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Wednesday 12, Jul 2017

  Plan To Combat Doping In Sport Approved By Russian Government

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The Russian government has officially approved a national plan to combat doping in sport after the order was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The 36-point document was developed by the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC) that is led by honorary International Olympic Committee member Vitaly Smirnov. The Russian sports ministry that has been accused in the past of being complicit in a state-sponsored doping program at major sporting events like the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games will coordinate and conduct the plan.

The IPADC said in the initial proposal that was created in February that the measures should be implemented by the end of the year. It is widely believed that this step by Russia will prove beneficial to doping in Russia following allegations of state-sponsored doping and widespread drug scandals involving the nation.

One of the main features of this new plan will be to take back prize money and awards from those who breach anti-doping rules. The Sports Ministry of Russia, headed up by Olympic gold medalist Pavel Kolobkov, has set up a deadline of October 30 for the implementation of anti-doping legislation that meets international law and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

The national plan to combat doping in sport by Russia also features measures associated with allocation of more funds to test Paralympic athletes. It also features creation of agreements with whistleblowers to give legal protection to them in exchange for assisting investigations and preventing those who break anti-doping rules from holding state or non-state posts in physical culture and sports. The Russian sports ministry will focus on the establishment of a legal framework in a bid to restore reputation of the country and its place within the anti-doping movement.

A statement from the Russian Government read the order approved a set of measures aimed at preventing and combating doping in Russian sport, which, in particular, provides the normative legal, organizational, scientific and biomedical support activities in this area, the creation of innovative methods and information technologies to prevent doping, the development of appropriate educational programs interaction with international sports organizations.

The sports ministry of Russia is hopeful that its efforts will assist both the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Paralympic Committee in their reinstatement efforts. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency remains non-compliant with WADA and the Russian Paralympic Committee is still suspended by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The Russian Anti-Doping Agency recently overcame a major hurdle on its path to potential reinstatement when the World Anti-Doping Agency allowed them to resume testing last month. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency was granted permission to “plan and coordinate” testing, providing it is carried out under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). WADA President Sir Craig Reedie had then remarked WADA recognizes this milestone as a key component of the roadmap towards compliance while there is still more to be done. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been non-compliant since November 2015 ever since findings of the WADA Independent Commission emerged in the context of state-sponsored doping by Russia in athletics.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Plan To Combat Doping In Sport Approved By Russian Government

Thursday 09, Feb 2017

  Russian City Loses Right To Host 2021 World Biathlon Contest

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Russia suffered further embarrassment on Wednesday after losing the right to host a World Cup event and junior World Championships. The International Biathlon Union (IBU) announced the city of Tyumen has been stripped off the hosting rights for the 2021 Biathlon World Championships amid allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping in Russia.

An IBU statement said the executive committee invites Russia to cede its right to host the 2021 world championships. The statement also reads that the IBU would strip the town of Tyumen of hosting rights itself if Russia failed to take the initiative.

In September last year, the city of Tyumen won the right to host the event ahead of Slovenia’s Pokljuka and Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic. Officials from several national biathlon federations, including those of Canada, the United States, and Norway then went on to publicly criticize the choice of a Russian venue. The officials had then remarked that the selection of a Russian venue would send the wrong signal in the wake of a report by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren that alleged widespread state-backed doping in Russia.

The International Biathlon Union will reattribute the hosting rights at its 2018 Congress.

Martin Fourcade, the world’s top biathlete, and women’s World Cup leader Laura Dahlmeier made strong calls for the IBU to step up its fight against state-sponsored tactics of Russia after only two of the 31 named athletes in the McLaren report were suspended. Charges against 22 of the Russian biathletes were dropped by the IBU for lack of evidence.

The president of the Russian federation, Alexander Kravtsov, remarked his federation was “ready to appeal the decision.” Kravtsov added the Russian federation would not give up the hosting rights voluntarily.

In 2009, 20 national federations signed a petition that demanded tougher punishments for cases of systematic doping. A petition was signed last month by more than 150 biathletes and coaches. The petition urged the sport’s governing body, the IBU, to impose higher fines of up to $1 million, impose longer bans of up to eight years, and introduce the reduction of start places for national federations with athletes caught doping.

