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Archive for  June 2017

Thursday 29, Jun 2017

Portuguese Cyclist Cardoso Suspended For Doping

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Portuguese cyclist Andre Cardoso has been provisionally suspended after he failed a test for the banned blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO), according to the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Cardoso had been included in Trek-Segafredo’s team for the Tour de France that includes Alberto Contador.

In a statement, the world governing body of cycling said the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that Portuguese rider Andre Cardoso was notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of Erythropoietin in a sample collected in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 18 June 2017.

Trek-Segafredo can still replace Cardoso in their nine-man squad for the Tour under the UCI rules, which is spearheaded by twice champion Contador and German John Degenkolb. The team later announced that Spanish veteran Haimar Zubeldia will replace Cardoso on its Tour squad. In a statement, Trek-Segafredo said we hold our riders and staff to the highest ethical standards and will act and communicate accordingly as more details become available.

The 32-year-old Cardoso had managed top-20 finishes in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana. He was to be one of the domestiques of Contador in the mountains on the Tour de France that runs from July 1-23.

Since 2008, Cardoso has raced professionally. This was his first season with the Trek-Segafredo professional cycling team. Before this, Cardoso raced for four years with the Slipstream Sports outfit — first Garmin-Sharp, then Cannondale-Garmin and Cannondale-Drapac.

In a statement, Andre Cardoso remarked that he has already requested his B sample to be tested. Cardoso also said that getting the chance to ride at the pinnacle of professional cycling is the greatest honor he could ever hope for, and he was looking forward to doing his best for his team and himself at the Tour. The Portuguese cyclist also commented that he believes in clean sport and had always conducted himself as a clean athlete, but he realizes that this news puts a dark cloud on not just himself but also on our sport and his team, teammates, and staff. Cardoso went on to add that those people are my friends and colleagues before anything else and for whom he had unlimited respect, and under no circumstances he would ever do something that could put them, their families or their reputations in jeopardy.

In the statement, Cardoso added he is fully aware that he will be presumed to be guilty and added but it is important to him to say that he is devastated by this news and he wanted to state that he had never taken any illegal substances. The cyclist from Portugal added that he had seen firsthand through his career the awful effects that performance enhancing drugs have had on our sport, and he would never want to be a part of that. Cardoso added he had always tried to be a constructive influence in the peloton and on young, aspiring cyclists and added it is his great hope that the B sample will come back as negative and will clear him of any wrongdoing.

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Tuesday 27, Jun 2017

Russian Footballers Never Doped, Says Russian Deputy PM

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has remarked that doping is useless in football and Russian players have never made use of performance enhancing drugs.

The Russian Deputy Prime Minister went on to comment that the British media should refrain from voluntarily taking up the role of press secretaries of FIFA. Mutko also remarked that the accusations against the Russian football players were politically motivated and said it was no coincidence that they emerged during the FIFA Confederations Cup that Russia is hosting on the highest level. Mutko also commented that we see a great desire to discredit Russia and discredit Russian sports and all our efforts. The Russian Deputy PM also said we know that many western media outlets are trying to report only on the negative sides and one should not therefore pay attention to these reports.

Mutko, who is also head of the Russian Football Union, vehemently denied doping allegations against football stars of the country. Mutko remarked there was never use of doping in Russian football, especially, on a systematic level. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister also said all the players from the Russian roster were also tested ahead of the tournament after they arrived at their training camp in Austria.

The Confederations Cup, hosted in the Russian cities of Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi, is seen by many as the dress rehearsal by Russia ahead of the World Cup. The tournament that will conclude on July 2 has brought together Portugal, Chile, Mexico, Cameroon, Australia, and New Zealand (the champions of FIFA’s six regional confederations) along with current World Cup holders Germany and host nation Russia. Hosts Russia were beaten by Mexico 2-1 and failed to qualify to the playoffs. Mutko said he still enjoyed the team’s performance and remarked you always want to win but we lost and there is nothing to be ashamed for the team as they fought until the end, trying to find the net despite being a man down.

