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Archive for  July 2017

Thursday 27, Jul 2017

IOC Reveal Funding Withheld From AIBA In 2016

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that funding owed to the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was temporarily withheld late last year before it was released after a promise to address problems within the sport.

A spokesperson for IOC said the International Olympic Committee Executive Board took the preliminary decision to withhold further Rio 2016 distributions to AIBA at the beginning of December 2016. It was also commented by the IOC spokesperson that the decision was taken because of allegations concerning the financial management of AIBA, a lack of anti-doping measures and refereeing concerns raised after the Olympic boxing competitions during Rio 2016.

The IOC confirmed this news after AIBA President CK Wu survived an attempt to remove him in Moscow at an Executive Committee meeting. The International Olympic Committee is closely monitoring developments to ascertain, if further action is necessary.

Wu, a member of the IOC ruling Executive Board, has claimed backing from National Federations at an Extraordinary General Assembly (EGM) convened for three months time.

In the recent past, there have been big concerns over the finances of AIBA following Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year. The International Olympic Committee had refrained from giving any meaningful reaction of developments within boxing and their discontent was indicated by decision of the IOC Executive Board to remove two men’s events from the Olympic program for Tokyo 2020 in order to make way for two additional female ones.

Last year, it was reported that only one out-of-competition anti-doping test had been conducted by the world body in the whole of 2014 and 2015. The AIBA has blamed Ho Kim, its former executive director, for a missing $10 million (£8 million/€8.5 million) loan reached with Azerbaijani company Benkons MMC. Presently, three criminal cases are ongoing against Ho in Swiss courts. An independent Swiss Timing electronic draw system is also looking to select the judges during competitions following the suspension of all 36 referees and judges used at the Rio Olympics after an investigation into possible wrongdoing was launched.

The IOC said in their statement AIBA provided the IOC with a special investigatory report by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) on past financial mismanagement issues in late December, following the IOC’s request. The statement also reads that AIBA committed to follow up on all recommendations made by PwC. It was also added that it was further informed by AIBA to the IOC that its Special Investigation Committee had found that there was no evidence leading us to believe that any results of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 should be questioned or that any reallocation of medal rankings will be necessary for Rio 2016.

The IOC statement also reads that AIBA committed itself to strengthening its anti-doping program in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and to significantly increasing its anti-doping budget. It was also remarked that these measures were communicated to the IOC by a letter dated December 20 2016 following an Extraordinary AIBA Congress in Montreux and the IOC in response released the AIBA payment which had been held back.

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Tuesday 25, Jul 2017

Decision To Drug Test Schoolboy Rugby Players Appreciated By Former WADA Chief

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The decision of Drug Free Sport New Zealand to test schoolboy rugby players for the first time has kicked off a debate centered on ethics, social responsibility, and attitude.

David Howman, the former Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency, welcomed the move to test leading Secondary School Rugby players of New Zealand. Howman remarked this is a very important initiative and added a lot of the problems in doping occur in the stages where young athletes are trying to break through into the elite nature and they are tempted to do that by others who should know better but a lot of doping goes on at that level.

The former WADA chief said he is really pleased at the initiative from DFSNZ and the willingness he thinks of the school principals to take this on. Howman also commented that the step taken by DFSNZ was a vital educational tool and deterrence.

The pioneering move will be hosted at the top four first XV finals series in Palmerston North during September. This decision was taken after concerns were expressed about the use of supplements by players, and whether banned substances are being used in the quest to reach the professional ranks.

Consent to testing will not be required from parents as the tournament is held under the auspices of New Zealand Rugby who are signatories to the World Anti-Doping Agency code. The urine samples will be collected and analyzed by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Sydney. School age athletes have long been tested by Drug Free Sport New Zealand in other sporting codes, such as Olympic or Paralympic events.

The anti-doping tests will be conducted for a restricted number of substances. The purpose of this initiative is to catch those who cheat in an attempt to reach the top level rather than someone who takes a medicine to help with health conditions such as asthma.

In a statement, Drug Free Sport New Zealand said the opportunity to apply for an exemption permitting the medical use is available in the rare event that a positive test results from properly administered medication. It was further said that normal results management process and sanction regime would be applied on a case-to-case basis. The statement of DFSNZ also reads that Drug Free Sport New Zealand had identified certain elements within the rugby environments of schools that possibly suggest a significant potential for doping to occur. It was commented that this includes research conducted by Otago University on behalf of DFSNZ showing extensive and uncontrolled supplement use, along with the knowledge that doping (and in particular anabolic steroid use) is occurring in comparable environments overseas, notably in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) reported in 2015 that nearly half of all doping convictions against rugby players over the 10 years up to 2014 came from the under-19 level and the country’s annual Craven Week schoolboys rugby tournament. SAIDS reported that the vast majority of positive tests of rugby players across all levels were for anabolic steroids.

