in the latter year. Leinders was later banned for life for doping offences committed during a previous stint at the tainted Rabobank cycling team between 2001-2009.

David Walsh, the Sunday Times journalist who brought down Lance Armstrong, suggested that a 2012 injection of Triamcinolone was given as a preventive measure rather than to treat existing symptoms ahead of Wiggins’s historic Tour victory. The journalist said the team that wanted to be seen as whiter than white had been dealing in shades of grey and added what they did was legal, but it was not right.

The British professional road and track racing cyclist, who rides for the UCI Continental team WIGGINS and was awarded a CBE in 2009, won the Paris–Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné, and became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France and the time trial at the Olympic Games in 2012.

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Tuesday 16, Aug 2016

  Russian State-Sponsored Doping Goes Back Decades

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Documents obtained by the New York Times have revealed state-sponsored doping of Russian athletes could go back at least decades.

The Times reported a document signed in 1983 by Dr. Sergei Portugalov, a Soviet sports doctor. The document had Dr. Sergei saying oral steroids were not enough to guarantee the performance of the track and field athletes at the 1984 games (which they later boycotted). Dr. Sergei recommended injections of three different anabolic steroids that were stocked at the Research Institute of Physical Culture and Sports in Moscow.

The claims were supported by an interview of Dr. Grigory Vorobiev, a former Soviet sports doctor, who provided evidence of the doping claims. Vorobiev, who now lives in Chicago, described a win-at-all-costs system that was dabbling with performance enhancing drugs as early as the 1970s. Vorobiev told the Times that Russian athletes used to routinely ask about performance enhancing drugs and remarked oral steroids were common on the track team. The former Soviet sports doctor said he would have been blamed for a sub-par performance and fired if he had made efforts to convince athletes not to use drugs.

The documents suggest the anti-doping lab of Russia was colluding with sports officials for masking apparent doping program’s effects. The letter said there is only one basic reason to reject the injection form — the lack of definite data about how much time it takes to clear the body and it further said we will have the official recommendation and conclusion no later than December 15, 1983.

In another development, the whistleblower who uncovered state-sponsored doping in East Germany in the Seventies and Eighties has remarked a complete overhaul of the anti-doping system is the only way to avoid a repeat of the Russian drugs scandal. Werner Franke, who was the key figure to lift the lid on the German doping program along with his wife Brigitte Berendonk, a former West German Olympic discus thrower, said the only approach is to have anti-doping isolated from the sports system and went on to remark that all sports are corrupt and this is an international health situation.

Werner added international scientists would be elected to their positions off the back of their qualifications and thereby to avoid all interferences as we have had in the past. Previously, the German professor, who works in cell and molecular biology at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, has warned of the “human catastrophe” of the latest state-sponsored doping system of Russia. Franke remarked things like this have already taken place and shaped sport long into the future and also commented that if you treat talented youngsters — females in particular — early enough before their international careers begin, you can viralize their bodies properly, and it’s very clear that the muscles are advanced by doping for at least four years afterwards. Franke said it was with athletes as young as 12 in Germany and this is still happening all over the world.

A footnote in the recently published McLaren report showed a secret email from a former Russian anti-doping head in January 2015 in which race walking coach Viktor Chegin, stated the report, “started stabbing the injecting of erythropoietin in Chinese 13-14 year old girls and boys and he boasted that he did 50 injections per day in the ‘preparatory period’ without any medical education.

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Thursday 04, Aug 2016

  Provisional Suspension Of Tyson Fury Lifted By UK Anti-Doping

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The provisional suspension of world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury has been lifted by UK Anti-Doping.

Fury was charged over a urine sample taken in February 2015. This was after a period of nine months before he beat unified champion Wladimir Klitschko to claim the Ukraine great’s titles.

In a statement, the legal team of Fury said they would be suing UK Anti-Doping. The team remarked proceedings have been issued in the High Court on behalf of the World heavyweight champion and his cousin Hughie, who was also charged. The urine sample of Tyson was alleged to have contained traces of Nandrolone, a banned anabolic steroid. Tyson and his brother will have to face a hearing at the independent National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP).

