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Archive for  July 2014

Wednesday 30, Jul 2014

European Hurdles Champion Out Of Commonwealth Games

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European hurdles champion out of commonwealth games

Welsh 400m hurdler Rhys Williams has been provisionally suspended from Glasgow Commonwealth Games after he tested positive for a banned substance. The 400m hurdle European champion said he “devastated” to hear about his positive drugs test and denied any wrongdoing.

Ranked 14th in the world this year, Williams has the opportunity to appeal against the initial suspension at a full hearing before the National Anti-Doping Panel. Williams, the co-captain of Wales’ Commonwealth Games athletics squad, was using the Mountain Fuel supplements.

Recently, Wales 800m runner Gareth Warburton also received a suspension and both athletes have been using Night Fuel, a chocolate-tasting drink high in protein. A spokesman for Mountain Fuel confirmed an internal and external investigation is going on to find out what has happened.

The 30-year-old Williams, son of Welsh rugby great JJ Williams, won the European title in Helsinki in 2012. Williams was also the Welsh U15 backstroke swimming champion. He won the European Youth Olympics in 2001 and also won the 400 meters hurdles at the 2005 European U23 Championships. The 30-year-old was expected to be one of the chief rivals of Dai Greene for gold at the Glasgow Games.

Welsh Athletics announced that it has already launched an internal review after the two failed drugs tests and remarked it was obviously concerned that this is the second anti-doping violation by a senior Welsh athlete.

Meanwhile, Mike Hooper, the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, has remarked that he does not believe Rhys Williams’ failed drug test in any way puts a cloud over the Games. Hooper added he thinks it sends a very strong and clear signal to anyone who would go down that path that if you take that choice, you will be caught. Hooper, addressing a daily briefing in the host city, said the case of Williams was picked up in pre-Games testing in the UK and was not part of the Games-time testing program. He went on to remark that a “totally different” approach is now being taken to testing that does not simply focus on competition time. Hooper further remarked the emphasis now is on working in collaboration with a number of other anti-doping organizations and said the reality is combating doping in sport is a fundamental priority for the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Former Wales’ athlete Baroness Grey-Thompson said she was shocked to learn about the positive doping test of Williams. She said it is a huge blow for Wales and for athletics and she does not think we ever would have expected anything like this from him.

Matt Newman, the chief executive of Welsh Athletics, explained the B sample of Williams was tested and that came back to match the A same results. Newman added that what will now happen is we shall have the opportunity to go in front of an anti-doping panel but that is not likely to happen until the autumn. He also remarked it is really now in the interim period for Rhys to gather as much information as possible to make a case for the defense.

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Monday 28, Jul 2014

Nibali Wins 2014 Tour De France, Praises Doping Controls

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Nibali Wins 2014 Tour De France, Praises Doping Controls

Vincenzo Nibali emerged on Sunday as the first Italian winner of the Tour de France in 16 years on Sunday. The Italian rider praised the efforts of cycling’s anti-doping agencies before he won the coveted trophy.

The 29-year-old said he would not be here if there had not been all these controls, targeted controls, and the biological passport. In 2008, Nibali finished 19th in the Tour that was the same year in which the biological passport was implemented by the International Cycling Union (UCI). The Astana rider remarked a lot of progress has been made and we can see the results now. Nibali also added he is ready to accept the idea that his samples would be stored for future testing.

After his Tour win, Nibali said the Vuelta for him was the most important because it showed him that he could aim to win big tours like the Giro and the Tour in the following years. The Italian professional road bicycle racer, considered one of the strongest stage race riders in the world, added it is obvious that for him (as Italian) the Giro is very important but it is also special for the Italian fans and added but what makes the Tour so much bigger is the international attention it demands.

Vincenzo Nibali added he has taken his place in the history of the Tour and that is very important, but those others also made their names in other great races, such as the classics. Nibali added he never thought about making history, and said he just concentrated on trying to win the Tour, like he won the Giro and the Vuelta, because he is a stage racer. The cyclist went on to add that of course there are other races that he want to win, like the Tour of Lombardy in which he had come close many times but not had the luck or the World Championships, which he tried to win last year, or Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Astana rider added he had always liked these races and he did like to try to win them, even though he is more suited to stage races.

Nibali joins Italian Felice Gimondi, Belgian Eddy Merckx, Spaniard Alberto Contador, and Frenchmen Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil as the only men to have won all three Grand Tours. He also joined five other cyclists, including Eddy Merckx, who have won all three of cycling’s grand tours — the Tour, the Vuelta a España, and the Giro d’Italia.