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Thursday 20, Jul 2017

Eight More Russian Athletes Cleared By IAAF To Compete As Neutrals

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The world governing body of athletics has approved eight Russians to compete as neutrals but has declined the applications of a further 53 competitors hoping to be awarded a similar status.

The national athletics federation of Russia (RUSAF) remains suspended as a result of systematic and widespread doping. This means that the majority of Russian athletes will miss next month’s World Championships in London. However, athletes from Russia may apply to compete as neutrals provided they meet stringent criteria.

Under IAAF guidelines, the stringent criteria includes showing they are not directly implicated in any way by failure of their natural federation to put in place adequate systems to protect and promote clean athletes.

In a statement, the International Association of Athletics Federations said it had approved 47 applications this year and rejected 109 but did not disclose names of the athletes whose applications were declined. IAAF president Sebastian Coe remarked we from the beginning have declared this process was about supporting the hopes and aspirations of all clean athletes, including Russian athletes who have been failed by their national system. The IAAF said the participation of all athletes was still subject to formalities and acceptance by individual meeting organizers.

The eight athletes who were recently permitted to compete included Sergei Litvinov, a bronze medalist at the 2014 European championships who previously competed for both Belarus and Germany. The list also includes Alayna Lutkovskaya, the 2014 junior women’s pole vault world champion, and men’s 2013 European under-23 high jump champion Ilya Ivaniuk. The latest athletes to be approved to compete as neutrals, subject to acceptance of their entries by meeting organizers, are Sergey Litvinov (hammer), Danil Lysenko (high jump), Sofia Palkina (hammer), Valery Pronkin (hammer), Vladislav Saraykin (race walk), Ekaterina Sokolenko (3,000m steeplechase).

     Ivaniuk, Pronkin, Litvinov, and Lysenko have qualified for the IAAF World Championship in London due on August 4-13.

In the past, the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation into activities of the All-Russia Athletics Federation, the Russian anti-doping agency, Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe in November 2015. The commission accused specific sports officials and athletes of doping abuse and involvement in other activities pertaining to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Russian anti-doping agency and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory was eventually suspended. The control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports since January 2016 has been exercised by the Russian anti-doping agency strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

Recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency granted Russia the right for collection of doping samples under supervision. WADA permitted the Russian Anti-Doping Agency to plan doping tests and collect samples under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and UK Anti-Doping. Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov had remarked this is a very important step toward restoring the agency’s status in compliance with the WADA charter. The partial handover of those powers demonstrates trust in the measures taken by Russia to implement the anti-doping policy.

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Tuesday 18, Jul 2017

Russian Athletics Federation To Request Participation Of Racewalker

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The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has remarked it will ask the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to allow race walker Klavdiya Afanasyeva to compete at the World Championships next month.

The 21-year-old secured qualification for flagship event of the IAAF that is scheduled to take place from August 4 to 13 after she won the women’s 20 kilometers race walk event at the European Under-23 Championships in Polish city Bydgoszcz. This came after Afanasyeva was declared eligible to compete under a neutral banner by the world governing body of athletics. The application of Klavdiya Afanasyeva to the IAAF Doping Review Board was only for the European Under-23 Championships that means she has to apply separately for the right to compete at the World Championships.

The Russian Athletics Federation remains banned from international athletics competitions because of doping allegations, pending its completion of reinstatement criteria. Athletes of the country are allowed to compete as neutral athletes if they can successfully demonstrate they have been operating in an effective testing system.

Andrei Kruporushnikov, sports director of the Russian athletics federation, remarked a request will be now be lodged to the IAAF for the participation of Afanasyeva. Kruporushnikov remarked this is a fantastic result, considering that we are happy with any place on the pedestal and added we will try to do it so that Afanasyeva can compete at the World Championships in London.

The IAAF recently allowed 16 Russian athletes including former world long jump champion Alexsandr Menkov to compete neutrally at global events by the world governing body of athletics. In 2013, Menkov won gold at his home World Championships in Moscow with a personal best and national record of 8.56 meters. Menkov also claimed win at the 2013 European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg after he took silver at the previous year’s World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. The former world long jump champion should now be able to compete under the IAAF banner at the 2017 World Championships.

