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Saturday 29, Oct 2016

  Rio 2016 Olympics Management Team Criticized For ‘Serious Failings’

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A damning 55-page World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Observers report has criticized “serious failings” in the anti-doping operation at the recently-concluded Rio 2016 Olympics.

The report accused the management team in the Rio 2016 anti-doping department of “a lack of coordination” and said it contributed to putting an almost unmanageable strain on attempts to carry out drug tests. It was disclosed in the report that up to half of all planned tests due to be carried out in the Athletes’ Village had to be aborted on some days as the athletes could not be found. This report also blamed the failings on financial cutbacks, tensions between Rio 2016 and the Brazilian Anti-Doping Agency, and significant staffing changes in the Rio 2016 anti-doping department.

The World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Observers report fiercely criticized the lack of support, training, and information given to chaperones whose job was to notify athletes of testing. It was revealed by the report that Chaperones were often provided with little or no whereabouts information for athletes targeted for out-of-competition testing in the Athletes Village, and therefore, the majority of times had to resort to asking team officials and/or athletes from the same team where the athletes they were looking for were located. It was further added that providing the names of the athletes they were seeking was at best highly inefficient and obviously compromised the ‘no notice’ nature of the testing. It was also said that when initial attempts to find an athlete in his or her room were unsuccessful, chaperones often lacked the training and/or the confidence to follow up with further enquiries and effort to find the athlete in other locations in the Village such as the dining hall. It was also commented in the report many athletes ultimately targeted for testing in the Athletes Village simply could not be found and the mission had to be aborted and up to 50 per cent of planned target tests on some days were aborted in this way.

The observers said many chaperones did not turned up due to lack of basic facilities such as adequate food. It was also revealed that only two blood collection officers were present to carry out 94 scheduled blood tests on one day at the Athletes Village, which highlights the complete lack of doping control staff. It was also said that there was no doping control staff one day and therefore all blood testing planned for that day had to be abandoned. The report also said transport arrangements to enable doping officers to travel to and from venues were “often inadequate, or even non-existent”. The report blasted the Olympics management committee at Rio and said computers and printers needed to receive and print out drug-test orders sometimes did not work and enough log-in accounts were not assigned to doping control personnel even when there were working computers.

The Independent Observers report revealed no out-of-competition testing was conducted in football, while there was little or no in-competition blood testing in many high risk sports and disciplines, including weightlifting. It was also said that more than 4,000 athletes ahead of the Games scheduled to compete at Rio 2016 shockingly had no drug-testing record at all in 2016.

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Tuesday 21, Jun 2016

  Russia May Be Completely Banned From Sochi Olympics

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Former WADA president Dick Pound has remarked it is very much possible that Russia could be completely excluded from the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The country will face Olympic exile if the allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi are proven. An investigation funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency into allegations made by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Moscow’s anti-doping lab, is presently being led by Canadian legal expert Richard McLaren. This report by McLaren will be completed by July 15, which will be two weeks before the Rio Games get underway but McLaren has already disclosed that he has been able to corroborate some of the claims made by Rodchenkov. The IAAF task force leader Rune Andersen remarked evidence had already been found by McLaren that samples of Russian athletes were being ‘filtered’ in the build-up to the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow so that only clean samples get tested.

Rodchenkov’s interview with the New York Times brought Russia to the brink of international low and humiliation. The ex-director of Moscow’s anti-doping lab detailed an alleged conspiracy by government officials to ensure success at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

WADA president Sir Craig Reedie said at a conference in London the results of the McLaren investigation may present a precedent-setting opportunity to demonstrate our collective commitment to clean sport. Reedie added we will respond thoroughly and effectively if the allegations are found to be true. The WADA president also added we are encouraged that the IAAF recognized its responsibilities and also remarked it suspended the Russian federation because of (WADA) code breaches and they have decided to continue that. Reedie added if there is clear evidence of other sports being involved then clearly you would hope that the relevant international federations might take the same view.

On Friday, a global ban on the athletics federation of Russia that was in place since November was upheld by the world governing body of athletics in a unanimous vote. Many in the Olympics fraternity are of the view that athletics is not the only sport of Russia engulfed with doping with a recent surge in doping positives in Russian swimming, weightlifting, and wrestling.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko condemned decision of the IAAF to uphold the ban on Russian athletics and said the IAAF should be disbanded. Mutko remarked the IAAF has exonerated itself from responsibility by shifting the responsibility to the All-Russia Athletics Federation.

US Senator John Thune, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has pressed the World Anti-Doping Agency to explain why it took it so long for them to initiate an investigation into systematic doping and cheating by the Russian Olympic team. Thune remarked the US Office of National Drug Control Policy has contributed more than $25 million since 2003 to WADA in the form of dues for protecting the rights of athletes to participate in drug-free sports and therefore the Senate Commerce Committee has oversight and legislative jurisdiction over sports.

In another development, IAAF President Sebastian Coe has remarked the hard-line athletics has taken on state-sponsored doping in Russia and this can act as a blueprint for other sports.

Norwegian Rune Andersen, who led the IAAF taskforce of five investigators that recommended against reinstating Russia, remarked he would soon share evidence of drug taking in other sports.