Fury’s legal team said the result of tests on the samples in March and May 2015 were contradictory. Lawyer Lewis Power said in a statement the two boxers strenuously deny taking any performance enhancing drugs. It was further remarked leaks about these charges during the last five weeks have appeared in the press and both boxers have been the targets of continual abusive language on Twitter.

A statement from UKAD read UK Anti-Doping can confirm that both boxers were charged on 24 June 2016 with presence of a Prohibited Substance. It was further added that mandatory provisional suspensions were imposed pursuant to Article 7.9.1 of the UK Anti-Doping Rules. It was further said in the statement that the UK Anti-Doping Rules allow athletes to challenge the imposition of a Provisional Suspension and the NADP today lifted the athletes’ suspensions, pending full determination of the charges and added these charges will be heard at a hearing before the NADP in due course. The statement further reads that UK Anti-Doping will not comment further on the case until due legal process has been completed.

Peter Fury, the father of Hughie Fury and uncle of Tyson Fury, welcomed the news they are now free to fight.

Tyson Fury, the British professional boxer, defeated long-reigning world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko to win the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring magazine and lineal titles. This win earned him two awards for that year by The Ring: Fighter of the Year and Upset of the Year. The boxer was stripped of the IBF title after he was unable to grant a fight against their mandatory challenger, Vyacheslav Glazkov, as he agreed to a rematch with Klitschko.

Cousin of Irish former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee, Tyson is also a distant relative of “self-styled King of the Gypsies” Bartley Gorman. He was named “Tyson” after by his father after the then-world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. Tyson has represented both England and Ireland as an amateur and won the ABA championship in 2008 before turning professional later that year. The British boxer was nominated for the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist but attracted significant criticism in the media after he made statement that were described by his critics as “sexist and homophobic.”

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Sunday 08, May 2016

  Sochi Doping Allegations Dismissed By Russia As ‘Speculation’

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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has remarked accusations that four gold medal winners from Russia at the Sochi Olympics made use of performance enhancing drugs are just “speculation.”

The allegations were made by former Russian anti-doping officer Vitaly Stepanov in an interview with “60 Minutes” due to air this Sunday. An excerpt was shown on Friday by “CBS Evening News.”

Stepanov said former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov told him intelligence officers of Russia assisted athletes of the country in covering up use of performance enhancing drugs. Stepanov also said Rodchenkov has a “Sochi list” of Russians who competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics on anabolic androgenic steroids, including at least four gold medal winners. Hosts Russia won 13 gold medals at Sochi.

A WADA independent commission report in November claimed Rodchenkov requested and accepted money to conceal positive drug tests after which he immediately resigned.

Reacting to the allegations, Russian Sports Minister said Stepanov is riding his hobby-horse again. Mutko added he will endlessly talk about doping in Russian sports and also commented this was in the German TV Channel ARD’s documentary entitled Geheimsache Doping – Secret Doping Case and appeared in later films. In the German documentary, Stepanov and his wife, banned athlete Yuliya Stepanova claimed systematic doping in Russian athletics in 2014. Their allegations were later supported by a report of the World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission that found evidence of “state-sponsored” doping and widespread corruption. The sports minister of Russia also remarked all his so-called revelations are based on speculations and are being actively distributed.

Mutko also said the Olympics in Sochi have ended a long time ago and also said not Russia collected doping tests then and everything was held under very strict control. The Moscow anti-doping lab operated on-site testing facilities at the Sochi Olympics although it was under the supervision of the International Olympic Committee. The Russian Sports Minister also said our athletes will have to perform at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It is obvious that someone wants to harm Russian sports. Mutko also said Stepanov has exhausted the topic of doping in athletics, now he has probably started with the Sochi Olympics.

In November, the International Association of Athletics Federations suspended Russia. An IAAF council meeting in June will decide if the track and field team of Russia can compete in the Rio Olympics in August. Russia now has to convince the IAAF, the world governing body of athletics, that it has put measures in place to show anti-doping operation improvement and a “change of culture.”

The Rio athletics program starts on August 12 but registration are required to be completed about a month before. This would leave little time for the vast majority of Russian athletes who would still need to record Olympic-standard qualifying times.

