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Friday 16, Jun 2017

  Ian McCall Cleared Of Potential Doping Violation By USADA

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UFC flyweight Ian McCall has been cleared of potential doping violation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The anti-doping agency granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption to the UFC fighter from an incident that occurred around UFC 208 in February. USADA said McCall would not face any disciplinary action after he received an IV before being pulled from his previously scheduled bout in February.

McCall was supposed to face Jarred Brooks at UFC 208 in Brooklyn on February 11 but he was removed from the card. McCall was later transported to a local hospital with gastrointestinal issues.

Officials from USADA disclosed that an intravenous infusion of saline was given to McCall on the advice of his physician prior to his fight at UFC 208. Athletes are not allowed to receive an IV more than 50mL per a six hour period under regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency even though saline is not a banned substance. All IVs of more than 50mL per six-hour period are prohibited under anti-doping policy of the UFC unless the athlete receives a TUE in advance or if the infusion is legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures, or clinical investigations.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that it had determined after a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the potential violation that included the retroactive therapeutic use exemption application process that Ian McCall had a diagnosed acute medical condition for which the use of an intravenous infusion is consistent with the standard of care. It was further commented by USADA that his use of a prohibited method will not result in an anti-doping policy violation because the TUE application of McCall was granted retroactively.

The UFC flyweight last competed at UFC 183 on January 31, 2015 where he lost to John Lineker via a unanimous decision. McCall has pulled out of proposed bouts vs. Neil Seery citing illness, against Dustin Ortiz because of injury, and lost prospective foes Ray Borg at UFC 203 because of illness and Justin Scoggins to weight cut issues.

The American mixed martial artist who competes in the flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship has fought for World Extreme Cagefighting and Tachi Palace Fights in the past. The first fight of McCall in Tachi Palace Fights was against Jussier Formiga, who at the time was ranked as the #1 Flyweight in the world. McCall defeated Formiga with a unanimous decision victory and then went on to defeat previously unbeaten prospect Dustin Ortiz at Tachi Palace Fights 9 to set up a championship bout with the TPF Flyweight Champion Darrell Montague at TPF 10: Tachi Palace Fights 10 where he won by submitting Montague in round 3 with a rear naked choke. McCall faced Demetrious Johnson in the opening round of the inaugural UFC Flyweight Champion tournament and this fight was the first flyweight bout in the history of UFC.

A professional MMA competitor since 2002, McCall is #6 in the official UFC flyweight rankings as of February 8, 2017.

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Monday 03, Apr 2017

  Fancy Bears Hack IAAF Athlete Data

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The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has expressed concerns that the therapeutic use exemption (TUE) data of athletes has been stolen after the organization was the victim of a cyber attack by hacking group Fancy Bears.

The governing body of world athletics confirmed Meta data on athlete TUEs was collected from a file server and stored in a newly created file during the attack on February 21. The IAAF had made contacts with every competitor who has obtained a TUE since 2012. The International Association of Athletics Federations said athletes have been provided with a dedicated email address should they have any questions about the attack.

Fancy Bears group, believed to be Russian, first published confidential athlete information obtained following hacks of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in September. Leading athletes including leading US stars such as four-time Rio 2016 gold medal winning gymnast Simone Biles, tennis legend Serena Williams, and British Tour de France winning cyclists in Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome are among the names to have been published on the Fancy Bears hacking group website.

A United States security services report into cyber bodies linked Fancy Bears to the Russian Intelligence Services. The report that was jointly compiled by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cited the Hacker group amid a list of 48 “alternate names” for “Reported Russian Military and Civilian Intelligence Services”.  The 13-page report concludes the activity by the Russian intelligence services is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the US Government and its citizens. It added this joint analysis report provides technical indicators related to many of these operations, recommended mitigations, suggested actions to take in response to the indicators provided, and information on how to report such incidents to the United States Government.

