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Thursday 20, Jul 2017

  Eight More Russian Athletes Cleared By IAAF To Compete As Neutrals

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The world governing body of athletics has approved eight Russians to compete as neutrals but has declined the applications of a further 53 competitors hoping to be awarded a similar status.

The national athletics federation of Russia (RUSAF) remains suspended as a result of systematic and widespread doping. This means that the majority of Russian athletes will miss next month’s World Championships in London. However, athletes from Russia may apply to compete as neutrals provided they meet stringent criteria.

Under IAAF guidelines, the stringent criteria includes showing they are not directly implicated in any way by failure of their natural federation to put in place adequate systems to protect and promote clean athletes.

In a statement, the International Association of Athletics Federations said it had approved 47 applications this year and rejected 109 but did not disclose names of the athletes whose applications were declined. IAAF president Sebastian Coe remarked we from the beginning have declared this process was about supporting the hopes and aspirations of all clean athletes, including Russian athletes who have been failed by their national system. The IAAF said the participation of all athletes was still subject to formalities and acceptance by individual meeting organizers.

The eight athletes who were recently permitted to compete included Sergei Litvinov, a bronze medalist at the 2014 European championships who previously competed for both Belarus and Germany. The list also includes Alayna Lutkovskaya, the 2014 junior women’s pole vault world champion, and men’s 2013 European under-23 high jump champion Ilya Ivaniuk. The latest athletes to be approved to compete as neutrals, subject to acceptance of their entries by meeting organizers, are Sergey Litvinov (hammer), Danil Lysenko (high jump), Sofia Palkina (hammer), Valery Pronkin (hammer), Vladislav Saraykin (race walk), Ekaterina Sokolenko (3,000m steeplechase).

     Ivaniuk, Pronkin, Litvinov, and Lysenko have qualified for the IAAF World Championship in London due on August 4-13.

In the past, the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation into activities of the All-Russia Athletics Federation, the Russian anti-doping agency, Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe in November 2015. The commission accused specific sports officials and athletes of doping abuse and involvement in other activities pertaining to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Russian anti-doping agency and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory was eventually suspended. The control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports since January 2016 has been exercised by the Russian anti-doping agency strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

Recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency granted Russia the right for collection of doping samples under supervision. WADA permitted the Russian Anti-Doping Agency to plan doping tests and collect samples under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and UK Anti-Doping. Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov had remarked this is a very important step toward restoring the agency’s status in compliance with the WADA charter. The partial handover of those powers demonstrates trust in the measures taken by Russia to implement the anti-doping policy.

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Tuesday 11, Apr 2017

  India Clears Move To Make Doping A Criminal Offence

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India, which ranks third on the global list of dope-offenders compiled by the World Anti-Doping Agency, for the last three years, has cleared a proposal to make doping by athletes a criminal offence.

The proposal is in sync with laws that govern the usage of narcotics, according to the senior officials of the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) and the Indian sports ministry. The proposed legislation is aimed at imposing punishments on coaches and manufacturers too, who in many cases have been known to supply athletes with performance enhancing substances.

The draft legislation is being framed to criminalize the offence and will be forwarded to the sports ministry before being vetted by the law ministry. The Indian Parliament would have to pass the proposed legislation for it to be an Act. NADA director general Naveen Agarwal said the entire process could take at least six months. Agarwal, a 1986-batch J&K-cadre IPS officer, remarked the use, storage, and trade in narcotics is considered to be a criminal offence. Agarwal added we wanted doping to be put in the same category and the reason being if narcotics alter your mental condition, doping substances have an effect on your physical condition and also commented that both are very harmful for the body.

Agarwal also remarked he had met WADA director-general Olivier Niggli in Lausanne and also said it is on the world body’s insistence that legislation is being prepared. The Indian National Anti Doping Agency has also sought assistance from the Australian Anti Doping Agency in forming the legislation. The NADA director general also said the rules are yet to be framed and added we have to work out the modus operandi of the Act. Agarwal also said there could be a prison term also and also remarked there have been several cases where coaches have induced athletes to take the banned substance but have gone unpunished.

