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Friday 23, Oct 2015

  Ronda Rousey Is Most Tested UFC Fighter

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The United States Anti-Doping Agency has completed its first round of testing of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters. USADA posted the results on a new athlete test history website. The information is arranged by search criteria sorted by names, year, quarter, and more.

The anti-doping agency primarily focused on ensuring UFC athletes have received the necessary education to understand their rights and responsibilities under the new anti-doping program. The first round of testing took three months and testing happened both in and out-of-competition. The United States Anti-Doping Agency commented that an education initiative – including prohibited substances and methods, whereabouts requirements, the sample collection process, dietary supplement awareness, therapeutic use exemption rules, as well as the general rules and guidelines of competing clean – was a concurrent priority.

USADA conducted 81 tests of 50 UFC fighters to date and UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was screened the most with five tests. She was followed by Thiago Alves, Bethe Correia, and Antonio Silva who have been tested four times; Anthony Johnson and Jimi Manuwa were tested three times. The list of UFC fighters who were tested twice included UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, Andrei Arlovski, Daniel Cormier, Todd Duffee, Cezar Ferreia, Claudia Gadelha, Alexander Gustafsson, Michael Johnson, Cris Justino, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and others while those who were tested only once included notable names like Vitor Belfort, Erick Silva, Ryan Bader, Josh Barnett, John Dodson, Dan Henderson, Johny Hendricks, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, Roy Nelson, and Tyron Woodley.

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said on USADA’s website that we have had the opportunity to speak with many athletes during this initial program phase, and we have appreciated their passion for protecting clean sport and their dedication to participating in a comprehensive anti-doping program. Tygart added the first three months have been right on track with the program launch plan, which necessarily included a large emphasis on the vitally important athlete education efforts. Now, with the whereabouts filing process complete, we begin the rollout of the full strategic out-of-competition testing plan.

In the second and now-current phase, UFC fighters would be required to complete their whereabouts file so that they can be contacted and tested in an easier way during out-of-competition windows.

USADA was hired by UFC in June 2015 to conduct and control their anti-doping programs. As part of UFC’s Athlete Marketing and Development Program, USADA started serving as the independent third-party administrator of UFC’s year-round Anti-Doping Policy beginning on July 1, 2015. The premier anti-doping agency is renowned globally for its mission to preserve the integrity of competition and protect the rights of clean athletes. Under the association, the United States Anti-Doping Agency would be responsible for independently administering all areas of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, including comprehensive education, testing, science and research, and results management. UFC also appointed Jeff Novitzky, the famed drug cop who almost singled-handedly took down BALCO, as UFC VP of Athlete Health & Performance in an attempt to restore credibility in the sport.

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Thursday 06, Aug 2015

  Global Sporting Bodies Make Calls For Probe Into Doping Allegations

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Global sporting bodies have called for a complete probe of the latest doping allegations that were made by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster. The two organizations reported they had obtained secret data from International Association of Athletics Federations, the global athletics governing body, supplied by a whistleblower who was disgusted by the extent of doping.

The allegations did not revealed that any athlete had failed doping tests but it only disclosed that the tests had been abnormal that can sometimes be an indicator of cheating. The Sunday Times cited Australian doping expert Robin Parisotto and another scientist, Michael Ashendon, concluding that more than 800 athletes had recorded one or more “abnormal” results. Parisotto, an inventor of the test used to detect the blood doping agent Erythropoietin, remarked it is damning that the IAAF appears to have sat idly by and let this happen with so many athletes appear to have doped with impunity.

The British daily said such athletes accounted for 146 medals at top events, including 55 golds. According to the report, Russian athlete had 415 abnormal tests and Russia was followed by Ukraine, Morocco, Spain, Kenya, Turkey, and others. The Sunday Times revealed a remarkable 80 percent of Russia’s medal winners had recorded suspicious scores at some point in their careers.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency remarked an “aggressive review” was required for protecting clean athletes after the doping allegations surfaced. USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart remarked he was unaware of the involvement of any American athlete in the report. Tygart added a thorough and aggressive review of all that evidence needs to be had to ensure that clean athletes’ rights are protected and went on to add that this is more evidence of what many of us already suspected.

