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Archive for  May 2016

Monday 30, May 2016

IOC Confirms 23 From London 2012 Fail Doping Retests

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The International Olympic Committee has confirmed 23 competitors from the 2012 London Olympics have failed doping retests.

In a statement, the IOC said 265 London samples had been retested with improved techniques and the 23 failed positive tests come from competitors from six countries, competing across five sports. The 23 athletes are in addition to the 31 caught in retests of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a confirmation from the Russian Olympic Committee disclosed that 14 of those athletes were Russians. The Russian Olympic Committee said eight Russian athletes who took part in the London Olympics tested positive for doping during the 2012 games. The second admission in a month that illegal substances were used by Russian athletes could now add more uncertainty about Russia’s participation in the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

It was recently reported by the Russian state television that 10 medalists from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including 2012 high jump champion Anna Chicherova, were among 14 Russians that tested positive in the reanalysis of their doping samples. Chicherova, the gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2011 World Championships in Athletics who won a bronze medal in the event at the 2008 Summer Olympics, continue to compete. Chicherova’s coach Vladimir Plekhanov said they have not received correspondence from the IAAF, the world governing body of athletics. For several years, Chicherova was among the world leading high jumpers until she missed the 2010 season because of pregnancy and reestablished herself as the world leading female high jumper displacing Blanka VlaÅ¡ić after returning in 2011.

IOC president Thomas Bach said these reanalysis show, once again, our determination in the fight against doping. Bach added we want to keep the dopers away from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and this is why we are acting swiftly now. The IOC said in a statement the samples were re-examined after intelligence-gathering that began last August.

The reanalysis of samples from both the Beijing and London Olympics was welcomed by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). UKAD’s director of operations Pat Myhill remarked the ability to retest samples, as a result of new intelligence or the development of new testing techniques, is a vital tool in the fight against doping in sport. Myhill added retrospective analysis allows us to pursue those who cheat clean athletes, long after the competition has ended. The UKAD’s director of operations added it sends a clear message to those who dope – if you chose to make that choice, and think that you’ve got away with it, think again and we can and will catch you.

Russia has been involved with several doping accusations and evidence in the recent past. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Russian lab now living in Los Angeles, revealed in an interview published in the New York Times that he switched tainted urine samples for clean ones at the doping lab used for the Sochi Games with assistance from people he believed to be officers of the Russian security services.

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Saturday 28, May 2016

Olympian Stages DIY Gold Medal Ceremony

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Australian Olympic race walker Jared Tallent staged a gold medal ceremony of his own. This was after it was made public that the two track and field athletes who finished ahead of him during his third-place finish at the 2011 World Championships were among those involved in the state-sponsored Russian doping scandal.

Tallent will get the medal at a ceremony in Melbourne in June but put in some practice with a couple of friends in a video posted online. In the video, Tallent stands up on the mock podium and waves in traditional Olympic style before someone comes forward to shake his hand and put a medal around his neck.

Tallent finished the 50 kilometer walk in 3:43:36 at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu to grab the bronze medal behind the Russian duo of Sergey Bakulin and Denis Nizhegorodov. Sergey Bakulin, was banned for doping last year by Russian authorities and his result of Daegu was disqualified by CAS in its March ruling. Runner-up Denis Nizhegorodov, who won the 50km bronze at Beijing, is now named by a Russian news agency as one of the athletes who failed retrospective drug tests from the 2008 Beijing Games. Last week, the International Olympic Committee said 31 athletes had failed drug tests from the 2008 Games after samples were re-examined.

Tallent was confirmed as the London Games’ 50 km walk gold medalist in March after Sergey Kirdyapkin of Russia was stripped of the title for doping following a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said he will pick up the gold medal from his Russian counterpart soon and present it to Jared Tallent with full Olympic protocol in Melbourne on June 17. Collingwood Football Club president Eddie McGuire remarked Tallent should receive his gold medal at the MCG and this could possibly be during the Pies’ Queen’s Birthday game against Melbourne on June 13. McGuire said Jared receiving his medal before a full MCG or Olympic Park stadium would be very fitting and added they should do that and then give him another ceremonial presentation in the Olympic stadium at Rio. Tallent remarked he would be honored to receive his medal at the iconic “G”; Tallent won a bronze medal in the 20km walk at the 2006 Commonwealth Games at the same place.