The hacking group released dozens of emails showing separate conversations between officials from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The email topics included suggestions that high-profile American athletes submitted tests showing unusual blood values as well as a tip-off that at least two Olympians from the United States took cocaine in order to lose weight before Rio 2016. It was also reported that a non-American athlete, who has not been banned, had a blood transfusion before a major race. They have released details of therapeutic use exemptions obtained by a number of high-profile athletes, including Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal and Britain’s four-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe apologized to the athletes whose data may have been compromised. Coe remarked our first priority is to the athletes who have provided the IAAF with information that they believed would be secure and confidential. The IAAF President further remarked that they have our sincerest apologies and our total commitment to continue to do everything in our power to remedy the situation and work with the world’s best organizations to create as safe an environment as we can.

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Wednesday 15, Mar 2017

  Ben Rothwell Flagged By USADA For Potential Doping Violation

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Ben Rothwell, the American mixed martial artist who competes as a Heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The UFC announced the 35-year-old Rothwell is facing a UFC anti-doping policy violation stemming from a Feb. 6 sample collection. The UFC and USADA do not disclose the substance-in-question until the completion of the adjudication process unless the athlete decides to divulge it first.

Rothwell was expected to face Fabricio Werdum at UFC 211 on May 13 in Dallas. A Wisconsin native, Rothwell was on a four-fight winning streak before he lost via unanimous decision to Junior dos Santos in April 2016. The fighter was expected to meet Werdum last September, but withdrew due to injury.

In a statement, Rothwell remarked that he would like to take this time to let everyone know that he had been under the care of a physician and trying to overcome a medical illness. Rothwell (36-10) added he would appreciate the chance to show that he had not cheated nor did he intend to cheat. The American mixed martial artist also asked people to hold their opinions of him until all the facts are out and added he would appreciate everyone’s support as he goes through the process with the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

In 2013, Rothwell was suspended by the UFC for a period of nine months for elevated testosterone levels stemming from an in-competition sample collected in relation to his UFC 164 fight with Brandon Vera. At the time, Rothwell was a user of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) but tested for levels outside the threshold despite having a valid therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the bout. However, Rothwell was not suspended by the Wisconsin Athletic Commission.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency will take into account details of the first failed drug test during its adjudication process to determine sanction length.

Recently, a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) was granted to Cris Cyborg after she was flagged for a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation back in December.

Ben Rothwell is best known for competing for the Quad Cities Silverbacks of the International Fight League where he held an undefeated 9–0 record before leaving the promotion because of a contract dispute. The #5 in official UFC Heavyweight rankings, Rothwell has also had one-fight stints in Affliction, M-1 Global, and King of the Cage. In early 2001, Rothwell made his professional debut and won by TKO only 21 seconds into the fight. Rothwell then went on to win his next three fights, all under two minutes into the first round and all with strikes.

The fighter then faced Tim Sylvia, the future two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and fellow Miletich Fighting Systems fighter but lost. Rothwell however managed to come out of the defeat and won his next seven fights, all by submission or TKO. Rothwell made his UFC debut at UFC 104 against undefeated Cain Velasquez on October 24, 2009 and lost controversially via TKO one minute into round two as Rothwell seemed to be getting to his feet as the referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight.

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Wednesday 21, Sep 2016

  Coaches Have Encouraged Athletes To Use Banned Asthma Drugs, Says Former Anti-Doping Chief

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Former British doping chief Michelle Verroken has remarked coaches have encouraged their athletes to use banned asthma drugs when there is nothing wrong with them.

Verroken, who was in charge of UK Sport’s anti-doping from 1986 to 2004, said there is the opportunity currently for abuse of the Therapeutic Use Exemption system. The ex-British doping chief further commented that is his real frustration that we still have a long way to get a better system in place. Verroken added then there is no suspicion about any athlete who has a genuine medical condition and also remarked there is the possibility that even a treatment as simple as asthma is being misused like we have seen in the past. Verroken, the former director of Drug-Free Sport, said she had been absolutely frustrated to be in the presence of coaches who have recommended their team go to GPs saying they get out of breath when they are training and said who doesn’t get out of breath as an athlete.

Verroken, who now runs the Sporting Integrity consultancy, also said we put in place the diagnostic tests but people can use the medication knowing that some of these prescribed substances are only banned in competition, so they use them in training. The former chief of British doping said some of the sports she now works with have come to the conclusion that to have a really robust policy you need to ban everything all the time.

