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Archive for  November 2015

Monday 30, Nov 2015

Seven Kenyan Athletes Banned For Doping

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Athletics Kenya has banned seven athletes including two-time cross-country world champion Emily Chebet for doping offences.

Chebet, the cross-country world champion in 2010 and 2013, received a doping ban of four years after he tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic and masking agent. The 29-year-old Chebet was a bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and she will be unable to compete until July 16, 2019.

The list of sanctions also included bans for Joyce Zakary and Koki Manunga, who failed drugs tests at the World Championships in Beijing in August. Joyce and Koki were provisionally suspended at the World Championships and received bans of four years for Furosemide. Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto announced plans to criminalize doping after Koki and Zakari tested positive in Beijing.

The other four athletes banned were Agnes Jepkosgei, Bernard Mwendia, Judy Jesire Kimuge, and Lilian Moraa Marita. Agnes Jepkosgei received a doping ban of four years after he tested positive for metabolite of Norandrosterone, an anabolic steroid. A ban of two years was imposed on Bernard Mwendia for testing positive to Norandrosterone. Lilian Moraa Marita received a two-year ban for the blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO) and Kimuge was banned two years for Norandrolone.

The future of Kenya in World Athletics hangs in the balance as pressure mounts on the country to tackle doping and corruption issues. A harsh warning was issued by Colm O’Connell, the coach of leading Kenyan 800-meter runner David Rudisha, who remarked better testing and monitoring of our athletes has to be put in place immediately if Kenya wants to really move into the Olympics with a clear conscience and with global credibility. Two-time Olympic Champion Kip Keino warned that the next generation of athletes is in danger of being dragged into a world of doping.

In the last few years, there has been a significant spike in doping cases among Kenyan athletes. Since 2012, more than 40 athletes have now failed tests that included high-profile athletes such as Rita Jeptoo. A few days back, Kenyan track officials came under scrutiny after allegations of doping cover-ups surfaced and some officials were accused of money embezzlement at the national federation.

A group of athletes this week stormed the federation headquarters in Nairobi to demand the resignation of top officials over the doping scandals and corruption allegations. The protestors include the 2012 Boston marathon winner-turned politician, Wesley Korir, and former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang. Top Professional Athletes Association of Kenya (PAAK) official said we want to solve the long standing issues affecting us in regards to corruption, doping and other matters. In reply, Athletics Kenya (AK) chief Jackson Tuwei said we are waiting for the outcome of the meeting and were taken by complete surprise. Tuwei and the other Athletics Kenya officials have been barred from their offices since Monday morning.

It was recently reported by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel that Kenya also has a serious doping problem just like Russia that was recently banned from international athletics competitions.

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Saturday 28, Nov 2015

More Explosive Doping Revelations Soon, Says Pound

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In an interview with Britain’s Independent newspaper, Dick Pound said the upcoming second part of the report that revealed shocking levels of doping in Russian athletics and led to the suspension of athletics federation of Russia will be even more explosive.

The former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency said there will be a wow factor when we release this information to the world. Pound added people would be surprised to know that something like that can happen on earth as what would be revealed would be a complete betrayal of what the people in charge of the sport should be doing.

The second part of the report delves into the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body of athletics, and what led to the arrest of IAAF’s former president Lamine Diack and ex-head of anti-doping Gabriel Dolle, which is presently under investigation by French authorities. The French police and investigating agencies are presently looking into allegations of possible corruption with the International Association of Athletics Federations and database results of the 15,000 blood samples that were leaked by a whistleblower at the IAAF.

Pound also said studying the material associated with analysis of blood samples would probably delay publication of the report. He added it would be nice to have it done in 2015 but it looks more likely to be January. The ex-World Anti-Doping Agency added one fear is that if we issue it on the Friday before Christmas for example no one will notice it and we want to have the maximum impact and deterrent. Pound added that he expects Russia to be allowed to take part in next year’s Rio Olympics even though Russian athletes are banned from competing internationally until complying with WADA rules. Pound commented he expects that Russian athletes will be in Rio Olympics and he would be very surprised if the organizations that have to declare them compliant again would not be cooperative in making that happen.