The Australian race walker, a three-time Olympic medalist and three-time World Championship medalist, became the first Australian to win two athletic medals in the same Olympics since 1972. Tallent took home gold in the 20 km walk at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Jared married Claire Tallent, a fellow Race Walker in 2008, and won his third World Championships medal with silver in the 50 km walk at the World Championships of Athletics in Beijing in 2015. Claire represented Australia at the Olympic Games and World Championships in Athletics. She claimed the silver medal behind England’s Johanna Jackson at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. She took the women’s title while her husband won on the men’s side at the Australian 20 km walk championships.

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Thursday 26, May 2016

Ken Shamrock Tests Positive For Steroids

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American mixed martial artist Ken Shamrock has reportedly tested positive for elevated testosterone at Bellator 149.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer tested positive for elevated testosterone levels, as was 12.4:1, well above the Texas limit of 4:1. Methadone and Nandrolone were also found in system of the professional wrestler. Shamrock tested positive for the opioid Methadone, with reported levels of 370 nanograms per milliliter while the threshold for a positive test is 300 ng/ml.

This is not the first doping instance for Shamrock. He tested positive after his fight with Ross Clifton and received a suspension of one year.

During the course of his career, Ken Shamrock set numerous pay-per-view records with his drawing power. Widely considered to be an icon in the sport of mixed martial arts, he was named The World’s Most Dangerous Man by ABC News in a special entitled “The World’s Most Dangerous Things” in the initial days of his UFC career. Shamrock became the first UFC Superfight Champion after he defeated Dan Severn at UFC 6 and is best known for his rivalry with Royce Gracie.

Ken Shamrock also holds the distinction of being the first foreign MMA Champion in Japan when he won the title of King of Pancrase. Ranked by Inside MMA as one of the top 10 greatest mixed martial arts fighters of all time, Shamrock has the distinction of being a one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, one-time WWF Tag Team Champion, and the 1998 WWF King of the Ring. He is the founder of the Lion’s Den mixed martial arts training camp. During his prime, Ken Shamrock was hailed by everyone as an explosive grappler with speed, physical strength, agility, and power.

Shamrock appeared in the films Scarecrow Gone Wild, Beyond the Mat, Champions, and Virtuosity besides he appearing in That ’70s Show episode “That Wrestling Show” as Wrestler #1. He has also appeared in the video games WWE ’13 and WWE 2K16.

The rivalry of Shamrock with the Hart Foundation led to his first WWF pay-per-view main event at In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede. This was after his name was associated with a feud with Big Van Vader, Bret Hart, and The Hart Foundation throughout 1997. Shamrock challenged Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship in the main event of December’s D-Generation X: In Your House and defeated Michaels by disqualification when Triple H and Chyna interfered. Shamrock won the King of the Ring tournament in June 1998 after he defeated Jeff Jarrett in the semi-finals and WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia in the final. Shamrock feuded with Owen Hart following the King of the Ring. Hart defeated Shamrock in a “Hart Family Dungeon match” at Fully Loaded and Shamrock took the revenge by defeating Hart in a “Lion’s Den match” at SummerSlam. Shamrock defeated X-Pac in the finals of an eight-man tournament to won the vacant Intercontinental Championship on October 12, 1998.

In another development, Kimbo Slice also failed post-fight drug test. Slice’s testosterone level was 6.4:1 and he also tested positive for Nandrolone.

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Tuesday 24, May 2016

BJ Penn Comeback At UFC 199 Canceled

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Former UFC champion BJ Penn has been pulled by the UFC from a scheduled comeback bout against Cole Miller on June 4 because of a potential doping violation.

 In a statement, the UFC said it was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. The statement further reads that Penn disclosed the usage of a prohibited method — the use of an IV in excess of 50 ML in a six-hour period — during a March 25, out-of-competition sample collection. It was also announced by the UFC that it is presently looking out for another opponent for Miller on the UFC 199 card at Inglewood,California. The UFC remarked it will announce a replacement opponent for Miller shortly.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, intravenous infusions and/or injections of more than 50 ML per 6 hour period are prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical investigations. Since Penn did not fall into any of these categories, USADA flagged him for a potential violation after he disclosed his IV use.

Penn, issued a statement via his website, in which he announced he voluntarily disclosed to USADA that during a non-fight period that he had an IV administered under the care of a doctor. The former UFC champion said the rule for IV usage had changed since his last fight in the UFC and was unaware of the change and voluntarily disclosed the information to USADA and added he had no idea that IV use was banned 365 days a year, The statement of Penn further reads he has never doped at any time in his career and added he anticipates test results from USADA will come back clean and said he will be working with the UFC to get the matter cleared up and return to fight as soon as possible.