Team GB Olympic stars including Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, and Laura Trott were dragged into controversy recently after their legal use of such drugs were leaked by Russian hackers. All four athletes were granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for treatment.

SunSport revealed Dick Pound, the Canadian former head of the World Anti-Doping Authority, raised concerns as long as 2006 about the surge in the count of questionable TUEs.

Last year, Alberto Salazar was accused by US athlete Lauren Fleshman of pushing legitimacy to the limits. Lauren accused the controversial of British legend Mo Farah of encouraging her to have an asthma attack in front of a doctor to get stronger doses of medication that contained steroids. Fleshman was never coached by Salazar but was previously part of a Nike-sponsored team. Lauren accused Salazar — head of the Nike Oregon Project and coach of the 10K gold and silver medalists in the last Olympics — of violating anti-doping and prescription drug regulations. Salazar denied the allegations. Lauren remarked helped her get treatment for asthma but remarked she became squeamish when he suggested that she use medication in a different manner than instructed by the doctor.

Lauren, after more than a decade of influencing the running world on and off the track, recently decided to officially retire from professional running. Fleshman won two national titles in the 5K and finished seventh at the 2011 World Championships. She also qualified to represent the United States on three world track teams. Fleshman won two national titles in the 5K and finished seventh at the 2011 World Championships.

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Sunday 22, May 2016

  Sharapova Could End Career After Doping Hearing

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Russian Tennis Federation head Shamil Tarpishchev has remarked it is unlikely tennis star Maria Sharapova would get a relief from an International Tennis Federation (ITF) anti-doping hearing in London on Wednesday.

The president of the Russian tennis federation said Maria may not play again after she tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium. Later, Tarpishchev said he only said that she can’t play now because no ruling on her case has been issued.

The five-time grand slam champion stunned the world in March when she announced she had returned a positive test for Meldonium, the Latvian-made heart medication that was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) banned list from January 1.

Meldonium is a drug used for treating Ischemia and only distributed in Baltic countries and Russia. Meldonium, which improves exercise capacity in athletes, is not authorized in the rest of Europe and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States.

In April this year, WADA admitted there was a lack of scientific certainty on how long Meldonium takes to be completely excreted. It was previously believed that the substance should be out of the system of an athlete within days but WADA now believes it could be present in long-term users, in trace amounts, for weeks, if not months. This finding prompted WADA to issue new guidance that samples collected before 1 March below a certain concentration of Meldonium could be discarded, as the athlete might be able to prove they had stopped taking it in 2015.

WADA’s amnesty to athletes will not help Maria as she had admitted taking it throughout January. Sharapova now needs to convince an International Tennis Federation panel that there were health reasons as also told by her lawyer John Haggerty. The lawyer remarked Maria did use the substance but only on her doctor’s advice, throughout January. In March, Haggerty referred Maria should qualify her for a backdated therapeutic use exemption (TUE), or sick note.

Sharapova admitted she had been taking the substance on orders of her doctor for 10 years and had failed to note that it had become a banned substance until hearing of her failed test at the first grand slam of the year. The world’s highest-paid sportswoman was provisionally suspended on March 12 pending the hearing. Sharapova has lost a number of her lucrative sponsorship deals and hopes she would be allowed to play again.

he maximum punishment available is four years but it is believed she would get a lenient ban between six and 12 months, which would start from the date of her provisional suspension on 12 March. However, this would mean Maria missing out on the remaining grand slams this season, including Wimbledon, and the Rio Olympics.

The Russian professional tennis player, who is ranked world No. 9 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam. Sharapova’s 35 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles include two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

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Tuesday 15, Sep 2015

  Doping Test Could Knock Out Floyd Mayweather

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Floyd Joy Mayweather, Jr., who announced his retirement recently, has been accused of a doping violation four months ago.

According to media reports, Mayweather allegedly received an intravenous injection of vitamins and saline that was banned under the guidelines of the World Anti-Doping Agency on the eve of his bout with Manny Pacquiao inLas Vegason 2 May. Mayweather defeated Pacquiao on a unanimous decision to improve his perfect record to 48-0 and retired at 49-0.