The former chief of WADA also said we will keep the fight against widespread doping. Pound said this is a proper fight and no matter how many sad tales you hear of tainted supplements, that’s nothing compared to the planned, organized, and well-financed cheating that occurs and it is not accidental. Pound said fixing doping issues should be a “child’s play” for Russia that has spent billions building the venues from scratch in seven years for the Sochi Olympics. Pound commented that all Russia need is some direction from the political authorities that should say the Russian Anti-Doping Agency is independent and the laboratory is independent and anybody who doesn’t make that happen is in trouble.

Pound also singled out Kenya after allegations of corruption by Athletics Kenya officials. Pound, a former competitive swimmer, said it would not surprise him if the World Anti-Doping Agency did end up doing an investigation on the ground in Kenya, especially with the level of denial from the sport and the Government authorities amid pretty obvious evidence.

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Thursday 26, Nov 2015

Mirko Cro Cop Suspended for Doping Violation

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Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic became the first UFC fighter officially sanctioned under drug testing program of the UFC, which is administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Earlier this month, Cro Cop pulled out of his UFC Fight Night 79 co-main event bout opposite Anthony Hamilton. However, he was provisionally suspended within days of his withdrawal because of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. Later, Cro Cop admitted to using Human growth hormone (HGH) for healing the shoulder injury that eventually forced him out of the fight.

The retired Croatian heavyweight mixed martial artist recounted basic methods like massages and icing the shoulder did not help when his shoulder problems started. Cro Cop also recounted that he then went to blood plasma that went straight into the shoulder and he had a little mix of growth hormone with each blood plasma to make his shoulder heal faster.

A suspension of two years was issued by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for the violation, according to a UFC statement. The statement, recognizing the sanction, said UFC recognizes the two-year sanction issued today to Mirko Cro Cop by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for violations of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. The statement also revealed that UFC secured the services of USADA, a third-party agency, earlier this year to administer its Anti-Doping Policy to ensure that all athletes compete on an even playing field, free of performance enhancing drugs. It was further added that the UFC appreciates Cro Cop’s disclosure and admission of usage of a prohibited substance, and supports the issuance of necessary sanctions to maintain a clean sport. The UFC statement also said Cro Cop has subsequently announced his retirement from the sport after a storied career and UFC recognizes his accomplishments in the sport of mixed martial arts and wishes him well in future endeavors.

Following a 2011 loss to Roy Nelson, Cro Cop briefly retired from mixed martial arts but made a quick return over a year later to fight in Japan. Earlier this year, he returned to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with a victory over Gabriel Gonzaga earlier this year.

The retired Croatian heavyweight mixed martial artist said he might be the first fighter who has ever been suspended after retirement. Filipovic also said maybe they think it is good for them to sanction someone that is well known as everyone knows the UFC has a deal with the USADA, an anti-doping agency, who now tests all fighters.

Considered one of the greatest heavyweights in kickboxing and mixed martial arts in history, Filipović was a martial arts enthusiast since his youth and his early martial arts inspirations were Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Filipović became the second fighter in the world to win mixed martial arts and kickboxing championships and tournaments. Filipović is the 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion and the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion. Signature move of the former Inoki Genome Federation Champion was his lightning quick left head-kick that was once described as “right leg, hospital; left leg, cemetery.”

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Tuesday 24, Nov 2015

UEFA Accused By Wenger Of ‘Accepting Doping’

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has slammed UEFA, the governing body of European Football, for ‘accepting doping‘. Wenger remarked it is a surprising rule that a team cannot be disqualified from continental competition unless more than two players fail a test.

Wenger made these comments referring to Arijan Ademi who tested positive for a banned substance in the post-match drugs test after playing the full 90 minutes as Dinamo beat Arsenal 2-1 in their Group F opener on September 16, 2015. Ademi denied deliberately doping but UEFA suspended him for four years, subject to an appeal. The 24-year-old will be banned until 2019.

The UEFA rule corresponds to the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, the Arsenal coach said he personally doesn’t agree with the rule and also commented that you cannot say that they had a doped player but the result stands. Wenger said this is like you basically accept doping and also said the rules need to be changed.