Agarwal went on to comment that we cannot take any action against the coach because he has not committed a criminal offence as per the law but added this will change once this Act is passed. He also commented that many manufacturers and suppliers of nutritional supplements similarly add artificial elements to their products but do not display them on the labels. Agarwal added many people who go to gyms (and not just athletes) to get well-toned bodies fall prey to this and also said there are temporary short-term results at the cost of long-term health hazards. The NADA director general said this is a public health issue, so a proper legislation and criminalization is required.

The country currently ranks third on the global list of dope-offenders compiled by WADA for the last three years. The Indian sports ministry hopes that criminalizing the offence would act as an effective deterrent.

Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas remarked it will need the engagement of several agencies. Once doping is made a criminal offence, it will act as a deterrent. Srinivas also commented that as much as complying with the idea of clean sports, this is also about realizing that doping results in acute harm to the abuser and so it should be prevented.

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Thursday 23, Feb 2017

  WADA Supports Reinstatement Of Russia

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The World Anti-Doping Agency President Sir Craig Reedie has remarked the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) membership is strongly supported by his agency.

Reedie further remarked WADA is waiting for the Russian side to implement the established re-compliance criteria. Reedie also commented that the World Anti-Doping Agency is resolutely focused on supporting the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in its efforts to return to compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, but it is first important that there is acceptance of the findings of the McLaren Report in Russia.

The WADA President said his agency is presently working with the relevant authorities in Russia, the two international experts that were installed in Russia in 2016 to ensure that there would be no external interference during the period of non-compliance and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) to ensure that there is an improved, robust anti-doping program that regains the confidence of athletes and the international community. Reedie also commented that a roadmap to re-compliance has been provided to RUSADA, and the ball is firmly in their court.

An investigation was conducted by the WADA independent commission less than two years ago in regard to the activities of RUSADA, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry. The WADA independent commission accused certain sports officials and athletes of doping abuse. The commission also alleged that the athletes and officials were involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency and work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory was eventually suspended.

Since last January, anti-doping regulations in Russian sports have been exercised by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency strictly under the supervision of the UK anti-doping agency.

Reedie also said there are no plans by WADA to change the present Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) system that grants certain groups of athletes the legal right to use banned performance enhancing substances. The WADA President said the Therapeutic-Use Exemption program is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport; which has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians and all anti-doping stakeholders. Reedie also commented that TUEs are only granted by Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) – Ifs (International Federations), NADOs (National Anti-Doping Organizations) and Major Event Organizers (MEOs) – following a robust review process that is defined in the ISTUE; and, evaluation by three physicians specialized in sports medicine and/or other relevant specialties. The WADA President also said the four strict criteria have to be met for a TUE to be granted, and; further, a TUE provides a limited exemption to use a particular prohibited substance or method at a prescribed dosage, frequency, route of administration, and duration.

Last September, personal medical histories of athletes from the United States and other countries were leaked by an anonymous group of hackers. The hacker group announced the hacking of WADA’s ADAMS database and went on to leak documents that proved the World Anti-Doping Agency found an official loophole for sanctioning the use of banned performance enhancing drugs under the Therapeutic-Use Exemption system. It also commented that benefits of the loophole was exploited by US four-time Olympic Champion in gymnastics Simone Biles, US legendary tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, and North American women’s basketball player Elena Dolle Donne.

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Wednesday 07, Sep 2016

  UK Anti-Doping Releases Finding On Bonar Doping Case

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A summary of findings and recommendations made by an Independent Review into UKAD’s handling of intelligence in relation to a doctor on Harley Street, Dr Mark Bonar, has been released by the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) Board.

The Independent Review, led by former Merseyside Assistant Chief Constable Andy Ward, as commissioned by the UK Anti-Doping Board after it was claimed by media reports that Bonar had provided performance enhancing substances to a number of British athletes. The Review’s principal aim was to evaluate how the UK Anti-Doping managed information passed to it by an athlete and whether proper procedures were followed in regards to the handling of that intelligence. The UKAD Board also asked the Review to make recommendations on how to improve processes in the future and nine suggestions were outlined for UKAD by the Report, produced by the Review team. All of those recommendations have been accepted by the Board.