Interestingly, Mutko was named in the WADA commissioned McLaren report as someone who played a key role in the wider Russian doping scandal. The McLaren independent Investigations Report of 2016 that was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and compiled by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren claimed an extensive Russian state-sponsored system of doping during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Russia was recently accused by the British Media of using forbidden substances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It was claimed by Daily Mail that the world governing body of football has launched an investigation into national football squad of Russia at the World Cup in Brazil being part of a state-sponsored doping program.

In a statement, FIFA denied the accusations by Daily Mail of doping by Russian players. The world governing body of football said it has simply confirmed that it is still investigating in close collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency the allegations involving football players in the so-called McLaren report. The statement further reads that FIFA did not refer to any particular players as it cannot comment on the status of ongoing investigations.

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Thursday 22, Jun 2017

Russia Bans Four Athletes For Doping

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The Athletics Federation of Russia has announced suspensions of four years have been imposed on Russian runners whose samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics tested positive for a banned steroid.

Last year, Long-distance runner Inga Abitova and 400-metre specialists Anastasia Kapachinskaya and Denis Alekseyev were disqualified by the International Olympic Committee after their samples from Beijing were found to contain banned substances in retesting, including the steroid Turinabol.

The results of Alekseyev between August 2008 and June 2013 are annulled, according to the Russian athletics federation. Alekseyev won bronze in Beijing as part of the Russian men’s 4×400-metre relay team but the International Olympic Committee ordered that he and his teammates be stripped of their medals. The Russian athletics federation also announced the results of Kapachinskaya starting from August 2008 are annulled. The athlete and her 4×400-metre relay teammates were also stripped of their silver medals from Beijing. Kapachinskaya also tested positive for Stanozolol and her retested sample from the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu also showed up as positive.

American Francena McCorory will now inherit the 400 bronze of Kapachinskaya from the 2011 world championships. Alekseyev took bronze in the men’s 4x400m and Kapachinskaya claimed silver in the women’s 4x400m relay. Their medals had already been reallocated by the International Olympic Committee and Great Britain is set to receive bronze in both events.

Christine Ohuruogu, Kelly Sotherton, Marilyn Okoro and Nicola Sanders – the GB women’s quartet – finished fifth but now have moved to the third place as a result of both third-placed Russia and fourth-placed Belarus being disqualified because of subsequent failed tests. Andrew Steele, Robert Tobin, Michael Bingham and Martyn Rooney – the men’s four – moved from fourth to third when the International Olympic Committee stripped third-placed Russia of their medal in September.

The Athletics Federation of Russia said the suspensions handed out to Alekseyev and Abitova will end next year because the suspension terms already include two-year bans they had previously served for doping offences. European silver medalist Irina Maracheva was also suspended.

Abitova, the 2006 European Champion in the 10,000 meters reached the final at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and specializes in the 10,000 meters and the marathon. The Russian athlete received a doping ban of two years for abnormal hemoglobin profile in her biological passport. In 2006, Abitova had become European champion over the 10,000 meters at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Alekseyev tested positive for the anabolic steroid Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Oral Turinabol) in an out-of-competition control 27 June 2013. Alekseyev was one of 14 Russian athletes and nine medalists who were implicated following the retesting of urine from the 2008 Olympic Games.

Kapachinskaya was disqualified from competitions in 2004 and 2008 because of doping offences. The sprint athlete was initially awarded gold in the 200 m event at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest but she was later stripped of the title after testing positive for Stanozolol, the banned anabolic steroid. Kapachinskaya face a lifetime ban from the sport as this would be a second doping offence.

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Tuesday 20, Jun 2017

EWF President Attacks IWF Leadership After IOC Warning

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Antonio Urso, the President of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF), has criticized those in charge of the sport after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave a December deadline to address “massive” doping problems.

The IOC’s Executive Board in Lausanne last Friday cut a total of 64 weightlifting quotas from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. A men’s weight category, which still has to be decided, will also have to be removed following the recommendation by executive board of the IOC. In the last few months, a total of 49 weightlifters have been caught for doping in the retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in Beijing and London, respectively.

The IWF is likely to be omitted from the sports program for the 2024 Olympic Games if it fails to satisfy the IOC that improvements have been made by the December deadline.

Urso, who stood unsuccessfully to replace Tamás Aján as the President of IWF at an Electoral Congress in Bangkok late last month, criticized the way the sport of weightlifting has been operated in recent years.