In an interview to L’Equipe, Wenger recently insisted that he never asked any of his players to use a performance enhancing drug as a matter of personal pride. The Arsenal manager said to L’Equipe that he has “played against many teams” that use performance-enhancing drugs. Arsenal’s most successful coach also said he is not satisfied with the level of testing because he believes blood tests should be done. Wenger also commented that urine checks are superficial and not deep enough to say absolutely sure that we have no doping problem in football.

UEFA has asked Wenger to explain those comments in light of the recent Russian doping scandal in athletics.

Wenger also said many athletes and footballers use such drugs as there is only room for the hero – the winner – and nobody cares about the second. The Frenchman also asked clubs to sack players who fail drugs test. Wenger also repeated his call for blood testing to be introduced in football. Wenger also said he thinks you have to make the player feel responsible for the club as well.

The comments of Wenger brought a response from UEFA. In a statement, UEFA spokesman Pedro Pinto said the anti-doping regulations of UEFA regulations regarding the consequences for teams for doping offences are strictly in accordance with article 11 of the WADA code that states that where more than one team member in a team sport has been notified of a possible anti-doping rule violation, the team shall be subject to target testing for the event.

Pinto added if more than two team members in a team sport are found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation during the event, the team may be subject to disqualification or other disciplinary action. The UEFA spokesman also defended UEFA’s anti-doping regulations by saying blood testing is a key part of UEFA’s anti-doping arsenal and the governing body of European Football has in fact been blood testing since 2008. Pinto added UEFA carried out 2,318 tests – 2,024 urine tests and 294 blood tests in the 2014-2015 season.

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Sunday 22, Nov 2015

Athletes Involved In Doping Scandal To Sue Whistleblowers

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Russian athletes who were named in the recent doping scandal will soon file a lawsuit against Yulia Stepanova who accused them of doping in a film aired by German television. Alexander Karabanov, lawyer for the athletes, said he thinks we will be able to prepare materials within two weeks and file a lawsuit to a Russian court.

In December 2014, Germany’s TV Channel ARD aired a documentary on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports. The two-part documentary by ARD entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case) claimed that athletes from Russia systematically took banned performance enhancing drugs on instructions from their coaches. The two primary interviewees in the documentary were Russia’s track and field athlete Stepanova and her husband Vitaly who was a former employee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA. Vitaly accused the Russian athletics federation of involvement in spreading doping among athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency delivered a report by its independent commission into doping abuse allegations involving Russian athletes. The report recommended that all athletes of the All-Russia Athletics Federation should be suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from international competitions. After this, the IAAF council voted 22-1 to suspend the federation that could prevent track and field athletes from Russia from taking part in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year.

Last week, WADA recommended life bans for five athletes including 1500m runner Kristina Ugarova and 800m runner Tatyana Myazina. However, Ugarova described the claims as “slanderous” and Myazina remarked she did not take any banned substances. Both athletes are now suing for defamation in Russia over doping claims.

WADA also found five other countries to be in breach of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s codes. Russia, Argentina, Ukraine, Bolivia, Andorra, and Israel were the six countries to be deemed “non-compliant” by the World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA also placed Brazil, Belgium, France, Greece, Mexico, and Spain on a ‘watch list’ and these countries have been told to meet strict conditions by March 2016 or face similar action. The World Anti-Doping Agency has also ordered Kenya to explain its doping controls or join the list of countries facing scrutiny. Presently, there are 15 Kenyans banned for doping by the world governing body of athletics.

Meanwhile, a big majority of clean athletes have come out in open and remarked that doping is “not good for the sport” of track and field. U.S. track and field athlete Alysia Montaño said doping making athletics a dirty place to be.

Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, remarked athletics is “at a crossroads”. Tygart described the current investigation is the biggest since the World Anti-Doping Agency was formed in 1999 by remarking he does not think we have seen something on this scale since WADA took over. Tygart added it far eclipses anything we have seen from corruption and impacts on the rights of clean athletes and also went on to say that the world anti-doping community has to step up for them and support their decision to do it the right way or we might as well walk away and throw in the towel and quit the charade.