In response, the IBU said it would not tighten its anti-doping regulations on an immediate basis. The International Biathlon Union said longer bans on athletes caught doping cannot be imposed as anti-doping rules of the sport have to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Code. However, the IBU said it will establish a working group for preparing new rules for higher fines and reduced starting spots that could take effect at the start of the 2017-18 season.

The woes of Russia were not assisted by the recent statement of Russian deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko. The world’s governing body of athletics recently criticized Mutko for his role and issued statements. In his defense, Mutko said Russian coaches who do not understand how to work without doping should “retire.” Russia will miss the World Championships that start on August 4 in London though some Russian athletes could compete in London under a neutral banner.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Russian City Loses Right To Host 2021 World Biathlon Contest

Saturday 31, Dec 2016

  Germany Gains Right To Host Bobsleigh And Skeleton World Championships

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The world governing body of bobsleigh and skeleton has announced Germany’s Konigsee has been selected as the last-minute replacement for Sochi.

Konigsee has hosted the World Championships on four previous occasions, most recently in 2011.

In a statement on its website, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) remarked the track was available during the period of two weeks for which the championships had already been scheduled. It added local officials had the required operational and logistical expertise to successfully organize the event at such short notice. The IBSF further added that holding the events at Konigsee would minimize the travel and financial impact on the teams.

The IBSF decided to withdraw the 2017 World Championships from Sochi after evidence of systematic, state-sponsored doping emerged in a second World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren. Announcing the decision to strip Sochi, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation said it was prudent not to organize such an event in Russia.

Latvia was the first country to boycott the World Championships in Sochi. The IBSF was urged by high-profile American bobsledder Lolo Jones to move its flagship event. Lolo had remarked she wanted to compete in a competition that was “drug free and safe.”

Kyle Tress, an American skeleton racer, had previously remarked memos calling for a boycott of the bobsled and skeleton championships in Sochi have been circulated. Kyle said there is tremendous support to skip this event, and he thinks it is the right decision. Skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender had commented it doesn’t make us feel secure, or that they’re taking the situation seriously given the fact that nothing has been done about the Sochi scandal and the fact that we are still going to race there.

Previously, British Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold had remarked she may boycott the Sochi Games because of concerns over doping. Yarnold applauded IBSF’s decision and remarked she is glad our voices are being heard and our sport is joining the fight against doping in sport.

In a statement, the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association said we believe the decision is in the best interests of clean sport and we are pleased that the IBSF have acted quickly following the publication of the second McLaren report on Friday. Britain’s bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson said the IBSF decision was a “great relief” for winter sport athletes around the world. Anderson added the IBSF was under huge pressure, but we are pleased they acted swiftly.

Russia’s sports ministry has vehemently denied allegations of state-sponsored doping. The Russian Bobsleigh Federation (RBF) said it will support the IBSF to clarify the matter related to the allegations but added we disagree with this decision and we will be protecting our rights.

Russia’s Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsina, Maria Orlova, and Aleksandr Tretyakov are presumed by media to be provisionally suspended by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opened investigations into alleged anti-doping rule violations from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Germany Gains Right To Host Bobsleigh And Skeleton World Championships

Thursday 29, Dec 2016

  Backtrack By Russia On Doping Admissions

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Russia has again decided to open its “Pandora” box of lies a day after admitting to institutional conspiracy by doping its athletes.

Anna Antseliovich, the acting head of the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA), recently admitted that Russia was behind state-sponsored doping but emphasized the Russian President and top officials were unaware of it. The New York Times asked Russian officials over several days of interviews whether they still disputed credible evidence of an organized Russian doping program centered on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi for Russian athletes. The acting head of the Russian anti-doping agency said it was an institutional conspiracy.

On Wednesday, the Russian anti-doping agency said Antseliovich was misquoted and that her words were taken out of context.

The RUSADA statement said RUSADA states that its Acting Director General A.A. Antseliovich has been misquoted and her words were taken out of the context in response to the article published in ‘The New York Times’ newspaper. The statement further reads that the Acting Director General pointed out during the conversation between A.A. Antseliovich and the journalist Rebecca Ruiz that Richard McLaren in the second part of his report published on December 9, 2016 no longer used the words ‘state-sponsored system of doping’ and instead referred to ‘institutional conspiracy’ thereby excluding potential involvement of the top country officials.