Urso wrote in a letter, published on the EWF website, in which he said the IOC has presented the IWF with a bill, in a timely, surgical and drastic manner, but it will be the entire weightlifting world who will suffer the consequences, not just Aján and those who re-elected him. Urso also commented that a tough, drastic response and there is no going back and also said a curious follow up to the election of a person who has always boasted that weightlifting is in a strong position and not in any danger.

      The President of the European Weightlifting Federation also said it is definitely the worst start for a new four-year Olympic cycle, regardless of who is at the helm of the International Federation. Urso also said there is however no need for dissection or sarcasm, nor for exceptional political skills to observe that this is by no means great acknowledgement for the work done, apparently not so impeccably, in terms of development in favor of this sport, by the re-elected President.

The EWF President also said he must admit that this news from the IOC has left me utterly saddened, because if certain people had been a little more farsighted and a lot less thirsty for power, today we would be talking about something different. Urso also remarked this sport obviously needs to be completely reset in order to start over again with new rules and, more importantly, new people.

In a conciliatory statement, the IWF promised that a “high level task force” will recommend the different measures and initiatives to accomplish the due goals. The statement reads the Olympic Movement and weightlifting was indeed shocked by the result of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games reanalysis and we recognize our responsibility as governing body of the Olympic sport of weightlifting. The statement also reads that the Executive Board is this time again ready to adopt immediate actions and sanctions stating that the IWF has always been fighting with determination against doping and those willing to affect the integrity of weightlifting sport. It was further said that the IWF, recognizing that there is always way for improvement, aims to strengthen the collaboration between the IOC, NOCs, and Member Federations that is vital for an effective common fight and prevent such situations.

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Friday 16, Jun 2017

Ian McCall Cleared Of Potential Doping Violation By USADA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Ian McCall Cleared Of Potential Doping Violation By USADA

Tuesday 13, Jun 2017

Double Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Medalist Banned For Doping

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The United World Wrestling (UWW) has confirmed that double Olympic freestyle wrestling medalist Toghrul Asgarov is one of two athletes suspended by the international governing body of the sport over anti-doping violations.

Asgarov, the Azerbaijani who won the gold medal in the men’s 60 kilogram competition at London 2012 before picking up silver in the 65kg category last year in Rio de Janeiro, was banned for a period of 12 months after he tested positive for Higenamine.

Asgarov also won a gold medal at the 2015 European Games in Baku in the 65kg weight category. He also won a 55kg silver from the 2010 World Championships in Moscow. It was announced that Asgarov’s suspension is due to run from the date of the decision until April 17 next year.

Higenamine falls under section three of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2017 Prohibited List and is often found in supplements. In a statement, the UWW said no Therapeutic Use Exemption was delivered by UWW to justify the presence of Higenamine in system of the wrestler.

Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho was temporarily banned by UEFA last year after he tested positive for Higenamine. Sakho missed the 2016 Europa League final but was later cleared.

It was also announced by the UWW that a suspension of four years has been imposed on Russian Greco-Roman wrestler Aslan Visaitov after traces of Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor agonists were found in a test given by him at the Under-23 European Championships in Szombathely in Hungary.

The positive sample of Asgarovc came from an out-of-competition test completed on February 5 and analyzed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory in German city Cologne. The drug found in system of the Russian is a hormone and metabolic modulator prohibited by WADA. The suspension of Visaitov will run from April 24 until April 23 in 2021. The results of Visaitov from the Greco-Roman 66kg category at the competition, where he won a silver medal, have been altered following his disqualification. Ukrainian Serhii Kozub has been awarded silver with bronze medals for Bulgaria’s Deyvid Tihomirov Dimitrov and Sebastian Nadj of Serbia.

In another development, Uzbekistan wrestler Artur Taymazov has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped him of his Beijing 2008 gold medal for doping. The sample of Taymazov from the Chinese capital failed for banned steroids Turinabol and Stanozolol (Winstrol). Taymazov, the men’s 120 kilograms freestyle competitor, had been a triple Olympic champion until losing his Beijing medal, after also winning the title at both Athens 2004 and London 2012. A CAS statement said the Uzbekistani wrestler Artur Taymazov has filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision issued by the International Olympic Committee dated March 31, 2017 in which he was found, further to recent retesting of samples, to have committed an anti-doping rule violation (Turinabol and Stanozolol) during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where he won the gold medal in the men’s 120kg freestyle wrestling event.