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Friday 20, Nov 2015

Russian Anti-Doping Agency Suspended

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) as part of a crackdown on drug cheating in Russia. The decision to suspend RUSADA for non-compliance had full support of the WADA foundation board.

Recently, the WADA-accredited that processed blood and urine samples from Russian athletes on behalf of the Russian athletics federation was decertified and handed a six-month provisional suspension. The head of the Russian doping laboratory has left his position after accreditation of the laboratory was suspended. A disciplinary committee has been appointed by WADA to look at the possible longer suspension or recertification.

Ex-WADA President Dick Pound, who led the independent commission, remarked the probe found cover-ups, destruction of samples, bribes to conceal positive tests, and evidence of Russian state security services of colluding with the athletics federation of Russia to enable athletes to freely dope. Pound added Russia is not the only country in the world with this problem so let’s not try and make it look as though we think that is the case. The former WADA head said we know about Turkey, we know about Kenya and we know about others so you have to be somewhat even-handed so you don’t look like you are picking on one country even if that country has a major problem. Pound alleged that Kenya has a “real problem with doping“. Kenya is in line to face a possible suspension of four years on the lines of Russia.

Russia can now make a return to international events only after they manage to prove that a new framework to stop doping is in place.

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko remarked the country will reform its scandal-hit anti-doping watchdog RUSADA instead of abolishing it altogether. The comments of Mutko suggested Russia was willing to bring in reforms, though to some extent at its own terms, to avoid the threat of being barred from next year’s Rio Olympics. Mutko commented we are saddened by WADA’s decisions, but we respect them and also said we are ready to start immediately implementing the decisions. The Russian sports minister also remarked we are prepared to fully reshape RUSADA, however it is important to understand that the agency has not been liquidated and will continue its work.

WADA also found Israel, Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, and Ukraine non-compliant of the WADA Code and they can no longer conduct anti-doping programs. The World Anti-Doping Agency has also put Brazil, France, Belgium, Greece, Mexico, and Spain on compliance “watch list” and these countries will have time until March 2016 to get things in place and bring their anti-doping programs in line with the WADA Code.

The participation of Russia in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is under doubt now because of the findings and recommendations of the WADA independent commission. However, Russia may find relief from the fact that a few days back International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach remarked he is confident that the administration of Russia and IAAF chief Sebastian Coe would do their best to ensure Russia had a track-and-field team in Rio.

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Wednesday 18, Nov 2015

Kenya Faces Ban Of Four Years For Athletics Doping

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The future of Kenya in the world of athletics is presently hanging in the balance as pressure keeps mounting on it with every passing day to tackle corruption and doping issues.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is considering a ban on Kenya from track and field competition for a period of four years over corruption allegations and delays in implementing creditable anti-doping measures. To add to Kenya’s woes, leading names in athletics have called for strict action.

Dick Pound, who led the WADA independent commission report into systemic doping in Russian athletics, admitted that the doping situation in Kenya was a matter of great concern for WADA as well as every athlete in endurance events. Pound remarked it is pretty clear that Kenya has enjoyed huge success in the endurance events and it is also pretty clear there are a lot of performance enhancing drugs that are being used in Kenya. The comments of Pound follow those of the Kenyan Olympic Committee chairman, Kipchoge Keino, who said a week before that the World Anti-Doping Agency was “seriously considering” banning Kenya from track and field for four years.

Colm O’Connell, the coach of leading Kenyan 800-meter runner David Rudisha, recently said better testing and monitoring of our athletes has to be put in place immediately if Kenya wants to really move into the Olympics with a clear conscience and with global credibility. O’Connell added if this scenario is going to drag on until Rio, then of course a cloud is going to hang over Rio as well.

Two-time Olympic Champion Kip Keino suggested lifetime bans for drug cheats. Keino also issued a warning to the next generation of athletes that is in danger of being dragged into a world of doping. The Olympic star said if people are using drugs they should be banned not for four years but it should be a life ban as the message should be we don’t want you if you’re doing bad things.