The USADA Chief Executive also remarked USADA aggressively pushed WADA to open an investigation several months ago into prior allegations about doping in Russia. Tygart added now it is in the hands of WADA to do the right thing and hopefully give confidence to clean athletes around the world that these gangsters are not going to hijack sport and violate the right of clean athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said it was very disturbed by the reports that claim many endurance runners were suspected of doping and were winning a third of the medals at Olympic Games and World Championships. WADA’s decision to investigate the “alarming” reports was welcomed by Athletics Australia (AA). John Coates, the chief of Australian Olympic Committee, said the reports were “disturbing” and added the AOC has a zero-tolerance approach to doping in sport.

IAAF Vice President Sergey Bubka remarked the International Association of Athletics Federations has zero tolerance for doping and we will not stop the fight. The former pole vault world and Olympic champion from Ukraine is competing against Sebastian Coe to succeed Lamine Diack as the new boss of world athletics.

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko denied allegations that a big majority of the “abnormal” results were from Russian athletes. Mutko added the allegations reflected a power battle before the IAAF leadership vote and had “nothing to do with Russia”.

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Saturday 25, Jul 2015

  UFC Vice President Defends IV Ban

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Jeff Novitzky, UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, has remarked the upcoming ban on IV usage for post-weigh-in rehydration is an important aspect of what he considers is the strongest anti-doping program in professional sports. Novitzky added he hopes to help athletes contend with the new policy by providing alternatives to IV-based rehydration.

Recently, USADA CEO Travis Tygart disclosed that fighters using IV bags filled with saline solution to rehydrate would find themselves in violation of the new drug testing policy of the UFC. IV-rehydration is a common practice among MMA fighters and a big majority of fighters cut extreme amounts of weight in the day before their pre-fight weigh-ins and then try to gain that weight back as quickly as possible through good-old fashioned drinking and IVs.

At a moderated Q&A session at the UFC’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas, Novitzky said the upcoming ban on IV usage is definitely a hot-button issue and the UFC is going out and educating its fighters. Novitzky, who is best known as the BALCO investigator and agent for the Food and Drug Administration investigating the use of steroids in professional sports, remarked this policy follows rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency and their list of prohibited substances and prohibited methods, and the World Anti-Doping Code prohibits the use of IV transfusions in excess of 50 m/L. The UFC Vice President also commented that there is historical evidence that athletes have used Intravenous (IV) in those amounts in an attempt to defeat drug tests.

The former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigator came to national prominence through his critical role in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) doping scandal that rocked Major League Baseball. Novitzky was appointed as the UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance in April this year. On July 1, the UFC launched its revamped anti-doping policy and Novitzky remarked he assisted in developing the guidelines for the program based on his learned lessons through extensive interaction with athletes in other sports, including past doping cheats who discussed their motivation for using performance enhancing drugs.

Novitzky also remarked they did not trust that their sports league cared enough about it as the system was not strong enough. He also commented they also did not have any trust their opponent or their teammate wasn’t using, who they were competing with for contracts and money.

This announcement was not appreciated by many MMA fighters, including featherweight champion Jose Aldo who said he will ignore the decision and use intravenous injections to recover following weigh-ins. Former two-division UFC champion B.J. Penn (16-10-2 MMA, 12-9-2 UFC), who was notorious for his willingness to fight at any weight throughout his career, was on the other side and said he welcomes the IV ban. Penn labeled athletes that complain about the ban as “wimps.” The ex-two-division UFC champion was recently inducted into the “modern era” branch of the UFC Hall of Fame prior to UFC 189 as part of the UFC International Fight Week festivities in Las Vegas.

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Thursday 19, Feb 2015

  Russian Probe Is ‘Defining Moment’ For Doping, Says Tygart

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USADA Chief Travis Tygart has remarked findings about the widespread doping in Russia could prove to be a turning point for all sports.

Tygart told a high-level doping conference in Singapore that the probe into allegations of doping in Russia is looming as the critical battle in the global fight against drugs in sport. The USADA chief remarked this investigation that WADA has undertaken into Russia is so critically important right now. Tygart added there are allegations out there that have been portrayed in the media and there are facts that back some of those allegations.