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Friday 09, Jun 2017

Hunt Given Green Light To Sue Brock Lesnar And UFC

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The high-profile case of UFC star Mark Hunt against the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Dana White, and Brock Lesnar has been given green light as his lawsuit survived a motion to dismiss.

Hunt has alleged that the UFC, White, and Lesnar committed fraud, battery, racketeering, and civil conspiracy with regards to the failed drug test of Lesnar at UFC 200. Lesnar beat Hunt by unanimous decision but the victory of Lesnar was overturned. Lesnar was later suspended by both USADA (United States Ant-Doping Agency) and the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) fined him.

Hunt is alleging that the UFC, White, and Lesnar knew about the failed test before the bout. The claims of Hunt go further as the UFC star stated that he was financially and physically damaged by what his legal team has alleged was a criminal conspiracy.

The complaint reads Brock Lesnar, Dana White, and the UFC acted in concert as set forth fully above, to defraud Mark Hunt and commit a battery against Hunt by a scheme to knowingly pit Hunt, a clean fighter, against Lesnar, a doping fighter, to the wrongful benefit of defendants and to the detriment of Hunt.

The UFC waived its rule that permits return of fighters must be in the USADA testing program for four months before competing again. Lesnar was only tested starting about one month out of UFC 200. The fighter did cleared multiple USADA tests in June before a June 28 sample that was taken 11 days prior to the July 9 fight came back positive after UFC 200. Lesnar tested positive for Clomiphene (Clomid), the banned substance in a USADA pre-fight, out-of-competition test and then tested positive for the same substance on fight night. The pre-fight test result did not come back before his fight against Hunt at UFC 200 that allows him to fight and defeat Hunt by unanimous decision.

It was continued in the complaint that White and UFC, on information and belief, were intentionally delaying the announcement because Lesnar was using banned substances and needed additional time in order to circumvent testing procedures. Hunt claimed in interviews to preview UFC 200 that he knew his opponent was “juicing” but didn’t care and would knock him out anyway and the legal team of UFC included that in their motion to dismiss the case. The complaint by Hunt also mentions failed drug tests by Frank Mir and Antonio Silva, two previous Hunt opponents, and a questionable Vitor Belfort drug test before his fight with Jon Jones in 2012. This information was supplied as evidence of the UFC’s questionable handling of past doping situations.

Mark Hunt is claiming compensation for loss of earnings after the defeat, lucrative personal appearances and endorsements that he claims have been lost due to his defeat. The UFC fighter is also claiming treble damages “pursuant to stature,” and punitive damages sufficient to deter illegal doping in the sport of mixed martial arts. Hunt has also asked the court for the defendants to expel their “ill-gotten profits.”

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Hunt Given Green Light To Sue Brock Lesnar And UFC

Wednesday 07, Jun 2017

RUSADA Could Be Soon Reinstated, Hints WADA

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The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) that has been suspended over widespread doping in Russian sport since 2015 could be reinstated soon, according to World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie.

RUSADA was suspended after a damning report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren uncovered widespread doping in Russian sport. The WADA President has now remarked that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency had taken concrete steps to clean up its image. Reedie added RUSADA could resume testing next month based on compliance criteria requested by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Reedie told a press conference following WADA’s Foundation Board meeting that there is a huge amount of work being done. Reedie also commented that the board decided if we receive, and he is sure we will, the necessary information that the Russian anti-doping agency would be able to resume its testing program. Reedie also commented that what has been done at this stage is really important and he is grateful to the Foundation Board for providing, subject to Russia’s roadmap, its green light for the resumption of the testing program. The WADA President RUSADA may resume its work “hopefully” in early June.