A few days back, three senior officials (Isaiah Kiplagat, chairman of AK, the vice-president David Okeyo and Joseph Kinyua, its former treasurer) at Athletics Kenya (AK) were questioned by detectives over claims they pocketed about $700,000 from Nike. Okeyo denied the allegations and said they were made by a disgruntled former employee.

Russia was recently banned from athletics after Pound’s report found ‘state-supported’ doping program in Russia. The governing body of athletics, the IAAF, voted overwhelmingly to suspend Russia from the sport after it was found guilty of widespread, state-sponsored doping. The IAAF council voted 22-1 in favor of the sanction.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has already ordered a complete investigation into the alleged doping currently rife among Russian Federation athletes. Putin also added that the country should not be banned as a whole and punishments should be meted out individually. Putin commented sportsmen who don’t dope – and never have – must not answer for those who break the rules and also remarked if we find that someone must be held responsible for something of the sort that breaks the rules in place against doping, then the responsibility must be personalized – that’s the rule.

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Monday 16, Nov 2015

Russian Athletics Federation Suspended By IAAF Over Doping Scandal

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The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has temporarily suspended the Russian Athletics Federation for an unspecified period over widespread allegations of doping and bribing officials to hide doping cases.

This decision was taken at today’s 201st IAAF Council Meeting that was held by teleconference and chaired from London by IAAF President Sebastian Coe. A total of 24 Members of Council participated in the meeting and 22 voted in favor of the sanction against the All-Russia Athletic Federation and 1 voted against with the Council Member from Russia not eligible to participate in the vote. The members of the IAAF Council, using powers under the IAAF Constitution Article 6.11(b) and Article 14.7, provisionally suspended ARAF on charges of breach of the Objects of the IAAF.

The provisional suspension means the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) delegates the conduct of all outstanding doping cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Russia will also not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Team Championships (Cheboksary) and 2016 World Junior Championships (Kazan) and athletes & athlete support personnel from Russia may not compete in International Competitions including World Athletics Series competitions and the Olympic Games.

However, provisional suspension does not prevent athletes in Russia from participating in domestic competitions and does not remove or waive the obligations on international level athletes in Russia to comply with the International Association of Athletics Federations Anti-Doping Rules, including continuing to be subject to out-of-competition testing.

A press release sent out by the IAAF revealed that the suspension comes into place with immediate effect and track and field teams of Russia will not be able to now take part in international competitions as the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) has been suspended.

Commenting on the decision, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said today we have been dealing with the failure of ARAF and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time. Coe added but we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world. The official IAAF statement reads we send a clear message to clean athletes in a dirty system to report any doping or cheating that they see or hear about.

Frankie Fredericks read a statement on behalf of the IAAF Athletes Commission that said the IAAF Athletes’ Commission is extremely disappointed and concerned regarding the recent developments and allegations directed at our sport. Fredericks remarked we are angry at the damage being caused to the reputation and credibility of athletics and are united alongside our President to not shy away from the major challenges that face our sport and also commented that the athletes will work together to continue the process of cleaning up athletics to ensure those athletes training and competing cleanly are not tainted by the minority.

Following the announcement, Russia’s Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko remarked the suspension is temporary and a special inspection team will look into the matter. Mutko added he believes we will manage to fix everything.

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Saturday 14, Nov 2015

Former IAAF Anti-Doping Chief Charged With Bribery And Money Laundering

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Lamine Diack, the former anti-doping chief of International Association of Athletics Federations, has been placed under criminal investigation on charges of bribery and money laundering. Diack is suspected of taking about 200,000 euros ($220,000) in bribes in an alleged cover-up of positive Russian doping tests.

Jean-Yves Lourgouilloux, a French prosecutor, revealed Diack and other IAAF officials were suspected of taking money in the year 2011 to permit at least six athletes from Russia to continue competing, some of them participating at the London 2012 Olympics, when they should have been barred for doping. Lourgouilloux said they decided not to act and now we understand why as it was in exchange for money.