US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart said Russian athletics has not done enough to warrant reinstatement. Tygart added USADA is “not in favor” of Russian athletes competing in Rio Olympics.

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Tuesday 26, Apr 2016

  Rafael Nadal Sues French Official For Doping Allegation

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Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has filed lawsuit on Monday against a former French minister who accused him of doping. Nadal reiterated he has never taken performance enhancing drugs and fed up of accusations made without any evidence.

Nadal, who is widely regarded as the greatest clay-court player in history, said the lawsuit was filed as he needs to defend his integrity and image as an athlete. Nadal remarked a defamation suit was filed in Paris by his lawyers against Roselyne Bachelot, France’s former minister for health and sport, because of her “offensive remarks” last month on French television.

Bachelot said on the TV show Le Grand 8 that the seven-month injury hiatus of Nadal in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test.” The ex-minister made the comments in the wake of the failed doping test of Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova. The remarks of Bachelot upset Nadal and outraged Spaniards, including many fellow athletes who were quick to speak up in defense of Nadal. Bachelot was also loudly criticized by the Spanish Olympic Committee and members of the Spanish government.

Toni Nadal, Nadal’s coach and uncle, called Bachelot “an imbecile,” according to Spanish news media. Toni Nadal said his nephew Rafa has passed multiple drug tests every year and is committed to competing in a clean sport. Toni added Rafa’s lawyer is working to take all possible measures and with maximum force and also remarked in this world, instead of proving the guilt of a person, you have to prove your innocence. The coach of Rafael said Rafa goes through many doping controls every year even though he has done nothing and will do nothing wrong.

Alejandro Blanco, the president of Spain’s Olympic committee, remarked he would like Rafael Nadal to be the country’s flag bearer at the Rio de Janeiro Games, in part to make a statement after accusations by Bachelot. Nadal was previously selected as the flag bearer of Spain for the 2012 London Olympics but missed the Games because of an injury.

One of Spain’s biggest sports idols, Nadal is a 14-time Grand Slam champion and the gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

In a statement, Rafael Nadal said he intends not only to defend his integrity through this case and his image as an athlete but also the values he has defended his entire career. Nadal added he also wishes to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished. Nadal, currently ranked world No. 5, also commented that any compensation awarded by the judge if he wins the case will be paid to a non-governmental organization or foundation in France. Nadal also said he asks for total respect regarding the legal procedure just started and would like to express my complete trust in the French justice system that will be judging the legal case and commented he will not be making any further statement about the case.

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Wednesday 20, Apr 2016

  Doping Law Passed By Kenya Parliament

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Kenya, the powerhouse of athletics, is all set to avoid sanctions by the World Anti-Doping Agency after its parliament finally passed a law that criminalized doping.

The anti-doping law protects the health of athletes and puts coordinated and effective mechanisms for detecting, deterring, and preventing the use of prohibited substances or prohibited material in competitive or recreational sport.

Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario said President Kenyatta was expected to sign off on the doping legislation by the end of this week. It was announced by Kenyan sports minister that the anti-doping bill had been approved by lawmakers and now only needs to be signed by the president to be adopted as law. Previously, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he will sign the anti-doping legislation and he would personally drive the bull through parliament with the sports reputation of the country on the line.

It was confirmed on Tuesday by Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu that the president would approve the law. Once the assent has been provided for the bill by the President, the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya would be created as a corporate body for promoting sports that are free from prohibited substances or methods and intended for artificially improving performance and developing a national strategy to address doping in sport. The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya will then work independently to ensure implementation of various guidelines and international standards in matters related to anti-doping.

Parliamentarians of Kenya previously failed to comply with the April 5 deadline to pass the Anti-doping bill. Kenya thereafter applied for an extension that was granted until May 2. Passing the anti-doping law is one of the things Kenya requires to have in place by a final deadline of May 2. Failure to done it would have cost the African country being declared as non-compliant with WADA’s global code. The new law calls for prison sentences in some cases where athlete or others are found guilty of providing or using performance enhancing drugs.

Kenya was also asked by the World Anti-Doping Agency to strengthen its overall anti-doping program after a surge in positive tests was noticed. The country was also asked to establish and properly fund a national anti-doping agency. In the past, the East African country that is home to the top distance runners of the world found troubles in getting the anti-doping bill passed.