The second and final report of McLaren also detailed a vast, state-sponsored doping cover-up that involved 12 medalists from the Sochi Games. The report said the Russian “institutional conspiracy” involved the Sports Ministry, the national anti-doping agency, and the FSB intelligence service.

The RUSADA statement further reads that Ruiz unfortunately by taking the words out of the context, created an impression that RUSADA management admits to the existence of such institutional conspiracy of doping cover-up in Russia. RUSADA added we would like to stress that RUSADA has no authority to admit to or deny any such fact, since the investigation of the case is handled by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. The Russian anti-doping agency further said we in addition would like to stress that RUSADA firmly believes that every accused athlete has unalienable right to challenge the accusations.

In response to RUSADA’s claims, it was tweeted by New York Times reporter Rebecca Ruiz that the newspaper stands by its story and that all quotes in our story today are accurate.

Russian officials have vehemently denied in the past that their country was involved in state-backed doping and cover-ups despite McLaren directly implicating the sports ministry of Russia of overseeing a vast doping conspiracy that involved Russian summer and winter sports athletes.

A report by the New York Times previously detailed Gregory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, had tampered with top Russian athletes’ urine samples. It was also revealed that athletes received cocktails of performance enhancing drugs from Rodchenkov and also described manipulation of doping samples by members of the Federal Security Service in Russia and years of cover-ups involving top athletes using banned substances as ordered by a deputy sports minister.

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Friday 23, Dec 2016

  IOC Opens Doping Cases Against Russian Olympic Athletes

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The International Olympic Committee has announced it will reanalyze samples of twenty eight Russian competitors. The samples of these athletes were highlighted in the Richard McLaren report that outlined a state-sponsored doping program in Russia between 2011 and 2015.

The report, which was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, disclosed that coffee and salt were used for manipulating samples of Russian athletes. This report also revealed cases of female ice hockey players having male urine samples.  McLaren did not revealed names of athletes and said revealing names of the athletes publically should be done by international sports federations and not him personally.

The second part of McLaren report confirmed the findings voiced in the first part that Russian state officials and the Federal Security Service (FSB) were involved in doping manipulations. McLaren remarked they particularly swapped the doping results at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. He also mentioned that doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, were falsified.

Following the first part of the report, Russia’s track and field and weightlifting teams were banned from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The International Paralympic Committee barred the entire whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The samples are now being re-analyzed at the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory. The IOC said the cases are not yet doping failures but that the tampering alone could lead to sanctions.

IOC president Thomas Bach said this is the immediate follow-up to Professor McLaren’s Report. Bach went on to add that the International Olympic Committee will go beyond the findings of the report by reanalyzing all the samples of all the Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as all those who participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The IOC would retest samples from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver in the wake of the McLaren report that stated that as much as 1,000 Russian athletes including medalists had benefited from the doping program.

In London Olympics, Russia won 72 medals, 21 of which were gold medals, and 33 medals at Sochi, 13 of which were gold.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said abuse of performance enhancing drugs in sports is a global problem. Peskov added all our statements regarding our readiness to cooperate with international sports organizations remain unanswered and more frequently being brushed aside. The Russian presidential spokesman also said the incidents and the data however that had been recently revealed point to the fact that we are not dealing with some sort of a doping crisis that can be attributed solely to Russia. Peskov also said this is rather a crisis engulfing the entire global anti-doping system.

Peskov also said we have in fact encountered a shocking doping scandal in our country. The spokesman said President Vladimir Putin and our senior sports representatives have been repeatedly stating the inadmissibility of doping use in our country, our resolute drive to fight this evil and to eradicate doping in sports.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: IOC Opens Doping Cases Against Russian Olympic Athletes

Thursday 15, Dec 2016

  Russia Loses Bobsled And Skeleton World Championships

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The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) has announced this season’s biggest Bobsled And Skeleton competition has been pulled out of Russia.

The Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships was slated to happen over the last two weeks of February in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, on the track used for the 2014 Sochi Games.

The IBSF announced the decision to avoid what would have almost certainly been a widely boycotted World Championships. This was after a big number of competitors said they would not compete in a nation so enveloped in a doping scandal. The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation will announce a new site, with Germany and the U.S. as potential hosts, in the coming days. The decision was widely and immediately praised by sliders and decried by Russian officials.