The list of others cleared to compete neutrally include shot putter Alexsadr Lesnoi and 1,500m champion Valentin Smirnov, two home gold medal winners at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan.  Ilya Shkurenev, a multi-eventer who finished fourth in the decathlon at the 2015 World Championships, is also cleared. The 2014 European bronze medal winning triple jumper Alexey Fedorov and Irina Gordeeva, a high jumper who finished third at the 2012 European Championships are also cleared. Others who have received permission by the IAAF to compete are hammer thrower Danil Danilov, triple jumpers Irina Gemeniuk and Viktoriia Prokopenko, discus throwers Viktor Butenko and Iuliia Maltseva, 400m hurdler Timofey Chalyy,sprinters Alena Maminia and Viacheslav Kolesnichenko, and shot putter Konstantin Lyadusov. Race walker Olga Eliseeva is also cleared to at the European Under-20 Championships taking place in Italian city Grosseto from July 20 to 23.

In a statement, the IAAF had remarked the participation of all these athletes as neutral athletes in international competition is still subject to formalities for eligibility under IAAF Rules being completed and subject to acceptance of their entries by individual meeting organizers.

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Friday 14, Jul 2017

RUSADA Allowed To Plan And Coordinate Testing

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently announced that Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has been permitted by it and its independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to plan and coordinate testing.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been made authorized to plan and coordinate testing, using its trained Doping Control Officers (DCOs), under the supervision of WADA-appointed International Experts.

WADA Director General, Olivier Niggli, praised the role played by UK Anti-Doping during the period of non-compliance of RUSADA. Niggli remarked WADA at this juncture would also like to acknowledge the efforts of all involved in working alongside the Agency to rebuild a credible anti-doping system in Russia. The WADA Director General commented that we would particularly like to recognize UKAD, which has ensured that targeted and intelligence-led testing be carried out on athletes inside and outside of the country during RUSADA’s period of non-compliance. Niggli also remarked that the work done by UK Anti-Doping in Russia is an excellent example of how an established and world-renowned National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) can help mentor another NADO in need of support.

UKAD Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead remarked we welcome news that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency is now in a position to recommence the testing of their athletes. Sapstead remarked UK Anti-Doping since February 2016 has been delivering the testing program for Russian athletes, during RUSADA’s period of non-compliance. The UKAD Chief Executive also said it is incumbent on us as one of the world’s more experienced national anti-doping organizations, with a strategic imperative to level the playing field for our athletes to share our experience and expertise with a range of international partners, and to support those countries or organizations where a void is created, so we can safeguard clean athletes around the world.

WADA President Sir Craig Reedie called it as an important step forward in rebuilding anti-doping in Russia. Reedie also commented that we strongly encourage Russia to continue their efforts in the interest of clean athletes worldwide. The World Anti-Doping Agency said it has decided to allow RUSADA to plan and coordinate testing after it agreed to fulfill certain conditions. These include the implementation of a conflict of interest policy, access to biological passports of athletes, and the guarantee that anti-doping officials would be permitted into the so-called “closed cities”, the military units where many Russian athletes train. WADA had also asked for the removal of Yelena Isinbayeva from her position as chairman of RUSADA. In May, the World Anti-Doping Agency had remarked she was a barrier to compliance with the world anti-doping body’s code. The double Olympic pole vault champion has stepped down as chairman but still remains a member of RUSADA.

Previously, a blanket ban was recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency on Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to let the individual sports’ governing bodies to decide.

Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s deputy prime Minister, remarked that this ruling by WADA was a very important step towards RUSADA becoming compliant. Mutko added we are striving to create a strong, independent anti-doping agency which he believes will win the respect and recognition of its colleagues.

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Wednesday 12, Jul 2017

Plan To Combat Doping In Sport Approved By Russian Government

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The Russian government has officially approved a national plan to combat doping in sport after the order was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The 36-point document was developed by the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC) that is led by honorary International Olympic Committee member Vitaly Smirnov. The Russian sports ministry that has been accused in the past of being complicit in a state-sponsored doping program at major sporting events like the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games will coordinate and conduct the plan.

The IPADC said in the initial proposal that was created in February that the measures should be implemented by the end of the year. It is widely believed that this step by Russia will prove beneficial to doping in Russia following allegations of state-sponsored doping and widespread drug scandals involving the nation.

One of the main features of this new plan will be to take back prize money and awards from those who breach anti-doping rules. The Sports Ministry of Russia, headed up by Olympic gold medalist Pavel Kolobkov, has set up a deadline of October 30 for the implementation of anti-doping legislation that meets international law and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

The national plan to combat doping in sport by Russia also features measures associated with allocation of more funds to test Paralympic athletes. It also features creation of agreements with whistleblowers to give legal protection to them in exchange for assisting investigations and preventing those who break anti-doping rules from holding state or non-state posts in physical culture and sports. The Russian sports ministry will focus on the establishment of a legal framework in a bid to restore reputation of the country and its place within the anti-doping movement.