Kenyan athletics has been the victim of many doping cases, allegations of cover-ups and extortion by top track federation officials. Since London Olympics, forty Kenyans have been banned for doping.

Few days back, the compliance committee of WADA said it would recommend to the agency’s board to declare Kenya non-compliant if the improvements were not made by May 2.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe recently remarked the world governing body of athletics would be ready to ban Kenyan athletes from international competitions if the East African country consistently failed to comply with WADA regulations. A ban could have likely put athletes of Kenya, including prominent stars like 800-meter Olympic champion David Rudisha, out of the Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

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Wednesday 06, Apr 2016

  UK Anti-Doping To Face A Government-Mandated Investigation

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Britain’s anti-doping agency will face a government-mandated investigation into why it dismissed allegations that a “tainted” doctor prescribed performance enhancing drugs to a sportsman. Andy Ward, who stood down as Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police in January, has been appointed by the UKAD board with the agreement of Culture Secretary John Whittingdale to review UK Anti-Doping’s handling of the Dr Mark Bonar saga.

Recently, the Sunday Times newspaper revealed that documents implicating Dr. Mark Bonar were handed to UK Anti-Doping in 2014 by an unnamed sportsman who had been suspended for breaching doping rules. It was confirmed on Sunday by UK Anti-Doping that an investigation had been opened into the doctor after interviewing a sportsperson in April and May 2014.

The Sunday Times also managed to secretly record Bonar making allegations to an unnamed “aspiring Olympic runner” who was sent by the newspaper house to him about how banned performance enhancing drugs had been prescribed for sportspeople. Bonar was recorded as saying some of these treatments he uses are banned on a professional circuit and therefore the “athlete” should be mindful of that but he has worked with lots of professional athletes who do use these treatments.

Britain’s anti-doping agency further revealed it let off the doctor as he fell outside its jurisdiction because he was not governed by a sport. In a statement, UKAD said it had no other intelligence to corroborate the sportsman’s allegations. UK Anti-Doping further added it as a result recommended to the sportsperson that more information was needed and that information could be passed, if appropriate, to the General Medical Council, which does have the powers to investigate possible medical malpractice and pursue if necessary.

Britain’s culture, media, and sport department wants UK Anti-Doping about its handling of the case. In a statement, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said he had asked for there to be an urgent independent investigation into what action was taken when these allegations were first received and what more needs to be done to ensure that British sport remains clean. Whittingdale added there is no room for complacency in the fight against doping and the government is already looking at whether existing legislation in this area goes far enough and added if it becomes clear that stronger criminal sanctions are needed then we will not hesitate to act.

Reacting to the case, the General Medical Council, the regulatory body for doctors, said Bonar does not presently hold a license so cannot practice medicine in Britain. GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said these are serious allegations and we will follow them up as a matter of urgency.

The Sunday Times reported that Bonar later denied doping sportspeople. The newspaper quoted Bonar as saying the fact that some of my patients happen to be professional athletes is irrelevant. Bonar also said if they have proven deficiencies on blood work and are symptomatic, he will treat them and also added that they are well fully aware of the risks of using these medicines in professional sport and it is their responsibility to comply with anti-doping regulations.

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Monday 04, Apr 2016

  British Tour De France Riders Were Treated With Banned Substances, Claims Doctor

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According to an article that appeared in the Sunday Times, a British doctor has claimed he provide performance-enhancing drugs to many clients, including unnamed British Tour de France riders plus other sporting clients.

The doctor in question, Mark Bonar, was quoted by the story as saying that he assisted the athletes obtain the substances that are forbidden under anti-doping rules. Undercover reporters were told by the 38-year-old doctor that banned performance enhancing drugs were prescribed by him to 150 elite sportsmen, including British Tour de France cyclists, an England cricketer, Premier League footballers, a British boxing champion, tennis players, and martial arts competitors. The reporters were told by the doctor that he had treated sportsmen from the United Kingdom and abroad over the past six years banned substances such as Erythropoietin (EPO), anabolic steroids, and human growth hormone. Bonar described the performance improvements were “phenomenal”.