Penn (16-10-2) has not won a fight since he knocked out Matt Hughes in 21 seconds in a non-title bout at UFC 123 in November 2010. Since then, Penn is 0-3-1, with losses to Frankie Edgar, Rory MacDonald and Nick Diaz and his bout against Miller at UFC 199 was scheduled to be fought at 145 pounds.

Penn, arguably the greatest lightweight of all time, has been preparing hard for his comeback at Jackson-Wink MMA inAlbuquerque. The American professional mixed martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner was the first American Gold medalist of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. He has competed in the Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, and Heavyweight divisions in mixed martial arts. Penn, during his reign, holds the distinction of being undefeated as a Lightweight for over eight years that spanned a nine-fight unbeaten streak in the division. UFC President Dana White credits Penn as the first crossover pay-per-view star for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lighter weight divisions and the man who brought the lower weight divisions into the mainstream of mixed martial arts.

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Sunday 22, May 2016

Sharapova Could End Career After Doping Hearing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday 20, May 2016

FBI Opens Investigation Into Alleged Russian Doping

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A U.S. law enforcement official has remarked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecutors are investigating allegations of widespread doping by Russian athletes.

The official disclosed the probe is more than a year old that means it predates media reports from November 2015 that alleged widespread doping by Russian athletes.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York is taking on the case. It is the same office that handled indictments against FIFA officials. Reacting to the news, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian media that U.S. justice does not apply outside its jurisdiction. Peskov said we treat with certain skepticism and a certain degree of incomprehension and aversion the cases of extraterritorial application of the jurisdiction of U.S. courts which have become pretty widespread lately.

Alexey Pushkov, head of the international affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, described the FBI investigation as a “new Cold War” against his country. The Russian parliamentarian said eurovision (song contest), sport competitions, cultural events and now the Olympic Games are now becoming prisoners of a new Cold War against Russia. Pushkov tweeted the Olympics in LA in 1984 were held without our athletes but the games were flawed and added no one won from that and no one would win now. Pushkov’s criticism was echoed by Russian senator and Olympian Tatyana Lebedeva who remarked the allegations were groundless. Lebedeva said these are the actions of the Anglo-Saxon lobby and added they see that sanctions are not bringing the desirable results and so they start to attack our strong positions, including sports and music.

Last November, track and field athletes of Russia were suspended from competing by the International Association of Athletics Federations. This was after explosive report by WADA independent commission alleged widespread doping in Russian athletics. The IAAF council is scheduled to meet June 17 and Russia’s suspension may well extend to the Rio Olympics.

An investigation into state-sponsored doping by dozens of Russia’s top athletes has been opened by the United States Justice Department. The United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York is scrutinizing Russian athletes, coaches, government officials, anti-doping authorities and anyone who might have benefited unfairly from a doping regimen.

In his account to The Times, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the longtime head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, remarked he often took direct orders from Yuri Nagornykh, the Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko’s deputy. Mutko, Russia’s minister of sport, is a member of FIFA’s ruling council. The sport minister was appointed in 2008 to his current role in Russian government by President Vladimir V. Putin.

Rodchenkov claimed he staged an elaborate dark-of-night operation of destroying tainted urine samples of Russian athletes on orders from the government. Nagornykh disputed Dr. Rodchenkov’s claims and said there was no doping program in Russian sport.

Rodchenkov is represented by Bradley D. Simon, a criminal defense lawyer of Simon and Partners in New York who has declined to comment on the Justice Department investigation.

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Wednesday 18, May 2016

Doping Sample Retesting Could Bar Dozens From Rio Olympics

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In a major doping crackdown, the International Olympic Committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against 31 unidentified athletes from 12 countries who competed in the 2008 Beijing Games and were about to take part in the Rio de Janeiro Games in August.

The IOC made the announcement after retesting of drug samples from the 2008 Beijing Games. The IOC remarked the positive cases from the Beijing Games emerged from the recent retesting of 454 doping samples with the very latest scientific analysis methods. In a statement, the IOC said it would not immediately identify the athletes caught for legal reasons but would inform the relevant national Olympic committees in the coming days.

The International Olympic Committee added all those athletes infringing anti-doping rules will be banned from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio. It also commented that retesting results of 250 samples from the London Olympics will be announced shortly and commented samples of athletes who would be promoted to medals following disqualification of drug cheats will also be retested.

The IOC urged the World Anti-Doping Agency to initiate a “fully-fledged investigation” into recent allegations that the Sochi drug-testing system was subverted by Russian officials.