Reports emerging in the media revealed that collection agents of the United States Anti-Doping Agency visited the house of Mayweather in Las Vegasthe night before his 2 May fight. This was to perform an unannounced drug test and it was discovered by the USADA collection agents that Floyd Joy Mayweather, Jr. had been given an IV for rehydration purposes. Media reports added the substances in the IV were not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency but they were given intravenously that was not permitted. Mayweather was not given a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) by the United States Anti-Doping Agency until 19 days later.

In a statement, Mayweather refuted the allegations and said he did not commit any doping violations. Considered to be the best boxer of his generation and amongst the greatest fighters of all time, Mayweather said he was fully supported by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The boxer said he did not commit any violations of theNevada or USADA drug testing guidelines. Mayweather went on to add that it was he who six years ago insisted on elevating the level of drug testing for all my fights and as a result there is more drug testing and awareness of its importance in the sport of boxing today than ever before.

In a statement, USADA defended the boxer and said we believe it is important to immediately correct the record regarding the false suggestion that Floyd Mayweather violated the rules by receiving an IV infusion of saline and vitamins. The USADA statement also reads that Mayweather as was already publicly reported in May of this year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) applied for and was granted a therapeutic use exemption by USADA for an IV infusion of saline and vitamins that was administered prior to his 2 May fight. It was further added by USADA that the use of IV by Mayweather was not prohibited under the NSAC rules at that time and would not be a violation of the NSAC rules as of now. The United States Anti-Doping Agency added both the NSAC and Team Pacquiao were notified about the TUE after it was granted even though the practice is not prohibited under NSAC rules.

USADA added it has conducted anti-doping programs over the past six years for more than 45 fights in the sport of professional boxing. It added as a result every athlete who has participated in one of our programs has voluntarily agreed to abide by the rules of the Wada Code and willingly subjected themselves to substantially more stringent testing protocols than they otherwise would have been subject to.

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Thursday 24, Jul 2014

  Former Champions Say Armstrong’s Tour De France Victories Should Stand

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Former Champions Say Armstrong’s Tour De France Victories Should Stand

According to 12 of the 25 surviving winners of cycling’s biggest race, Lance Armstrong should be handed back his seven Tour de France titles. The former cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life after being found guilty of using banned performance enhancing drugs.

These comments were made by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that published the results of a survey with the surviving winners of the race. Only Ferdi Kubler and Roger Walkowiak failed to respond while the 23 more than half were of the opinion that American should be rewritten into the history books. Irishman Stephen Roche, who won the Tour in 1987, said Armstrong should stay on that list and remarked you cannot not have a winner for seven years in the 100-year history of the race. Roche said doping has been part of sport, not only for cycling, for decades and went on to remark that there are doubts that Jacques Anquetil won clean and how did Richard Virenque manage to get to keep his polka dot jerseys.

Riders such as Felice Gimondi, Federico Bahamontes, Jan Janssen and 1980 winner Joop Zoetemel felt that the cyclist should keep his titles. Zoetemelk said they should never have erased Armstrong from the list and added you can’t change results 10 years later. He further remarked of course it’s not good what he did but you can’t rewrite history. Andy Schleck and Oscar Pereiro also supported Armstrong and said who remembers who was second place in those races and added you can’t have seven races without a winner, so just leave Armstrong on the list.

British winners Chris Froome, Sir Bradley Wiggins, and Australian Cadel Evans said the Armstrong years (1999-2005) should serve as a reminder to current riders. Froome said those seven empty places symbolize an era and we should leave it like it is. Both Evans and Wiggins remarked sending back the yellow jerseys might be a symbolic gesture. There is little chance that titles of Armstrong would be reinstated and Armstrong said he would keep it to himself for now when contacted by De Telegraaf for a reaction.