Bonar was secretly filmed by an undercover reporter at a private London clinic. The reporter pretended to be an athlete who was experiencing difficulties in recovering from training. In a video recording, Dr Bonar tells the ‘reporter athlete” that growth hormone and testosterone are very important for recovery and also in building strength. Bonar said obviously some of these treatments he use are banned on the professional circuit and added so you have to be mindful of that. Bonar added he had worked with lots of professional athletes who do use these treatments, but it is how you do it. The initial cost of the consultation between the “reporter athlete” and Dr Bonar was £780.

The athlete returned to the doctor after a period of two weeks and was told his blood tests were normal but Dr Bonar still suggested continuing taking banned substances. The doctor mentioned the levels of hematocrit in blood and talked about how they could be improved. Dr Bonar said the way that you would boost that potentially is to use Erythropoietin. Bonar also suggested that the “reporter” used DHEA and Injected growth hormone that are also banned in sport. The doctor also offered the reporter an injection of a slow-release testosterone at that point in time.

During the third meeting, another undercover reporter accompanied the first posing as his uncle and made it clear that the athlete was aiming to make it to the British Olympic squad. It was conceded by Dr Bonar that though the patient had no medical problems, the levels were ‘suboptimal’ and justified the prescribing of banned substances to him. Dr Bonar said the truth of the matter is that drugs are in sport and what he does is that he prescribes responsibly and he tries to keep his patients the optimum level of normal.

Responding to the Sunday Times, an inquiry into the taxpayer-funded UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) watchdog was ordered by the British culture secretary John Whittingdale. The allegations were described by Whittingdale as “shocked and deeply concerned” and he suggested that UKAD’s chief executive Nicole Sapstead should resign.

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Saturday 02, Apr 2016

  Allegations Of Systemic Doping In Russian Swimming To Be Investigated By WADA

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will be investigating allegations of systematic doping in Russian swimming. The agency will soon examine the report that was commissioned by it and revealed systematic use of performance enhancing drugs in Russian athletics before it decides to widen the inquiry.

WADA is expected to look for corroborating evidence and find out whether there is new material involving Russian swimming before it determines the level of investigation. Craig Reedie, the WADA President, remarked there is no doubt that the disturbing assertions of orchestrated doping in Russian swimming should be scrutinized.

Reedie added WADA and its partners are under no illusions about the challenges facing sport’s integrity today and also remarked that clean athletes are justifiably concerned that their rights are being eroded through the minority that choose to dope in sport. The chief of WADA also remarked WADA, as a result of information and evidence collected, will make an informed decision as to what form of inquiry is needed and who will conduct it. The World Anti-Doping Agency expressed concerns following the allegations that arrive at a time when trust in clean sport is already in a perilous state.

A recent report in The Times alleged systemic doping was taking place in Russian swimming. Russian athletes were recently suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Track and field athletes of the country could miss Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

In another development, WADA has written to the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to express specific concerns about the alleged role of Sergei Portugalov, chief of the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) medical commission, who is facing sanctions after the independent report into athletics. In a statement, WADA said we are concerned by the allegations that Sergei Portugalov – who is currently facing a lifetime ban from working in athletics due to the commission’s findings – may be working in swimming. The statement further reads that it should be noted that, under the World Anti-Doping Code, such a lifetime sanction should also be recognized by all other international sport federations.

Meanwhile, FINA has called on The Times to share its evidence and insisted that the world governing body of athletics had taken steps for protecting its anti-doping procedures following the report into athletics. In a statement, FINA said it is not aware of any concrete evidence of systemic doping in Russian swimming and added that we have taken a particularly robust approach to our anti-doping procedures in relation to Russia and Russian competitions, in light of WADA’s recent investigation.

The FINA statement further reads that it issued a directive to ensure the continued integrity of the testing program. It was further added that the entirety of FINA’s unannounced out-of-competition doping control program in Russia is now conducted by a third-party, independent of FINA and the Russian anti-doping agency, the Swedish company IDTM. The governing body of swimming further said that all samples in 2016 will be analyzed overseas and noted that it is currently conducting target-testing for the 10 best-performing athletes in each event, with at least five tests before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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