IOC President Thomas Bach said this is a powerful strike against athletes who dope and added this shows once again that dopers have no place to hide. The International Olympic Committee is also planning to reanalyze drug tests from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games after allegations were made by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, that samples were tampered with as part of a state-sponsored Russian doping program.

Rodchenkov admitted he worked for many years at the direction of the government of Russia to assist top athletes of the country to use banned, performance-enhancing substances and go undetected. Rodchenkov said athletes of Russia had doped before the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games and throughout the course of the 2014 Sochi Games. Rodchenkov described an overnight operation in which he along with a small team had substituted tainted urine of Russian athletes for clear urine. The urine samples were stockpiled in the months leading to competition and later were passed on surreptitiously through a hole in the wall of the lab building. Rodchenkov later wrote a letter to WADA and the IOC and offer to guide investigators in their scrutiny of samples of Russian athletes from the Sochi Games to verify his account. Rodchenkov added the samples would show no traces of banned drugs but the table salt he added to the urine samples in question, to mask certain inconsistencies would be good to confirm his story.

The International Olympic Committee stores samples for a period of ten years to allow for retesting with improved techniques and athletes who are found guilty of doping face retroactive disqualification and loss of any medals. It remarked the Lausanne anti-doping lab and World Anti-Doping Agency would be asked to proceed with analyzing Sochi samples in the most sophisticated and efficient way possible. However, it is still not clear how many samples are still intact for reliable retesting.

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Monday 16, May 2016

Russia Apologizes For Sochi Olympics Doping Scandal

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Russia’s Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko has acknowledged “serious mistakes have been made” by the sports federation management, athletes, and coaches of Russia.

Mutko said we are very sorry that athletes, who tried to deceive us and the world, were not caught sooner. The Russian sport minister added we are very sorry because Russia is committed to upholding the highest standards in sport and is opposed to anything that threatens the Olympic values. However, Mutko did not admit that the government of Russia had any role in helping athletes dope.

Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the Moscow lab, recently described a sophisticated doping scheme in which special agents of the Federal Security Service, the equivalent of FBI, assisted athletes and officials to prevent cheating athletes getting caught. Rodchenkov said FSS officers allegedly worked during the Olympics disguised as doping control officers.

Rodchenkov said he provided a cocktail of anabolic steroids to athletes that would help them recover more quickly.

The world governing body of athletics, the IAAF, suspended Russia, a track and field powerhouse, following a WADA panel report that found state-sponsored cheating.

In a statement on May 10, the World Anti-Doping Agency said it will immediately probe the new Russian doping allegations, related to the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. WADA said the taped conversations between former RUSADA employee Stepanov and the ex-chief of the Moscow anti-doping center, Grigory Rodchenkov, is a serious issue. WADA must immediately begin to probe the accusations made in the documentary on doping in Russian sports that was aired on May 8 by CBS, said WADA president Craig Reedie. The president of WADA said the claims made in the program offer real cause for concern, as they contain new allegations regarding attempts to subvert the anti-doping process at the Sochi Games.

In a separate report, the World Anti-Doping Agency said independent testing in Russia had decreased by more than two-thirds in the past year. WADA also imposed suspension on the anti-doping agency of Kenya and remarked a new law passed there to try to combat performance-enhancing drugs was “a complete mess.” The WADA ruling means Kenya could be in danger of exclusion from the Rio Olympics. Hassan Wario, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sport, said he believes the sticking point was the presence of officials from the Attorney General’s office and the National Treasury on the board of Kenya’s anti-doping agency. Wario said this was a requirement under Kenyan law.

Wario added WADA is pointing at the legal issues and remarked they highlighted some parts of the act and, based on that, they said unless we get it back exactly the way they sent it to us, we will not be declared compliant.

Meanwhile, the IAAF remarked Kenyan athletes were still eligible to compete nationally and internationally. The world governing body of athletics said the action of WADA is a further reflection of the IAAF’s concerns about the level of commitment to anti-doping at the national level in Kenya. Since 2012, forty Kenyan runners have been found guilty of doping and 18 are currently suspended according to the IAAF.

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Saturday 14, May 2016

Ex-Russian Official Opens Up About Massive Doping

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The former head of Russian’s anti-doping laboratory told The New York Times Russian officials took clean urine from athletes, months before the 2014 Sochi Olympics and transported it in baby bottles and soda containers as part of a strategy to evade doping tests.

Grigory Rodchenkov, working with a filmmaker on a documentary, provided details of the elaborate scheme that he said involved dozens of Russian athletes and officials. Rodchenkov remarked tainted samples were replaced for at least three gold medalists.