His previous best finish in the Tour de France was third place, behind Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in 2012.

Nibali’s Tour win was benefited from the misfortunes of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador. Froome quit early after three crashes and Contador (who was stripped of his Tour de France 2010 win for using Clenbuterol, a banned substance) hit a hole in the pavement and broke his leg. Nibali won decisive four stages of the Tour, including the Vosges, the Alps, and the Pyrenees. The rider also wore the yellow jersey as the race leader for 19 of the 21 stages.

On Saturday evening, Nibali had remarked the Tour de France this year was a great race, very different than the Tours we’ve had in the past. He added it was just about made to measure for him and it was very difficult from the beginning.

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Saturday 26, Jul 2014

Lance Armstrong Met Cycling Doping Panel

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ance Armstrong Met Cycling Doping Panel

Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, talked for several hours with cycling investigators about doping in cycling.

Armstrong attorney Elliot Peters disclosed that Armstrong set up the meeting and provided answers for questions for seven hours on May 22. Peters remarked they asked him about everything and remarked if you made a list of all the questions people would want to ask about Lance and his activities in cycling and everything else, those were the questions that were asked and answered.

The investigation is believed to be centered upon involvement of UCI, the world governing body of cycling, with doping, especially its links with Armstrong. The willingness of Lance Armstrong to meet with investigators is seen as critical to their efforts for determining whether former UCI officials aided his doping to help Armstrong became cycling’s biggest star.

In an interview, Armstrong claimed that former UCI president Hein Verbruggen helped him cover up doping at the 1999 Tour de France. Verbruggen vehemently denied such allegations and Armstrong has denied he paid anyone or any organization to hide his doping.

Peters remarked Armstrong had a meeting with three people “running” the Cycling Independent Reform Commission and their attorney. The commission is chaired by Dick Marty, a Swiss politician and former Swiss state prosecutor and other members of the panel are Peter Nicholson, a former Australian military officer and war crimes investigator, and German anti-doping expert Ulrich Haas.

In the past, UCI President Brian Cookson has said the lifetime ban on Armstrong may be reduced if the disgraced cyclist offers information which assists other doping investigations. The Cycling Independent Reform Commission’s panel has the authority to cut deals with cheaters who offer valuable information. Peters however remarked the cyclist did not ask for and was not offered such a deal in exchange for meeting with the group. He said there is no agreement and that was never discussed and we never asked for one. Peters added we do think the ban was unfairly harsh and should be reduced and Armstrong is talking in the spirit of not trying to benefit by getting somebody else in trouble, but in the spirit of let us tell the truth.

Lance Armstrong is in danger of losing all of his money after being involved in legal wrangling with the United States government that claims the cyclist owes them restitution. The US government wants to get back around $40 million as it funded Armstrong’s Postal Service team. Armstrong stands to lose $12 million in a separate lawsuit in Texas in addition to the federal case. In a decision last month, Judge Robert Wilkins ruled the Postal Service clearly could have sought restitution — repayment of the sponsorship fees — as a remedy and added the Court holds that the plaintiffs have sufficiently pled that the defendants owed an obligation to pay money to the government due to the alleged breach of the sponsorship agreements as a result of the riders’ doping.

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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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Tuesday 22, Jul 2014

Gareth Warburton Banned From Commonwealth Games

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Gareth Warburton Banned From Commonwealth Games

Welsh 800m runner Gareth Warburton has been provisionally suspended from all competition for committing anti-doping violations, according to an announcement by UK Athletics.

Warburton was charged with committing anti-doping rule violations under UK Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (presence of prohibited substances). The 800m runner competed in the London Olympics and was expected to compete for Wales in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The 31-year-old athlete, who hails from Caernarfon, has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him.

A Welsh Athletics statement said Welsh Athletics can confirm the provisional suspension of athlete Gareth Warburton after being charged with committing anti-doping rule violations under UK Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (presence of prohibited substances). It was added that Gareth has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him, and to have those charges determined at a full hearing before the National Anti-Doping Panel. The statement also said Welsh Athletics strongly supports clean sport and has established a comprehensive education program for its athletes and also remarked Welsh Athletics will not be making any further comment.

Brian Davies, Chef de Mission of Team Wales, said Team Wales can confirm that one of the competitors selected for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has been provisionally suspended after being charged with committing an anti-doping rule violation. Davies remarked Gareth Warburton as a result will no longer be able to compete at the Games and went on to remark that as the athlete is presumed innocent unless and until the charges brought against him have been upheld it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. Davies also said Team Wales is committed to providing athletes with the necessary education required to ensure we compete as clean athletes at a clean Games, and have worked closed with UK Anti-Doping in the build up to Glasgow 2014.