The IBSF move came in the wake of the latest scathing report from World Anti-Doping Association investigator Richard McLaren revealed the depth of tampering and doping by Russia during the 2012 and 2014 Olympic cycles. McLaren’s report showed that some Russian gold medalists from the Sochi Games were tainted by the state-sponsored doping program. The country won gold medals in two-man bobsled, four-man bobsled and men’s skeleton at those Olympics, though none of the athletes who got those victories has been implicated by any known positive or tampered-with tests.  Alexander Zubkov, who drove to wins in two- and four-man and is now president of the Russian Bobsled Federation, was one of the medalists.

The IBSF was urged by some of the world’s best sliders — including reigning Olympic medalists Steven Holcomb, Matt Antoine and Meyers Taylor of the U.S., Martins Dukurs of Latvia and Lizzy Yarnold of Britain — for weeks to take a strong action.

The national skeleton team of Latvia recently became the first nation to confirm it will boycott the bobsleigh and skeleton world championships in Russia. In a statement, the Latvian skeleton team said enough is enough. The statement further reads that we will be glad to race in World Championships at any track of the world, but we are not participating in World Championships in Sochi, Russia — a place where Olympic spirit was stolen in 2014. The four-man bobsleigh team of Latvia is the reigning world champions. They also won silver in the four-man bobsleigh at the 2014 Games – a feat matched by Martins Dukurs in the men’s skeleton.

Austria, the United States, and South Korea were also considering such a move.

U.S. women’s bobsled pilot Elana Meyers Taylor said she is ecstatic about the decision. Elana added this is a monumental decision by the IBSF and the right move to protect clean athletes and to tell the world that state-sponsored doping is unacceptable.

Elana Meyers Taylor and Lolo Jones both indicated they would withdraw if the event isn’t relocated, mentioning doping control, personal safety and information security among their concerns.

USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele said this was a serious decision and one the IBSF did not take lightly. Steele added it might not have come as quickly as many would have liked, but it received the careful attention it deserved.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Russia Loses Bobsled And Skeleton World Championships

Tuesday 13, Dec 2016

  Calls For Russia To Be Stripped Of 2018 FIFA World Cup Grow Stronger

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The damning second report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren has given critics of Russia another shot to hurt pride of the country in their arms.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart remarked no international sporting events should be held in Russia until its anti-doping program is fully code- compliant and all the individuals who participated in the corruption are held accountable. Tygart was putting his message before FIFA, the world governing body of football, to make a decision of stripping Russia of 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The tournament could be moved logistically in 18 months with other countries having stadiums, facilities, and transport networks that could take on such a challenge.

Professor McLaren revealed Russia and its officials put a systemic doping program in place that has undeniably corrupted two editions of the Olympic Games. McLaren used the word “unprecedented” to describe a state-sponsored scheme that took in more than 1,000 athletes across 30 sports, including football. McLaren remarked it was a cover-up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalized and disciplined, medal-winning conspiracy.

The report of McLaren disclosed that there was corruption and doping almost everywhere in Russian sports from blind judokas to clay pigeon shooters and female hockey players who showed up as male. The report also disclosed thousands of pages of frantic email exchanges that revealed state-sponsored doping in Russia. McLaren said Russia ‘hijacked’ events and ‘deceived’ sports fans for years along with denying hundreds of athletes their destiny.

McLaren remarked the Russian Olympic team corrupted the London Games 2012 on an unprecedented scale. He added the desire to win medals superseded their collective moral and ethical compass and Olympic values of fair play. The Canadian lawyer added an “institutionalized conspiracy” existed between Russian athletes who worked in tandem with Ministry of Sport officials and the Federal Security Service in a ‘systematic and centralized cover-up and manipulation’ of doping controls.

McLaren revealed this doping program involved more than 1,000 Russian athletes – including “well-known and elite level” competitors – in 30 summer, winter and Paralympic sports, including football between 2011 and 2015. McLaren found evidence that 78 Russian athletes at London 2012, including 15 medalists, had positive tests hidden by the Moscow laboratory. It was further revealed that dirty samples were swapped with clean urine and then altered by adding salt, sediment, water, or coffee granules so they looked like the positive urine samples. It was also disclosed in the report that officials had clear idea of which athletes would be tested on a particular day and they defrosted clean urine and swapped with dirty samples, with the bottles passed through a mouse hole at the Sochi lab.