Dr. Gabriel Dolle joins former IAAF President Lamine Diack and Diack’s legal adviser, Habib Cisse, under formal investigation, according to a statement by the French office for financial prosecutions. Diack is being investigated on preliminary charges of aggravated money laundering and corruption while Cisse and Dolle face only the corruption charge. Diack was released on bail of 500,000 euros. The French investigation began after a complaint by the World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA initiated a commission for investigating allegations raised during the December 2014 documentary by German broadcaster ARD.

In a statement, the World Anti-Doping Agency said its goal was to investigate the validity of allegations of doping practices; corrupt practices around sample collection and results management; and, other ineffective administration of anti-doping processes that implicate Russia, the IAAF, athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and other members of athletes’ entourages; as well as, the accredited laboratory based in Moscow and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

The entire controversy started when ARD and Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper alleged hundreds of athletes had returned “suspicious” doping tests results after examination of a leaked database that had more than 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes between 2001 and 2012. Eminent Australian scientists Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto confirmed the findings but IAAF condemned as ‘naive’ the two blood experts. The world governing body of athletics said the two scientists conveniently ignore the fact that more than 60 athletes have been sanctioned on the basis of abnormal blood values collected after 2009 and added that their statement does not address the fact that they had no knowledge whatsoever of the actions taken by the IAAF in following these suspicious profiles. The athletics’ governing body said it acknowledges that these two scientists have a great degree of expertise in the analysis of blood profiles and it is for these reasons that we are so disappointed.

Arne Ljungqvist, the former chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, also came to the defense at that time. Ljungqvist said the world governing body of athletics did more than others, before others but is now criticized by people, who have no insight into the work of International Association of Athletics Federations, for not having done enough that is highly unfair to the governing body, an institution that should be regarded in high respect for its innumerable efforts and investment, throughout its history, for tackling doping in athletics in the most efficient and intelligent ways.

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Thursday 12, Nov 2015

Vitor Belfort Says He Is Ready To Move On

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Vitor Belfort, the Brazilian mixed martial artist and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, has remarked he is ready to move on in his life. The UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament Champion also remarked he is not hiding anything and has always fought with the approval of a commission and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The 38-year-old Belfort has almost served as the de facto face of the testosterone replacement therapy argument. Belfort remarked fourteen men were in the treatment and twelve of them were Americans and the media kind of picked him up because of his success.

In 2013, the Brazilian knocked out Luke Rockhold, Dan Henderson, and Michael Bisping in a span of 10 months but with the help of TRT that is now banned but was completely legal at that time with a therapeutic use exemption. In September this year, it was reported by veteran reporter Josh Gross that testosterone levels of Belfort were significantly elevated before his light heavyweight title bid at UFC 152 against then-champ Jon Jones. In his defense, Belfort said he lives with a clean and clear conscience regarding his use of legally-administered performance enhancing substances. Belfort remarked he is one of the very few fighters who openly accepted they are on TRT and he is not like those who don’t come out and hide. The MMA fighter also remarked he was on TRT for medical reasons.

Belfort has passed five random drug tests ever since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency took over the anti-doping efforts of the UFC this year. He passed four tests since October 1 and insisted he is at peace with his place in the world of mixed martial arts.

Belfort is not new to controversies. He tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone at Pride 32: The Real Deal on October 21, 2006. The MMA fighter argued that he bought an over the counter supplement that had the illegal substance and also explained that he could have received the drug because of rehabilitative injections given to him by Brazilian endocrinologist Dr. Rodrigo M. Greco. A statement from Dr. Greco was received by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that stated that he had given post-surgical injections containing testosterone to Vitor Belfort. NSAC remarked Belfort would still be guilty of a violation of the banned substances policy even if he was unaware that the medical practitioner did not inform him that injections contained anabolic steroids. Belfort was banned on December 21, 2006 for a period of nine months and was fined $10,000.

The Brazilian mixed martial artist is the #4 contender in official UFC middleweight rankings s of June 29, 2015 and was also the last Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight Champion. He was given the nickname The Phenom after he started competing in the UFC. At the age of 19, he became the youngest fighter to ever score a victory inside the Octagon. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion is expected to face Dan Henderson, the American mixed martial artist and former Olympic wrestler, in a rubber match at UFC Fight Night 77 on November 7, 2015.

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