In another development, double world champion Helen Jenkins has pulled out of Glasgow through injury. Considered by many as Wales’ main medal triathlon hope, Jenkins was ruled out with a leg problem. Jenkins remarked she is obviously devastated and added she was very proud to be selected to represent Wales and was looking forward to racing on a tough, honest triathlon course in Strathclyde. The 30-year-old she will get more information from the specialist but with a grade two tear of her Plantar Fascia, it’s almost certain that she would not be racing again this season. The Bridgend star, who finished fifth at the London Olympics in 2012 and was crowned world champion in 2008 and 2011, she particularly wants to thank her support team who have worked so hard to get her back racing after such a difficult 18 months after the Olympics. Brian Davies remarked it is undoubtedly a huge blow to the team and she’ll be sorely missed but first and foremost our thoughts are with Helen. The Chef de Mission of Team Wales said we wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her in action again in the near future.

The Commonwealth triathlon takes place on the opening day of the Games, July 24.

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Sunday 20, Jul 2014

Anti-Doping Advocate Questions Team Sky Ethics

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Anti-doping advocate and French former professional rider Christophe Bassons has questioned the ethics of Chris Froome and Team Sky.

Bassons also issued a warning that rejection of Lance Armstrong by the cycling community may have dire consequences. The former French professional rider said he does not want to hear that Armstrong has been found hanging from a ceiling, because he thinks it is possible. Bassons, who was nicknamed ‘Mr. Clean’, said he sees comparisons between Team Sky and US Postal Service team. A key adversary of Armstrong, Bassons claims that the use of therapeutic user exemption certificates by Team Sky riders is no different to using the blood-boosting drug, erythropoietin (EPO).

Bassons, speaking in Leeds for promoting his updated autobiography – ‘A Clean Break’ – said it was wrong for Chris Froome to race in Tour de Romandie using a therapeutic user exemption for an asthma medication. Froome was not violating the WADA or UCI rules but Bassons says he believes Team Sky and Froome have been exposed compromising their principles. Bassons remarked doping is about eliminating all obstacles to win a race and added that the fact is Froome has shown his mentality by taking this product, he had a problem, he was ill, and he took this product and he eliminated the obstacle to him winning. The former rider went on to remark that Armstrong said he had been tested 500 times and never tested positive and this is the same mentality guys have got today and they just don’t want to test positive.

Bassons remarked it is not about where the authorities draw the line, because people thinking about that are also only thinking the priority is not to test positive. Bassons said he may see unfavorable comparisons between Team Sky and the US Postal Service team that ‘prospered and dominated’ under the leadership of Lance Armstrong. Bassons, a member of the Festina team that was busted for carrying doping products in a team car just before the start of the 1998 Tour de France, earned the nickname ‘Mr. Clean’ because of his refusal to dope. He got into an infamous confrontation with Armstrong during the race after Bassons remarked the peloton was riddled with drug cheats.

Bassons also remarked Team Sky has definitely gone against a lot of received knowledge in the sport and there were a lot of things we thought weren’t possible and they’ve shown that they are possible. The rider added they have a collective force like US Postal had as they communicate with people like US Postal did and they seem to produce riders who don’t have any muscles and are very powerful.

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said we set out to try to win this race with a British rider and ride clean and we’ve achieved that. Brailsford added we are a clean team, we play by the rules and we are happy that WADA is happy with us and we are happy that the UCI is happy with us.

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Friday 18, Jul 2014

UFC Flyweight Ali Bagautinov Suspended

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UFC flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov has been suspended for one year after failing his UFC 174 pre-fight drug test.

Bagautinov, who lost to champion Demetrious Johnson, tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO). The British Columbia Athletic Commission (BCAC) tested Bagautinov and seven other fighters using World Anti-Doping Agency standards in addition to their own anti-doping rules. In an official press release, BCAC disclosed that there were eight UFC 174 competitors tested on June 14, 2014, for the presence of banned substances, including the two flyweight title fighters and six random competitors and added that all competitors’ test results complied with World Anti-Doping Agency Standards subscribed to by the BC athletic commissioner, as well as our anti-doping policies.