The NY Times report was described by the International Olympic Committee as “very worrying.” The IOC said Olympic officials would work with the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate these claims.

Few months back, Vitaly Stepanov, who had a low-level job of collecting urine and blood samples for Russia’s anti-doping agency, disclosed Rodchenkov told him that at least four Russians won gold medals at the Sochi Olympics while on anabolic steroids and the Russian anti-doping lab covered it up. Stepanov also disclosed that agents the FSB (the Russian equivalent of FBI), worked as doping control officers during the Sochi games and also commented that the FSB tried to control every single step of the anti-doping process in Sochi. The details offered by Rodchenkov added more evidence to claims made by Stepanov that the government of Russia was deeply involved to cheat and cover up the doping. It was also claimed by Rodchenkov that he offered a cocktail of anabolic steroids mixed with liquor to some athletes, using Scotch whisky for men and vermouth for women.

The IOC said in a statement these allegations are very detailed and very worrying and we ask the World Anti-Doping Agency to investigate immediately. Prior to the publication of the NY Times story, the IOC’s medical director Dr. Richard Budgett said the IOC was considering retesting samples from the Sochi Olympics. However, this may not prove useful as Rodchenkov claims tainted urine was flushed down the toilet after it was replaced.

Commenting on the claims, outgoing WADA director general David Howman said it shows the system can be broken rather simply. Howman added it looks on the surface there might have been quite a big ‘get away’ and added the real question is the way this is a systematic program.

Beckie Scott, chair of the athletes’ commission, made an emotional plea to the foundation board in which he urged WADA to use its influence to keep Russian drug cheats out of the Rio Games. Scott, who won bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games but was upgraded to gold, remarked we acknowledge that WADA does not have jurisdiction over the Olympic Games and added but WADA does have, however, influence and clean athletes of the world propose that you use that influence with respect to Rio and Game beyond.

Reacting to the allegations, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko defended athletes of the country. Mutko said they are outstanding athletes and the accusations are absurd. The sports minister added the accusations against them are absolutely groundless and added we will study this article and will decide how to react.

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Thursday 12, May 2016

Russian Authorities Frustrate Doping Testers Before Olympics

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UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) officials are facing huge challenges in their attempts to test athletes of Russia, which has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of tests that will be carried out before the Olympics.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) asked UKAD to take over drug testing earlier this year. This was after allegations of state-supported doping within Russian athletics emerged. The world governing body of athletics suspended Russia and athletes of the country were ejected from international events. Moscow’s laboratory lost its accreditation to carry out tests and the Russian anti-doping agency was disbanded.

In January, UK Anti-Doping officials started testing Russian athletes but now it has emerged that Russian officials have been asking for 30 days’ notice of tests and payments for doping control officers are being disputed by Russian authorities. In addition to this, significant delays are made at the end of Russian customs that are preventing blood samples’ transportation to laboratories outside the country within the 48-hour window required for accurate testing. Due to this, the number of tests carried out by the UKAD-run team is falling well below the almost 1,000 tests per-month that were conducted by the Russian anti-doping agency.

These challenges will be brought into the notice of WADA board members when they will meet this week in Montreal. These revelations could further harm the chances of Russia of being readmitted to track and field in time for the Rio Olympics. Furthermore, these claims could possibly have a big impact on public confidence in Russian athletes across other sports who will compete in Brazil.

Reacting to these claims, the Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko insisted Russian athletes should be allowed to travel to the Olympics and are cooperating with the UKAD operation. Mutko remarked there is no basis for our team not to be participating in the Olympic Games and added athletics is hugely popular in Russia, most of our athletes are honest. The Russian sports minister added we have been working with UKAD for four months and it took 67 tests the first month, the next month 150, now it is 200. Mutko added the amount of positive tests by the end of the year will be no larger than when we did it ourselves.

British athlete Paula Radcliffe, one of the most vocal advocates of clean sports, said it was not fair that Russian athletes in other sports had not been punished, sanctioned, or banned from competing in Rio. The world record holder for the women’s marathon remarked it was obvious from the beginning this wasn’t just an athletics problem. Reacting to troubles faced by UKAD anti-doping staff at the hands of Russian officials, Radcliffe said they know what they have to do if they want to get back in. The British athlete also commented they first of all have to accept that there is a problem, and then actively do something about it.

UK Anti-Doping declined to comment and the World Anti-Doping Agency remarked it would respond to these claims once the issues have been discussed by its board.

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