The chief of USADA also said we can argue about the credibility of those facts at this point but there are facts out there that prompted WADA’s investigation. He went on to add that’s why it’s a defining moment, if not the defining moment, where a country that’s alleged, along with its anti-doping organizations, its lab, other sport federations, of doping its athletes in order to win on the world stage.

Tygart added when there’s evidence of these types of allegations, it’s incumbent upon the overseers of the whole anti-doping program, WADA, and its role under the code, to fully vet and investigate the allegations that have been made and hold any people that have violated the rules accountable. He also remarked that ultimately is what gives confidence to clean athletes around the world who are otherwise being held to the highest standards. Tygart also said if one country is not held to that standard and they go to the (Olympic) Games and they win. He also said if that was not done the right way, and the allegations prove to be true and athletes who won in those events shouldn’t have won because they violated the rules, then they’ve got to be held accountable.

An independent commission has been established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to investigate claims of systematic doping among Russian athletes.

A few weeks back, a German TV documentary alleged that almost 99 percent of Russian athletes are doping and using banned performance enhancing drugs. Russia has been hit with many doping scandals in the recent past with some of the big names, including three Olympic walking champions, Olga Kaniskina, Valery Borchin, Sergei Kirdyapkin, as well as the 2011 world champion Sergei Bakulin, and the 2011 World silver medalist Vladimir Kanaykin.

The Russian investigation is focused on the national race-walking training centre in Saransk where at least 20 athletes who trained there under the oversight of head coach Viktor Chegin have been banned for doping in recent years. Viktor Kolesnikov, the centre’s longtime director, was banned last year for four years for possessing substances outlawed under anti-doping rules. Kolesnikov was briefly replaced by Olympic champion Olga Kaniskina, who resigned after she became one of the five walkers banned for doping.

Russia’s Athletics Federation (VFLA) president Valentin Balakhnichev has announced his intention to step down from his job. A few days back, Valentin Maslakov announced he was resigning as head coach.

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Saturday 10, Jan 2015

  Global DRO Seminar Held In Tokyo For Sports Pharmacists

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Global DRO Seminar Held In Tokyo For Sports Pharmacists

The Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) hosted the first formal Global Drug Reference Online (DRO) Seminar for more than 250 sports pharmacists on 16 December 2014.

This seminar included presentations from the representatives of the founding Global DRO partners that included the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). In 2013, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency joined the Global DRO family and the December Global DRO Seminar was the first opportunity for sports pharmacists from Japan to find out how Global DRO has been implemented and developed by each international partner country as part of their anti-doping programs.

Global Drug Reference Online is an online and mobile tools that allow athletes to check the prohibited or permitted status of licensed medication according to the latest World Anti-Doping Code Prohibited List. There were more than 486,216 searches in 2014 between the four partner countries that spoke about the effectiveness and popularity of the source.

USADA’s Science Director Dr. Matt Fedoruk, highlighted the practical importance of Global DRO in his keynote speech. Fedoruk also illustrated the value of offering resources and education in the context of anti-doping rules to health professionals, including pharmacists and physicians, since they play a vital role in protecting clean athletes. Fedoruk remarked we are seeing a stronger need for close cooperation between the medical community and the anti-doping community in order to best protect clean athletes and sport. He went on to add that implementing clear and consistent processes and providing easy access to accurate information are important parts of any effective anti-doping program.

UKAD Medical Education Officer Anne Sargent said JADA should be applauded for engaging with sports pharmacists and recognizing the crucial role they play in protecting clean sport through the influence they have on athletes. Sargent added this inaugural conference provided an important platform to share best practice and for delegates to gain an increased understanding of Global DRO and its value in assisting athletes and athlete support personnel and further remarked that UKAD is committed to continue working together with international partners to enhance anti-doping programs globally for the benefit of clean athletes.

JADA Chief Executive Officer Shin Asakawa said it is a delight to host this first Global DRO Seminar, opened to JADA’s certified sports pharmacists. Asakawa added we have benefited as part of this international collaboration Global DRO team and also said we along with the JADA Sports Pharmacists System can strengthen a ‘Clean Sport Triad’ and ensure the athletes receiving the appropriate information at anywhere and anytime.