The press release added Ali Bagautinov – one of the two flyweight title fighters – was tested out of competition on June 2, 2014 in addition to the June 14 tests and results received by this office from the June 2 tests on Bagautinov were positive for erythropoietin, or EPO – a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It was further remarked that these results were not available prior to the UFC 174 event due to lab processing times. It was also disclosed that the license of Bagautinov to compete in British Columbia has been suspended for a period of one year. The British Columbia Athletic Commission added the focus of the BC Athletic Commission is to ensure fighter safety and maintain the integrity of the sport so athletes are competing on a level playing field.

In the past, Bagautinov was banned from the International Sambo Federation for use of the performance-enhancing substance Methylhexaneamine.

The Avar Dagestani-born Russian mixed martial artist has been a professional MMA competitor since 2009. Bagautinov currently competes in the flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is #4 in official UFC flyweight rankings as of May 26, 2014. Bagautinov became a world combat sambo champion in 2012 World Sambo Championships. He defeated Belarusian Sambo fighter Novitski Vladislav via decision (15-0) in the quarterfinals and defeated Asset Sagyndykov via armbar submission at 0:35 in first round in the tournament final. However, Bagautinov was stripped of all awards of Sambo and suspended from competition for a period of two years after he tested positive for Methylhexaneamine. A veteran of the Russian MMA promotion Fight Nights, Bagautinov made his professional MMA debut in December 2009 and was listed as one of the top flyweight prospects in 2013.

An official statement by UFC on the alleged positive test of Bagautinov revealed that UFC 174 competitor Ali Bagautinov has been suspended by the British Columbia Athletic Commission for testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO). It was added that the fighter was also informed that his positive test violated the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC. The UFC added it has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by our athletes and Bagautinov will serve a one-year suspension and must pass a drug test at the conclusion of his suspension before receiving clearance to compete in the UFC again.

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Wednesday 16, Jul 2014

Victoria Swimmer Gets One-Month Suspension

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Olympic swimmer Alec Page of Victoria will not be able to attend the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to a one-month suspension for what is being labeled an inadvertent doping.

The urine sample of Page collected at the Canadian swim trials for the Games, held in April at his home Saanich Commonwealth Place revealed traces of the prohibited substance Probenecid that is a masking agent. The athlete is supported by Swimming Canada and it was remarked that the 20-year-old athlete accidentally ingested Probenecid through a tainted supplement he was using.

Swimming Canada remarked the reason for the light sentence is that the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport that administers doping control and violation sanctions in the country found the degree of fault of Page to be low. The one-month ban imposed on Page ran May 25 to June 25 but the violation retroactively purged his time and first-place finish in the 400-metre IM from the trials since he tested positive, which means he cannot be on the roster for the Canadian team for both the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Pan-Pacific championships on the Gold Coast of Australia.

In a statement released through Swimming Canada, Page said it is an unfortunate situation and came as a complete shock. The athlete also remarked he has always followed a strict and regimented program with regards to his diet and what supplements he puts into his body, following prescribed guidelines developed by national experts. The swimmer said he respects the anti-doping rules and understands they are put in place to create a level playing field for all athletes and added he is always honored to wear the Maple Leaf and represent his country on the international stage.

Page also remarked he loves his sport and all of the people he have met doing it and said he would never do anything to jeopardize that. Page also said he is very disappointed that he will not be able to compete at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific championships. The athlete also remarked he understands there is a consequence associated with the risk of taking supplements and added things like this can still happen even after consulting national experts and following the right guidelines. The Canadian swimmer further remarked this has been a difficult time but he is glad this predicament is over now and he can move on and added he loves representing Canada and will continue to push forward and keep his focus on the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

In a statement, Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi said it is Alec did not intend to cheat and that the presence of trace amounts of this substance was inadvertent and added that a reduced ban was appropriate and allows Alec to continue pursuing his career as one of Canada’s most talented young swimmers.

The situation is reminiscent of the controversy involving triathlete Kelly Guest of Victoria who was removed from the squad for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games after Kelly inadvertently ingested the steroid Nandrolone that he claimed must have been through the nutritional supplements he was taking.

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Monday 14, Jul 2014

Lance Armstrong Grilled Under Oath

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Lance Armstrong was recently forced to provide sworn videotaped testimony about his doping history. The deposition day for the disgraced former cyclist came as part of a fraud case filed against him by SCA Promotions, a sports insurance company in Dallas.

Armstrong made a request to the Texas appeals court and the Texas Supreme Court for stopping the deposition from happening but his request was rejected by both courts. This forced the ex-cyclist to provide answers to questions raised by SCA Promotions attorney Jeffrey Tillotson, who is the sole opposing attorney to interview Lance Armstrong under oath about doping. Tillotson also questioned the cyclist under oath when he denied doping and lied about using banned performance enhancing drugs in 2005-06.