Chair of the Independent Review, Andy Ward, remarked this case has been particularly difficult and complex but first and foremost he has no doubt as to the commitment of all UKAD staff to tackle doping in sport. Andy added we received total support from UKAD and the staff we engaged with, who were completely open and honest in providing their explanations and in discussing every aspect of their involvement in the case. The Independent Review Chair remarked we however found that there was some confusion and lack of clarity in the process of managing a source who wanted to reduce his doping ban by providing substantial assistance and also went on to add that it would appear that the source’s intention in making the approach to the media was to expose the concerns he holds in relation to UKAD’s handling of the case.

It was also suggested by Ward that this case highlights that the process by which an athlete might elect to provide substantial assistance, as defined in the World Anti-Doping Code and the UK Anti-Doping Rules is unclear and confusing, both in what it is seeking to achieve and in how an athlete should be treated. The former Merseyside Assistant Chief Constable said we therefore recommend that UKAD, in agreement with WADA, reviews and clarifies article 10.6.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code in relation to the status of athletes who decide to provide substantial assistance.

UKAD Chair, David Kenworthy, remarked this case has been challenging and complex but as a publicly funded body it is absolutely correct that UKAD be held to account for its actions. Kenworthy added the team has been fully cooperative throughout the process and fully accepts that mistakes were made and lessons must be learnt. The UKAD Chair also added we continue to be firmly committed to our fight to protect clean sport and clean athletes and remarked that UKAD has enjoyed considerable success in using intelligence and information to catch cheats but this case was not up to the usual high standards of our work and also said all the recommendations made by the Independent Review have been accepted; some have already been implemented and there is a timeline for implementing the others.

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Monday 19, May 2014

  Robert Mathis Admits Mistake

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Robert Mathis Admits Mistake

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis has been suspended by the NFL after he was found violating the league’s ban on performance enhancing substances. The 33-year-old was suspended for four games after he tested positive for the use of fertility drugs.

Mathis remarked he failed to check with the NFL or NFLPA to find out if the substance was on the suspended list. The linebacker remarked the union has worked very closely with me to present all of the facts and medical records for consideration of discipline that does not include a suspension because of the unique facts of my case, but the Commissioner refused the request. Mathis, who had been Indianapolis Colts’ best defender last season, had 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in 2013. He was the runner-up to the Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly for Defensive Player of the Year.

It is rumored that Mathis tested positive for Clomid, which is used for treating low sperm counts. In 2010, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for using male fertility drugs.

One of the team’s elder statesmen and most respected leaders, Mathis broke Dwight Freeney’s franchise career record for sacks and has 111 career sacks in 11 NFL seasons.

In a statement, Mathis said he is deeply saddened that this situation will prevent him from contributing to my team for four games, and he regrets that I didn’t cross check what his doctor told him before he took the medication. Mathis added he hopes that his fans will understand the unique circumstances involved here and continue to know that he is a man of integrity who would never intentionally circumvent the performance enhancing substance policy agreed to by the NFL and my union.

In a statement, Colts said we recognize the extreme seriousness of this matter and will honor the confidentiality requirements of the League’s program. It was added by the team that we nevertheless wish to assure Robert and our fans that he remains an honored and cherished member of the Colts family and that we support him as he deals with this difficult challenge. Mathis can make a return on September 29 and his team can have an exemption roster spot to replace him for the first four games.

The NFL said it was acknowledged by Mathis’s agent that his client failed to follow the protocols in the policy that the NFL and NFLPA agreed upon to address precisely these kinds of claims. The NFL added Mathis did not consult with the policy’s independent administrator, a physician jointly approved by the NFL and NFL Players Association nor did he consult with his team doctor, the team’s training staff, the NFLPA, the league office or the hotline established under the policy to give confidential information to players and each of these sources would have warned against using this substance. It was added that a cornerstone of the program is that a player is responsible for what is in his body and consistent application of the policy’s procedures is critical to the integrity of the program.

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Saturday 05, Apr 2014

  Doping Rules Toughened By MLB And MLBPA

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Doping Rules Toughened By MLB And MLBPA

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have decided it is time for Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association by announcing longer suspensions for violators and other reforms.

According to the announcement, a first violation for performance enhancing substances will result in an unpaid suspension of 80 games increased from 50 games. A second violation will now carry an unpaid suspension of 162 games, which would be increased from 100 games while a third violation will still result in a permanent ban from Major League Baseball.