The commitment of Russia to comply with the demanded improvements of WADA was called into question by the appointment of Yelena Isinbayeva, former pole vault star as president of RUSADA last December. The former vault star has been extremely critical of the McLaren report and had claimed the report unfairly targeted Russia in what she described as a “political act.” The report by McLaren had uncovered vast evidence of doping across Russian sport that took place with the connivance of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

Russia track and field athletes were barred from the Rio Olympics last year after the report, following a ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

In a different development, the World Anti-Doping Agency announced the creation of a new independent testing body but admitted it could not compel sports federations to come under its authority. The plan for an independent testing authority (ITA) was backed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that said it would be operational in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Valerie Fourneyron, chairman of Wada’s Medical Committee, headed a working group for studying the creation of the new testing agency. Valerie remarked it was a “piece of the puzzle” in the fight against drugs and added the body would allow greater efficiency to ensure that tests improve. However, the chairman of Wada’s Medical Committee added international sports federations could choose whether or not to come under the jurisdiction of the testing body. Fourneyron added it is not legally possible to force them to join, which means that powerful sports federations that already have their own testing regimes may choose not to join. The representatives of the anti-doping establishment still welcomed the move.

Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), said the move was a step in the right direction. Tygart, a long-time advocate of a fully independent and properly funded global drug-testing body, remarked this is the first glimmer of hope for clean athletes after months of pushing for reform. Tygart added the devil will be in the details, of course, but it is an improvement on the status quo.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: RUSADA Could Be Soon Reinstated, Hints WADA

Thursday 01, Jun 2017

Doctor Linked To Salazar Accused Of Falsifying Records

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A doctor who has worked closely with Alberto Salazar, the coach of Mo Farah, has been accused of deliberately falsifying medical records before he handed documents to the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Dr Jeffrey Brown, a Houston-based endocrinologist, was accused of changing a note showing details of an infusion of the controversial amino acid L-carnitine to the former Nike Oregon Project employee Steve Magness in 2011. Brown, who has been under investigation since 2015 by USADA, denied any wrongdoing.

Magness – a key whistleblower in a 2015 Panorama documentary against Salazar – said at least one of the records that Brown gave to the United States Anti-Doping Agency regarding his own treatment appeared to have been altered and did not matched with the copy he has from a visit four years earlier. Magness was given an infusion of L-carnitine at that visit. This is a medical procedure that involved Dr Brown putting him on a drip for more than four hours.

In 2014, Farah received one injection of L-carnitine before the London marathon. UK Athletics doctor Robin Chakraverty insisted that was well within the legal limit but failed to record the precise figure administered to Farah, which was described as “inexcusable” by the UKA chairman, Ed Warner, in parliament.

It was reported by the BBC that a number of ticks seem to have been added under ‘EXAM’ options, including ‘General,’ ‘Lungs,’ ‘Thyroid,’ ‘CV’ (cardio vascular), and ‘Neuro’ in the document provided by Brown to USADA that suggested a full health check was carried out by Dr Brown on Magness.

Joan Lucci Bain, the lawyer of Brown, said all medical records provided to the United States Anti-Doping Agency were accurate. The lawyer also said the records were given with patient consent.

A leaked interim report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency to the Texas Medical Board, written in March 2016 and published recently online, also suggested that some other records, particularly those of the 2008 Olympic marathoner Dathan Ritzenhein, were also altered by Brown. The USADA report revealed that medical records of Ritzenhein were tweaked surreptitiously to suggest an infusion of the amino acid L-carnitine was “40ml” – within the 50ml limit by the World Anti-Doping Agency when the original document had no such measurement.

The USADA report alleges Dr Brown committed at least four anti-doping violations but the doctor vehemently denies breaking anti-doping rules. It was concluded by the USADA report that Salazar and Dr Brown were aware that infusions given to NOP athletes including Magness and Dathan Ritzenhein were above the legal limits and broke the World Anti-Doping Agency’s rules. The report also said the United States Anti-Doping Agency has found that these potential anti-doping rule violations appear to have wholly or largely occurred in the context of a larger conspiracy between Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar and Houston endocrinologist Dr Jeffrey Brown to collude in order to employ risky and untested alternative and unconventional and sometimes potentially unlawful uses of medical procedures and prescription medications including both substances and methods prohibited under the rules of sport to attempt to increase the testosterone, energy and blood levels of Nike Oregon Project athletes in order to boost athletic performance.

Dr Brown is presently investigated by the Texas Medical Board.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Doctor Linked To Salazar Accused Of Falsifying Records