SCA Promotions has filed the lawsuit against Lance Armstrong and is seeking the return of $12 million in costs and bonuses it paid him for winning the Tour de France in 2002-04. This case was thereafter moved to arbitration and a panel is expected to hear the case after some weeks. Lance Armstrong was subpoenaed for the deposition as part of the process for gathering evidence before the hearing.

The cyclist is also facing a separate fraud lawsuit filed by the federal government. In this case, prosecutors are seeking more than $96 million from Lance Armstrong and Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis, who accused Armstrong of doping and encouraging doping within the USPS team, and may get a share any award under the U.S. whistleblower law. The cyclist was expected to testify under oath at a June 23 deposition in Austin but the judge in this whistleblower suit accusing Lance Armstrong put on hold a deposition of the former cyclist. Originally brought by former teammate Floyd Landis in June 2010, this lawsuit was joined in part by the Justice Department in February 2013. Singer Sheryl Crow, the former girlfriend of Armstrong, is listed as a government witness besides Armstrong’s ex-wife, Kristin Armstrong. Cyclists Frankie Andreu, George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton, and Floyd Landis may be part of a list of potential witnesses against Armstrong. The case is U.S. v. Tailwind Sports Corp., 10-cv-00976, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

The 42-year-old former cyclist, who won a record seven consecutive Tour de France titles, was banned for life and stripped of his Tour de France victories after the United States Anti-Doping Agency found Armstrong guilty of using banned drugs. Armstrong later confessed to doping in January last year during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong sued SCA Promotions in 2004 by claiming a breach of contract after the sports insurance company refused to pay his bonus for winning the Tour de France. SCA Promotions withheld the payment and claimed Lance Armstrong cheated to win the race. In a testimony in 2005, the ex-cyclist said he “never” used performance enhancing drugs and race the bike straight up fair and square. With help of the false testimony, Armstrong was able to win a $7.5 million settlement from the company in 2006. Terms of the settlement agreement stipulated that this case could not be reopened.

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Saturday 12, Jul 2014

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort Admits Failing Drug Test

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UFC middleweight Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort has admitted he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone on February 7, 2014. The middleweight contender has also been pulled out from UFC 175 after the failed random drug test.

Belfort (24-10 MMA, 13-6 UFC) was originally slated to appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to get a license to fight against the Chael Sonnen, who retired a few days back, at the July 5 event inside Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center.

The Brazilian mixed martial artist and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has also been removed from the upcoming NSAC agenda as he is no longer in urgent need of a license to compete in Nevada. The UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament Champion claimed that his high testosterone levels were because of testosterone replacement therapy treatment that was administered by his doctor the day before the NSAC test.

Belfort posted lab reports that revealed his testosterone level was 1472 milligrams per deciliter on February 7 that is considered to be “above therapeutic range.” According to a test result dated February 22, Belfort modified his TRT regiment and his testosterone levels dropped to a more reasonable 681 mg/Dl within two weeks. He added his physicians had immediately modified his therapy to return him to within the therapeutic range.

In 2006, Belfort tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone, which is legally defined as an anabolic steroid and banned in Major League Baseball and other sports. Belfort lost a unanimous decision to Pride Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson at Pride 32: The Real Deal on October 21, 2006. It was argued by Belfort that he bought an over-the-counter supplement which contained 4-Hydroxytestosterone and explained that he could have received the drug as the result of rehabilitative injections given to him by Brazilian endocrinologist Dr. Rodrigo M. Greco to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. In a statement to NSAC, Dr. Greco stated that he administered post surgical injections containing testosterone to Belfort, who was then suspended for nine months from the date of the hearing and fined $10,000.

The NSAC decided to ban Testosterone replacement therapy a few days after Belfort took his test. Meanwhile, the UFC defended Belfort in its statement and said the UFC organization supports Vitor Belfort’s application for a license to compete in Nevada, and we respect the Nevada Athletic Commission and its licensing process and added we pending commission approval look forward to a great fight between Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 5.

In his first sanctioned mixed martial arts match, Belfort at the age of 19 defeated Jon Hess in 12 seconds by knockout. In his debut event in the UFC, Belfort beat two fighters and won the UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament to become the youngest fighter to ever score a victory inside the octagon. In 1999, Vítor moved on to fight in the PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan and fought against some of the most famous names, including Alistair Overeem, Gilbert Yvel, Daijiro Matsui, Bobby Southworth, and Heath Herring.

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