McLaren termed the Sochi doping scandal as a comprehensive strategy that was designed to ensure that Russia, as the host country, was able to win as many medals as possible by allowing its athletes to dope up to and in some cases, through the Games.

Dmitry Svishchev, head of Russia’s Curling Federation and also chief of the commission of sports at the Russian parliament, said the report had empty allegations against all of us and there is nothing new in them.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Calls For Russia To Be Stripped Of 2018 FIFA World Cup Grow Stronger

Saturday 17, Sep 2016

  Therapeutic Use Exemptions Can Be Abused, Says McLaren

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Dr Richard McLaren, who authored the exploding report on state-sponsored doping by Russia, has remarked the system of therapeutic use exemptions for athletes is open to abuse.

Hackers Fancy Bears this week released stolen TUE medical files of athletes. The records released mostly detail TUEs that allows banned substances to be taken for verified medical needs of athletes.

The hacked files included those of three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome and five-time Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins. The medical files of golfer Charley Hull, rugby sevens player Heather Fisher and rower Sam Townsend were also made public. British Olympic champions Laura Trott and Nicola Adams had files released on Friday. Trott had TUEs for Salmeterol and Salbutamol, which are used in the treatment of asthma and expired on 31 July, 2013.  The 31-year-old Froome remarked he had already made public his use of therapeutic use exemptions. Froome twice took the steroid Prednisolone for “exacerbated asthma” while Wiggins used Salbutamol to treat chest conditions and asthma.

Canadian law professor and sports lawyer McLaren remarked one would have to conduct investigations on specific sports as to whether or not too many TUEs are being used with respect to particular substances. McLaren remarked one of the common TUEs is for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication – there may be abuse there and added that is one area that probably needs to be looked at – how frequently are certain medicines being used in particular sports.

Methylphenidate, which is prescribed for ADHD, is a stimulant that helps improve brain function in people with the health complication. However, it also has the ability to improve the performance of an athlete and is only allowed to be used by elite performers with medical approval.

McLaren also questioned response of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to his Russian state-sponsored doping investigation that is believed to have prompted the hackers to break into the systems of WADA and release files of athletes. The Canadian law professor and sports lawyer said the IOC downplayed the findings of his report that concluded the sports ministry of Russia “directed, controlled and oversaw” manipulation of urine samples provided by its athletes between 2011 and 2015.

The WADA report author also said the IOC turned it into an issue about individuals. McLaren also remarked the report looked at individuals not because they had committed doping infractions, but to ascertain whether they were part of a system that was operated outside of their national governing body, and was being run by the state. He also commented he was “confident” sufficient proof of Russian state-sponsored doping, “beyond a reasonable doubt” was disclosed by the report. McLaren added they were not interim conclusions but they were final conclusions, and not allegations, as was suggested by various organizations including the International Olympic Committee.

McLaren also commented decision by the IOC to impose a ban only on individual Russian athletes guilty of doping offences in the past turned that on its head and turned it into an issue about individuals and their rights to compete, which was nothing to do with the report.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Therapeutic Use Exemptions Can Be Abused, Says McLaren

Saturday 06, Feb 2016

  Chinese Athletes Confess To Doping

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Athletics’ world governing body is investigating claims of state-sponsored doping of Chinese track athletes. This was after a letter attributed to a squad of ten athletes, including world record holder Wang Junxia, surfaced in the Chinese media.

Wang said she and her teammates were forced to take large dosages of illegal drugs over the year. In the letter that was reportedly penned in 1995, Wang, who set world records in the 3000 meters and 10,000 meters in 1993, remarked women on the team used to secretly throw away the pills forced on them and added coach Ma Junren used to personally inject drug into his athletes, which was known as “Ma’s Army.”

The letter said it is absolutely true that Ma forced us to take large doses of illegal drugs. It was further added by the athletes in the letter that we were sad when we revealed this to you, and seriously worried that might impair China’s reputation, as well as it might devalue the gold medals we won and it was added but we must disclose these criminal behaviors because we don’t want the same things happen to the next generation.