CCES Manager of Education and Technology Cori McPhail said Global DRO allows each of our agencies to support the training and competition schedules of our respective athlete populations with credible information they can access from anywhere. McPhail added JADA is the most recent member of the Global DRO family, but like those of us already involved, they have demonstrated a clear commitment to providing their athletes comprehensive and reliable information about the medication they may need to take.

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Friday 06, Jun 2014

  WADA Will Not Appeal Against Tyson Gay’s Lenient Doping Ban

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WADA Will Not Appeal Against Tyson Gay’s Lenient Doping Ban

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has remarked that it will not appeal against the “too lenient” doping ban imposed on American sprinter Tyson Gay by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

The 31-year-old Gay tested positive for the presence of an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid and/or its metabolites which was confirmed by CIR (GC/C/IRMS) analysis, as the result of two out-of-competition and one in-competition urine samples collected by both USADA and the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF).

In a statement, WADA said Gay’s ban that had been widely criticized in Europe as extremely lenient was ‘compatible with the World Anti-Doping Code.’ The world’s second fastest man, Tyson Gay, accepted a suspension of one year last month by USADA after a 2013 positive test for an anabolic steroid. USADA backdated the ban to June 23, 2013 to make Gay eligible to make a return to running later this month and Gay’s first race after the ban will be a 100 meters at Lausanne’s Diamond League meeting on July 3.

Gay accepted the doping ban and returned the silver medal he won as a member of the U.S. 4×100 meters relay team at the 2012 London Olympics. The athlete has also been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to July 15, 2012, the date he first made use of a product that contained a prohibited substance, including the forfeiture of all medals, points, and prizes.

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart had remarked we appreciate Tyson doing the right thing by immediately withdrawing from competition once he was notified, accepting responsibility for his decisions, and fully and truthfully cooperating with us in our ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding his case.

Under rules, an athlete receives a suspension of two years for their first major doping offense but this ban may get reduced for ‘substantial cooperation’ under anti-doping rules. USADA remarked that Tyson Gay was eligible for a doping ban reduction as he offered what it termed substantial assistance in his case and WADA said it was satisfied with the USADA decision. In a statement, WADA remarked it is satisfied that Tyson Gay provided substantial assistance to USADA in an appropriate fashion after careful review and scrutiny of the full case file.

It added WADA will therefore not appeal USADA’s decision that is compatible with the World Anti-Doping Code. Officials of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that also has the right to appeal against the decision declined to make a comment and remarked that the matter remains in the hands of its doping review board to assess. Last month, IAAF president Lamine Diack said he supported the WADA Code rule that permits athletes to receive reduced sentences if they provide substantial assistance to anti-doping agencies.

In an interview at the inaugural IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas, Diack said we have to use this in the fight against doping. He added if someone gave really very good cooperation and gives us the possibility to do more to fight doping, we have to do something.

Gay is keen to make a return and remarked Lausanne has always been one of his favorite meets, and added he is thrilled to have it be his opening meet.

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Sunday 11, May 2014

  Horse Racing Industry Must Act Diligently, Says RCI Chief

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Horse Racing Industry Must Act Diligently, Says RCI Chief

Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI), has remarked tendency of the sport for self-flagellation and refusal of participants to take responsibility for their actions or lack of action are serious threats to the horse racing industry’s future.

The president of horse racing’s umbrella regulatory group gave the keynote address on the second day of the organization’s three-day conference in Lexington. Martin provided statistics that indicated that horse racing compares favorably with other major sports in terms of the percentage of clean drug tests. This is despite the fact that the sport tests far more samples each year. The RCI president also talked about investigations after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made allegations of horse abuse and mistreatment in the barn of Steve Asmussen.

Martin said we stand here today as regulators trying to police a sport, portions of which seem mired in a culture of negativity and added they never talk about what’s right with this sport. He added if you consistently talk about the negative, you will chase people away from a wonderful sport and if we’re not going to accentuate the positive, we might as well all pack up and go home now. The RCI chief said there are approximately 96,000 races run each year in the United States versus 2,475 Major League Baseball games, 1,275 National Basketball Association games, 1,275 National Hockey League games, and 275 National Football League games. Martin added that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), that may oversee equine medication testing for racing, performs about 8,200 tests a year versus 320,000 in racing.  Martin said horse racing compares favorably with Olympics in which about 99.6 percent of test results come back clean for illegal drugs or therapeutic medication overages.