It was also announced that baseball players suspended for doping will also be barred from participating in the post-season of that year, irrespective of when their suspension ends. Moreover, these players will not be eligible for automatic shares of the players’ bonus pool provided to players on clubs that make the playoffs. Players who face suspensions for doping will now be subjected to six additional urine tests and three additional blood tests, all unannounced during every subsequent year of their careers.

The number of in-season random urine collections beginning the 2014 season for all players will more than double from 1,400 to 3,200. Meanwhile, blood collections for detecting the use of Human growth hormone will increase to 400 random collections per year. The Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association provided the Arbitration Panel with the ability to reduce the discipline of a player, subject to certain limitations, for the use of certain types of performance enhancing drugs if the player is able to prove at a hearing that the use was not intended to improve performance.

In a statement, MLB commissioner Bud Selig said Major League Baseball is proud to announce some of the most significant improvements that we have made to our program in recent years. Selig added he is committed to constantly finding ways to improve the program in order to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from the game and for MLB to serve as a model for other drug programs. Selig said baseball continues to try to escape the cloud of more than a decade of doping scandals despite having the toughest anti-doping policies in all of US pro sports.

Players’ union executive director Tony Clark said experience proves that increased penalties alone are not sufficient and added that’s why the players pushed for a dramatic increase in the frequency and sophistication of our tests, as well as comprehensive changes in a number of other areas of the program that will serve as a deterrent.

Last year, MLB imposed lengthy suspensions and fines on some of the most eminent baseball stars, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun for their involvement in Biogenesis clinic scandal. Rodriguez, the American professional baseball third baseman and shortstop for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball, was suspended for 162 games, keeping him off the field for the entire 2014 season. This was after Alex Rodriguez, considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time, was originally suspended for 211 games by MLB.

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Saturday 19, Nov 2011

  Steroid use was common in NHL

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Steroid use was commonplace for years in hockey dressing rooms, according to retired NHL enforcer Georges Laraque in a new book.

“I have to say here that tough guys weren’t the only players using steroids in the NHL,” Laraque wrote. “It was true that quite a lot of them did use this drug, but other, more talented players did too.

In his new book “The Story of the NHL’s Unlikeliest Tough Guy,” Laraque wrote, “Most of us knew who they were, but not a single player, not even me, would ever think of raising his hand to break the silence and accuse a fellow player.”

Sunday 06, Feb 2011

  Calvin and Alvin Harrison serve twin drug bans together

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Calvin and Alvin Harrison serve twin drug bans togetherAlvin Harrison recently created a unique but unwanted piece of history when he was suspended for a period of four years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after admitting taking a cocktail of banned performance enhancing substances.

Alvin became the second half of the first set of twins to be banned for drugs. His brother, Calvin, was suspended for two years in August for a second doping violation involving the stimulant modafinil.

Alvin Harrison won 4x400m relay Olympic golds at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic and is the third member of the US relay squad from Sydney to have either failed tests or been banned for doping, the others being his brother Calvin and Jerome Young.

Thursday 24, Sep 2009

  Former Miss S. Dakota talks about steroids

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Former Miss S. Dakota talks about steroidsFormer Miss South Dakota 2008 Alexandra Hoffman says performance-enhancing drugs are harmful and at the same time illegal.

Being an athlete herself, she thinks that taking performance-enhancing substances is a form of cheating.

What is more concerning about steroids use is that it is not just related to athletics but ordinary young people also take it to lose weight, relax, build muscles or just enhance their overall body image.

Anabolic steroids and HGH are just two of the common performance-enhancing substances. However, other substances such as caffeine, diuretics and alcohol are being taken excessively by athletes.

Sometimes, athletes try to mask their steroids use during mandatory drug testing by taking another drug such as diuretics.

In the case of  HGH, it is quite hard to detect it since the body produces it naturally. The varying amounts of natural HGH on each individual makes it more difficult to detect.

Hoffman emphasizes that using these performance-enhancing substances brings unpleasant side effects such as mood swings, jaundice, hepatitis, depression and even tumors.

She cited Lyle Alzado, a graduate and an ex- football player of Yankton College, who attributed his brain lymphoma to long-time steroids use.

Think about not only the short-term effects of steroids use but also the long-term effect it could have to your body, Hoffman added.