The letter under investigation and co-signed by nine of the teammates of Wang Junxia was sent to Zhao Yu, a journalist. The letter was addressed to Yu, who published a book titled An Investigation of Ma’s Army in 1997. The letter, however, remained secret for close to twenty years until it was published on a leading Chinese online sports portal. Signatories, other than Wang Junxia, to the letter are Ma Ningning, Wang Yuan, Lu Ou, Wang Xiaoxia, Zhang Linli, Liu Li, Lu Yi, Liu Dong, and Zhang Lirong.

The Chinese Athletics Federation has been asked by the International Association of Athletics Federations for help to verify the letter. The athletes could be stripped of their titles and banned from the sport as well as face financial sanctions if the letter is verified as an admission of guilt by the athletes.

The Chinese women distance runners won three world titles and four world records in one month that changed the history of their sport. Wang took nearly 42 seconds off the 10,000 meter race record in Beijing and was awarded with a place in the Hall of Fame of the IAAF for her notable achievements in the 1993 championships in Tianjin, Stuttgart, and Beijing.

The intense training regimen of authoritarian Ma involved his strict bans on long hair and dating, training regime on the high Tibetan plateau, and his use of exotic elixirs of caterpillar fungus and powdered seahorse. The team however mutinied against the chain-smoking super coach within months and accused hum of keeping the three Mercedes cars and pocketing the cash prizes they had won for himself.

In the past, both Wang Junxia and Ma Jinren have denied doping. In 2012, a retired team doctor Yue Xinxian told Fairfax Media that the use of anabolic androgenic steroids and human growth hormone was “rampant” as part of a scientific training regimen in the 1980s and into the 1990s.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Chinese Athletes Confess To Doping

Tuesday 22, Dec 2015

  Top IAAF Official Denies Trying To Cover Up Russian Doping

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A leading official of the International Association of Athletics Federations has denied allegations that he assisted to cover up Russian doping allegations two years ago.

On Monday, French newspaper Le Monde printed a potentially damning email that was sent by Nick Davies, the deputy general secretary of the International Association of Athletics Associations, in 2013. This email was sent to Papa Massata Diack – the son of disgraced former president Lamine Diack and it appeared that Davies was aware that the world governing body of athletics was covering up Russian doping.

In the email, Davies, who was appointed as right-hand man to IAAF president Lord Coe this autumn, allegedly discusses the presence of “Russian skeletons in the cupboard”. The email also had Davies talking about how to reveal names of potential dopers without affecting the forthcoming 2013 World Championships in Moscow. The email, which was allegedly sent by Davies, revealed he had already had some thoughts following discussion with Papa Massata Diack earlier and believed that they need to do the following, in the strict confidence and control within a small circle of senior IAAF staff only and this must be very secret. Davies is also alleged to have written that he needs to be able to sit down with the anti-doping department and understand exactly what Russian ‘skeletons’ we have still in the cupboard regarding doping.

The email continued that he thinks that the time to have unveiled the various athletes was a long time ago and that now we need to be smart. It was further added that we can prepare a special dossier on IAAF testing which will show that one of the reasons why these Russian athletes come up positive is that they get tested a lot. This email also appeared to show that the right-hand man to IAAF president Lord Coe suggesting the use of a sports marketing firm chaired by Sebastian Coe (CSM) for dealing with negative stories in the build-up to the 2013 World Championships.

Replying to the alleged email content, Davies said it was one of his responsibilities as director of IAAF communications to manage and promote the reputation of the IAAF. Davies also commented that his email to the IAAF’s then marketing consultant Papa Massata Diack, less than a month before the start of the Moscow World Championships, was brainstorming around media handling strategies to deal with the serious challenges we were facing. Davies also said that no plan was implemented following that email and there is no possibility any media strategy could ever interfere with the conduct of the anti-doping process.

Last month, Russia was banned from international athletics after a system of state-sponsored doping was uncovered by a World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission. The Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published the results of its probe into the activity of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), and the Russian Sports Ministry on November 9 this year. The Russian government now wants to reorganize the previously independent Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory into a federal state budget-financed institution with the Ministry of Sport to oversee its work.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Top IAAF Official Denies Trying To Cover Up Russian Doping

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