Martin went on to add that USADA allows exemptions for performance enhancing drugs while we don’t allow performance-enhancing substances in our horses (on race day)–you can make an argument for Lasix (Furosemide, also known as Salix) as being performance-enhancing, but we disclose its use (for each horse) and added that USADA doesn’t tell you who uses what drug in what competition. Martin went on to say that if we adopted the program USADA has implemented, it would increase drug use in horse racing.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International chief said he was as “disgusted as anyone else” when he was watching the video released by PETA in March. Martin said he is advocate for (the National Uniform Medication Program), but he is not sure even if we had all those rules on the books, we would have seen anything different (in the PETA video) and you can’t legislate morality. He also remarked that if owners don’t know what they should know, maybe that’s where the system of checks and balances has failed us. The horse racing’s umbrella regulatory group President added it is easy to detach yourself from the (regulatory) front line and it is also easy to sit in the judgment. He added let us stop talking down the sport as there are too many people whose livelihoods depend on it.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Horse Racing Industry Must Act Diligently, Says RCI Chief

Tuesday 01, Apr 2014

  Jockey Club Wants USADA To Be In Charge

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Jockey Club Wants USADA To Be In Charge

One of horse racing’s most influential groups, The Jockey Club, has said it would be supporting to put the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to reinstate fair play in the sport.

The club said USADA can bring law and order to horse racing, a sport that has not been able to eliminate a pervasive drug culture that has alienated some fans and put riders and horses at risk.

Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of the club, remarked that efforts for reforming the sport from within had moved at a slow pace and not at all in some cases. The horse racing industry managed to come up with a national uniform medication program after some scandals but only 4 of the 38 states with racing have implemented this program fully. In a statement, Phipps said we will aggressively seek rapid implementation, including steps leading toward the elimination of all race-day medications. He added that the integrity of competition and the general perception of the sport all at risk, we cannot afford to wait any longer with the safety of our horses.

The announcement came after investigations by racing authorities in New York, Kentucky, and New Mexico into allegations that trainer Steve Asmussen and his top assistant, Scott Blasi, treated their horses in cruel ways. It was also alleged that both of them gave drugs to their horses for non-therapeutic purposes and even used the services of a jockey to try an electrical device to shock them into running faster. Ranking second in career victories, Asmussen had been on the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame ballot but his name was promptly removed after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) leveled the accusations after an undercover investigation that included videotaped recordings. Asmussen was also accused by PETA of employing undocumented workers, conspiring with Blasi for the purpose of producing false identification documents, and requiring undocumented workers to use false names on I.R.S. forms.

The allegations were first reported in The New York Times.

Phipps added it is his hope that these state bodies use all the prosecutorial powers available to determine if there is evidence of animal cruelty, medication violations — and cheating. He added like so many others, he was upset by what he saw in The Times and disgusted by what he saw and what was alleged in that PETA video. The Jockey Club chairman said any person abusing a horse or caught with an electronic stimulation device like the one described in the video should be banned from the sport for life. He went on to remark that and as much as it pains him to see our industry being denigrated in the media, there is another part of him that feels that we, as an industry, deserve every bit of that criticism because the sport’s rules and our penalties have not been effective deterrents.

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act — written by Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, and Representative Joe Pitts, Republican of Pennsylvania — has been brought to the attention of the Congress. This bill would give the United States Anti-Doping Agency the authority for developing rules for permitted and prohibited substances.

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Sunday 30, Mar 2014

  Tygart Warns Cycling Running Out Of Time To Change Things

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Tygart Warns Cycling Running Out Of Time To Change Things

Travis Tygart, chief of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) who exposed Lance Armstrong, has urged the world governing body of cycling to correct things at the earliest. Tygart remarked that cycling is running out of time for overhauling the sport and restoring the trust of fans in the wake of successive doping incidents.