In another development, Brian Cookson, the president of the UCI, admitted to errors in the UCI’s handling of the controversy over Chris Froome’s use of a Therapeutic Use Exemption for corticosteroids. The World Anti-Doping Agency cleared the UCI’s decision to grant the Therapeutic Use Exemption to Froome for treating a chest infection during his Tour of Romandy win earlier this year. It later emerged that the Therapeutic Use Exemption was signed off by just one man, the UCI’s chief medical officer Dr Mario Zorzoli, rather than by a committee of experts, as recommended. Cookson explaining the delay in the UCI’s response to the controversy said he wanted to make 100 per cent sure that the TUE committee did exist and that its members were aware that they were members. Cookson remarked we have checked that through now and they do exist and they have all reaffirmed their willingness to participate in that process. The UCI President added we have reinforced and reinvigorated the process and he accepts that we needed to do that.

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Thursday 10, Jul 2014

  UCI Efforts To Stamp Out Doping Applauded By IOC

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Anti-doping efforts initiated by UCI, the world governing body of cycling, have impressed the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.

The IOC remarked Brian Cookson, the UCI president, and other UCI officials met Bach in Lausanne and briefed him on measures for protecting clean athletes and the integrity of the sport of cycling. Bach remarked the efforts of UCI to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping were indeed impressive.

Bach spoke positively of the progress being made by the UCI after having a meeting with the UCI President, UCI director-general Martin Gibbs, and IOC counterpart Christophe De Kepper in Lausanne. Bach remarked the UCI informed me of all the measures they are taking to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping and added these efforts are indeed impressive. The International Olympic Committee President added it was great to see all the stakeholders equally committed to the fight for clean athletes and remarked we also discussed the UCI’s contributions to Olympic Agenda 2020, which will be looked at in even greater detail by Working Groups, and we are thankful for their input.

Cookson thanked Bach for a positive discussion covering a range of issues and said it was very useful to talk with him on the Olympic Agenda 2020 review and, in particular, discuss how cycling can play its role in those plans. Cookson also said among other things we believe cycling can be a big part of the IOC’s sustainability and legacy work by helping bid cities transform themselves into places where cycling is a preferred way of getting around, making those cities better places to exercise, live and work.

The election manifesto of Cookson comprised primarily of adopting a “zero tolerance” approach to doping in cycling to combat problems in the sport. After defeating Pat McQuaid to become the UCI President last September, Brian Cookson decided to establish an independent audit for looking into the approach of the International Cycling Union (UCI). The audit recommended “urgent” improvements to the anti-doping practices of the world governing body of cycling. It recommended that the possibilities for advance-testing should be eliminated and a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee should be established.

The audit team added that risk assessment should be regularized and documented as per the International Standard for Testing and communication between the CADF and LADS relating to results management should be clarified and formalized. It also remarked that UCI and Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) rules and procedures should be altered to align them with the revised World Anti-Doping Code. CADF looks after anti-doping for the UCI.

The audit team included Anne Cappelen, director of systems and results management at Anti-Doping Norway and Marjorit Nurmi, quality manager at the Finnish Anti-Doping Agency. After this audit, Cookson remarked he was pleased that the audit found that the Biological Passport program is outstanding and that results management is excellent and had remarked that the UCI will now make the necessary changes to policies, structures, and procedures in order to further improve the program and ensure compliance with the 2015 WADA code.

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Saturday 08, Mar 2014

  NSAC Bans Fighters From Using TRT

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NSAC Bans Fighters From Using TRT

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), in a landmark decision, has unanimously approved a motion to ban the practice of awarding fighters a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) in the state of Nevada for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The decision comes in the wake of an ESPN story that covered how high testosterone replacement therapy exemptions are in the MMA world.

This ban on TRT is effective immediately and stretches across the realms of mixed martial arts, boxing, and kickboxing. It includes users who have received TUEs for TRT from the Nevada State Athletic Commission in the past and future applicants for TRT. The NSAC officials urged representatives from fellow athletic commissions to put a similar ban in their states by banning TRT exemptions in their corresponding states.