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Friday 18, Dec 2015

  Heads Of Russian Anti-Doping Agency Step Down

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All the top managers of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) have stepped down in the latest step to clean up Russian athletics to avoid missing Rio 2016 Olympics.

Last month, Russia was suspended from international athletics after a special commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency exposed widespread state-sponsored cheating and corruption. The IAAF Council voted 22-1 on November 13 to suspend RUSADA based on a report by WADA into doping abuse allegations. The suspension prevents Russian athletes from taking part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and from participating in the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in March to be held in Portland, USA. Moscow is now working hard to get the ban lifted in time for its athletes to compete at the Rio Games next August.

Natalia Zhelanova, an adviser to the sports minister, remarked it was decided at a meeting attended by the heads of RUSADA that the general director, Ramil Khabriev, should be relieved of his position. Natalia also remarked “all the high-level management” of the agency was stepping down. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has named Anna Antseliovich, head of the Result Management and Investigation Department of RUSADA, as the acting general director of the organization.

Meanwhile, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has pledged that the country would cooperate with international officials for eradicating the “poison” of doping. However, Putin remarked it was wrong on part of the IAAF to suspend athletes who have not been accused of cheating. The Russian President said the blanket suspension (of the country’s entire track and field team by the world governing body of athletics) was unfair because it penalized clean athletes for the cheating of others.

In his annual news conference, Putin said if someone is doping, they should definitely be punished in the proper way because it destroys the idea of fair competition. Putin also remarked those who are guilty — the coach, the organizer, the athlete — they should be held responsible and added that those who have nothing to do with it should not answer for those who are violating something as it is not fair and not right. The Russian President promised to ensure that officials of Russian athletics would work with international bodies such as the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Association of Athletics Federations to fight doping. Putin said Moscow must and will be open for a joint fight on doping and said he ordered officials on all levels to cooperate openly with international bodies, not cover up anything.

Moscow has been working to implement reforms in drug testing and anti-doping protocols to satisfy requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) is expected to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in conducting athlete testing. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko had previously remarked that the core issue in the doping scandal had been the part played by certain anti-doping officers in RUSADA. Mutko remarked the main issue is to create a new team of doping officers and added we need to treat people with care.

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Wednesday 11, Sep 2013

  ‘Failed Blind Test’ For Rio Doping Lab

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‘Failed Blind Test’ For Rio Doping Lab

According to rumors, the Rio de Janeiro doping control laboratory has failed a “blind” quality assessment test. Accreditation of the lab was recently revoked by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in a hugely embarrassing blow for Brazilian authorities.

Under the External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) of WADA, blood and urine samples are distributed by WADA to accredited labs to be tested for the presence – or absence – of prohibited substances. The lab, in a “blind” test, knows that the sample has been supplied under the EQAS scheme, but not what substance it might contain. This exercise is conducted by WADA for assessing a range of lab performance criteria, such as turnaround time or compliance with documentation package requirements, along with competence of the facility in detecting and identifying prohibited substances.

WADA has not provided information about the reasons that prompted it to revoke the accreditation less than 10 months before the 2014 FIFA World Cup was scheduled to kick off in Brazil. It only remarked that it was because of non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) and related documents.

The Rio lab was originally suspended in January 2012 for a period of nine months for similar reasons. It was reinstated in September after a site visit. The UFRJ doping control laboratory, also known as Ladetec, is now suspended again in what could present a major difficulty for the organizers of the World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympics who had planned for the lab to test all the samples at the events.

In a statement, the World Anti-Doping Agency remarked the revocation will enter into force September 25, 2013 and means that the laboratory – which is currently suspended – will no longer be authorized to carry out the testing of doping control samples on behalf of Wada or any testing authority. It added the suspension remains applicable in the meanwhile and Ladetec is therefore ineligible to perform analysis of doping control samples for any testing authority. The decision was taken by the executive committee of WADA after an in-depth review. The statement also reads that the decision made by WADA’s executive committee marks the second time the Rio laboratory has fallen below the required standards set by the World Anti-Doping Agency and also added the laboratory was also suspended for nine months in January 2012, before being reinstated following a Wada site visit that ensured the proper corrective actions had been implemented.

Ladetec can now either appeal against this decision to the court of arbitration for sport in Lausanne within 21 days or decide to reapply for accreditation, and may seek “fast track” process from the WADA executive committee.

In another development, a leading medical expert of FIFA has expressed concerns about the WADA decision to revoke the accreditation of the Rio doping control laboratory so close to next year’s Brazil World Cup. Michel D’Hooghe, head of FIFA’s medical committee, remarked we have to find a solution in Brazil and said there are other possibilities, perhaps Sao Paulo or perhaps an adaptation of the lab in Rio but for the moment, yes, this is a problem for us. D’Hooghe will be discussing the problem at a medical meeting in Zurich on October 1 ahead of the FIFA executive committee session the same week. It was recently announced by FIFA that it had yet to formulate an alternative plan to handle World Cup doping tests in the event of LADETEC being unavailable.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: ‘Failed Blind Test’ For Rio Doping Lab