Tygart remarked the UCI should accelerate its Cycling Independent Reform Commission if faith of everyone in the sport was to be restored. He remarked time is of the essence and we have been pounding this issue in the press, in front of the European Union, in front of the French senate, the German parliament, and that now is the time to take and fulfill the promise that the UCI leadership made to take decisive and transparent action. He also said another day can’t go by in his opinion until it is put in place in proper fashion and this process starts. Tygart, speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport conference, said we’ve had communication with the CIRC that we are going to present this all to them because there is a whole lot of information out there that would be helpful in cleaning out the system that is there. He also remarked just because you change the top, the dirty system doesn’t necessarily change.

The USADA chief added the “honeymoon period” brought about by the election of Brian Cookson is at an end and believes that he is thinking of providing an unredacted version of the “reasoned decision” that brought down Lance Armstrong to the UCI to help the CIRC to “clean out the system”.  Tygart remarked he feels that it was not imperative that the CIRC heard from Armstrong as there’s plenty of information outside of them showing up to testify that can be useful for putting a stake in the ground and moving forward.

Tygart added everyone, including Lance Armstrong, deserves a second chance to cooperate and added he hopes Armstrong from a reputational and a rehabilitation standpoint comes in and helps clean up to the extent that his information is still valuable for that as it would absolutely be the best thing for him from a reputational stand point. Tygart added he doesn’t think it was just limited to an Armstrong story and he believes American enterprise decided to come over and capitalize financially in the United States on the Tour de France.

Brian Cookson took over UCI after replacing Pat McQuaid as president of the UCI and established the Cycling Independent Reform Commission to examine the role of the governing body in fostering a culture of doping. The three-person panel of CIRC has promised to report by the end of January next year and has promised reduced sanctions to riders and others involved in the sport, including coaches and team directors if they agree to cooperate.

Martin Gibbs, the UCI director general, said we must not pretend it’s already fixed and added that we are acutely aware we have to make a difference now in key areas with the independent commission. He also remarked we are a sport that has had an omerta about doping.

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Monday 16, Dec 2013

  USADA Chief Slams Door Shut On Armstrong

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USADA Chief Slams Door Shut On Armstrong

Travis Tygart, the CEO of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), has remarked that he has now closed any door of chance for Lance Armstrong cooperating with the agency and getting his life ban reduced.

Tygart, speaking at a seminar at the Ulleval Stadium in the capital of Norway, said Armstrong told him prior to Thanksgiving that he was not interested in speaking to the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA chief went on to add that the banned cyclist could have done good to image of cycling if he had come all clean when he was first charged by the anti-doping agency.

Armstrong was in discussion with USADA about speaking under oath and remarked that he would be open to speak before UCI’s independent commission but does not want the United States Anti-Doping Agency to get involved.

Former US Postal Service rider, Steffen Kjærgaard, may be called as one of the witnesses called for testifying against former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel. Kjærgaard admitted to doping and was a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the 2000 and 2001 editions of the Tour de France. He also spoke at the seminar at the Ulleval Stadium.

In January this year, Lance Armstrong made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey talk show and admitted to doping. The cyclist however refrained from admitting that he used performance enhancing drugs after his return to the sport in 2009, as claimed by USADA in its reasoned decision.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency disclosed that the USPS Team doping conspiracy was designed professionally for pressuring and grooming athletes to make use of dangerous drugs and evade detection while ensuring secrecy of superior doping practices to gain an unfair competitive advantage. USADA’s reasoned decision was supported by different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence and testimonies from Armstrong’s former teammates: Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

Armstrong also denied before Oprah that the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, and its then President Hein Verbruggen, had helped him cover up his doping. He however claimed last month that Verbruggen had been complicit in a bogus and the backdated prescription for a saddle sore cream for covering up a positive test for a corticosteroid in the 1999 Tour de France.

Meanwhile, wife of Frankie Andreu has questioned the motives of Armstrong for his apparent contrition. Betsy Andreu remarked the disgraced cyclist is still trying to manipulate the situation to his advantage and was acting out of self-interest. She added nothing has changed with Lance and he is still desperately trying to control the narrative but the problem for him is not many are listening. Betsy also noted that Lance has a history of reaching out to people before key legal dates and said she believes that Armstrong’s episodes of reaching out to the likes of ex-pro cyclists Christophe Bassons and Filippo Simeoni are influenced by a court appointment in the whistleblower case and the arbitration hearing of Bruyneel.

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