NSAC Chairman Francisco Aguilar said he is comfortable with the information we have before us, and I would welcome and encourage the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions) to look at this issue for all commissions in all states across the country. He further added that he believes it is important that there be a standard set, and he thinks we’re not afraid of making that standard known, and then following the discussion after this point in time. Aguilar added he do believe that this is something that gives people an unfair advantage for these actual benefits and said he thinks that it’s unfair for those fighters who are lucky enough to not have to go through the process. Aguilar added it is not fair to them when they have to meet a competitor, who is, somehow, could be (using) an advantage.

The UFC, minutes after the decision of NSAC, made an announcement that it will also ban TRT exemptions moving forward. Dana White tweeted that it is a great day in the sport and he applauded NSAC. The UFC President remarked TRT needed to go away. In an official statement, the UFC said the Ultimate Fighting Championship fully supports the decision made today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the immediate termination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The statement reads we believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field. We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events and we encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling. After the UFC announcement, Vitor Belfort has withdrawn from UFC 173 and now Lyoto Machida will fight UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman on the upcoming pay-per-view card, which takes place May 24.

Dr. Don Catlin, a leading anti-doping expert of the MMA testosterone exemptions, said he is on the IOC committee that reviews [therapeutic-use exemptions for testosterone] requests. Catlin said we essentially grant none but in boxing and MMA there is no central control and there is no set of rules that everybody has to follow. Therapeutic-use exemptions for testosterone should be rare, according to U.S. and international anti-doping agencies. They believe such exemptions should be permitted only in dire medical cases such as testicular cancer and Hodgkin’s disease.

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Wednesday 12, Feb 2014

  Cyclist ‘Suspends Himself’ After Muddle With SAIDS

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Cyclist ‘Suspends Himself’ After Muddle With SAIDS

Brandon Stewart has suspended himself after a muddle for 11 months with the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS), according to an announcement by sponsors of the FedGroup Itec Pro Mountain Biking team.

Cycling South Africa informed the former Absa Cape Epic African jersey leader and SA Cross Country champion in October that he had tested positive for a banned substance after a routine drug test four months earlier. Stewart was told he faced the possibility of a ban from cycling. On the other hand, Stewart’s sponsors said the positive drug test was due to the cyclist taking a medically necessary testosterone treatment and Stewart informed SAIDS while applying for a therapeutic use exemption.

Brandon Stewart, one of South Africa’s top marathon mountain biking talents and festival regulars, was a part of Team FedGroup-Itec after Team 360Life withdrew their sponsorship of the team after David George tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO). The marathon mountain biker received a ban of two years from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport and the cyclist was being targeted after his biological passport showed suspicious activity.

FedGroup chief financial officer Scott Field remarked while we fully support initiatives aimed at ensuring that South African sport is drug-free, Stewart’s unpleasant experience has resulted in his voluntarily suspending himself and could hold serious negative implications for sport in general. FedGroup remarked the cyclist had consultations with a doctor a year ago after bouts of depression and mood swings and he was told that his levels of testosterone were on the lower side. After this, Brandon Stewart had consultation with the SAIDS exemption liaison official, Anique Coetzee, who advised to go for a testosterone treatment after which the cyclist applied online for an exemption to use the medication. Coetzee told Stewart on phone that he could undergo the treatment and continue to race while waiting for a response to the application, which was confirmed in writing.

In a statement, FedGroup said Stewart received an e-mail two months after making his application telling him that his application had been declined and the e–mail recommended that Stewart have further tests done. The cyclist maintains he stopped taking the testosterone treatment, Nebido,in April. Three months after the first reports by the endocrinologist had been submitted,, Stewart was informed in July that his second exemption application had also been denied. The statement read that two days prior to receipt of this July e-mail, one of the SAIDS’s routine drug tests had been done on Stewart and he had been off the Nebido treatment for three months and in October, four months after the drug test in July, Stewart was informed by Cycling SA that he had tested positive for a banned substance. The cyclist appealed against the decision and the FedGroup statement said all of the major sponsors of the team are comfortable that everything Brandon did was above board and Stewart has kept us informed and retains our confidence and trust.

Khalid Galant, the chief executive of SAIDS, remarked a preliminary investigation was under way and a decision on whether or not to charge Stewart with doping would be made the by end of this month.

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