A statement from the Russian Government read the order approved a set of measures aimed at preventing and combating doping in Russian sport, which, in particular, provides the normative legal, organizational, scientific and biomedical support activities in this area, the creation of innovative methods and information technologies to prevent doping, the development of appropriate educational programs interaction with international sports organizations.

The sports ministry of Russia is hopeful that its efforts will assist both the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Paralympic Committee in their reinstatement efforts. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency remains non-compliant with WADA and the Russian Paralympic Committee is still suspended by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The Russian Anti-Doping Agency recently overcame a major hurdle on its path to potential reinstatement when the World Anti-Doping Agency allowed them to resume testing last month. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency was granted permission to “plan and coordinate” testing, providing it is carried out under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). WADA President Sir Craig Reedie had then remarked WADA recognizes this milestone as a key component of the roadmap towards compliance while there is still more to be done. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been non-compliant since November 2015 ever since findings of the WADA Independent Commission emerged in the context of state-sponsored doping by Russia in athletics.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Plan To Combat Doping In Sport Approved By Russian Government

Friday 07, Jul 2017

British Tennis Player Dan Evans Suspended

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British world number 50 Dan Evans has received a provisional suspension from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after he tested positive for cocaine.

The 27-year-old,  who reached the last 16 of the 2017 Australian Open (a career best in grand slams), provided a positive sample when he was tested during the Barcelona Open in April. The ITF announced Evans will be banned with effect from June 26 “pending determination of the case”.

Evans remarked this is a very difficult time for him. The tennis player said he was notified a few days ago that he had failed a drugs test in April where he tested positive for cocaine. The disgraced tennis player said it is really important for everyone to know that he took cocaine out of competition and the context was completely unrelated to tennis.

Known as one of tennis’ bad boys, Evans is likely to face a possible ban of two years. He was caught at a nightclub in 2008 until the early hours with doubles partner Daniel Smethurst on the night before their junior doubles match at Wimbledon. As a result, Evans was stripped of all Lawn Tennis Association funding and support for a period of four months. In 2012, he was stripped of his Lawn Tennis Association funding again after he allegedly showed a bad attitude and lacking commitment. In March 2015, Dan Evans was fined after he failed to turn up for a Futures event on the Wirral.

In 2007, Martina Hingis tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. She was subsequently suspended for two years. In 2009, Richard Gasquet received the same suspension but it was later reduced after tribunal panel of the ITF ruled he had taken the substance inadvertently.

The English professional tennis player was heavily criticized by world No. 1 Andy Murray. The Olympic champion remarked Evans has let himself down and all of the people that help him. Murray also commented that he is sure his team and family will be extremely disappointed. Murray also said he had spent a reasonable amount of time with Dan over the last couple of years and added Evans had put himself in a position to do really well for the last few years of his career and he has blown that now. The world No. 1 also said it was looking like this was going to be the best few years of his career and he had got himself into a position to play in all the big events. Murray went on to comment that Dan has made poor decisions in the past and he made another really bad one there.

David Evans, father of the shamed tennis star, backed comments on Murray on his son. David remarked Dan has let everybody down and deserves a ban. The 62 year old electrician from Birmingham said he had followed Dan around the world to watch him play.

Ellesse, the clothing sponsor of Evans, announced it was dropping him. In a statement, the company said Evans showed great promise on the court, but it could not condone the lifestyle choices he had made.

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Tuesday 04, Jul 2017

Three Pitchers Suspended By MLB For Use Of Banned Substances

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Major League Baseball (MLB) has imposed drug suspensions on Houston Astros rookie David Paulino as well as minor leaguers Joseph Colon of Cleveland and Joan Gregorio of San Francisco.

Paulino, who is the only one presently in the majors, received a ban of 80 games after he tested positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid. The suspension of Paulino started with Saturday night’s game against the New York Yankees. Paulino has started six games for the first-place Astros this season, going 2-0 with a 6.52 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 29 innings.

In a statement, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said we are disappointed in the news regarding David Paulino. Luhnow added we hope this is a one-time incident and something David can learn from as he continues his career. The Astros general manager also commented that the Astros will continue to fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Colon tested positive for a synthetic drug whose effect is similar to that of Testosterone. The 27-year-old right-hander made his big league debut with the Indians last July 8 and was 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA in 11 relief appearances. Colon has a 4.13 ERA in 28 relief appearances this year at Triple-A Columbus.

Gregorio showed evidence of the anabolic steroid Stanozolol. The 25-year-old Gregorio is 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 13 starts this year at Triple-A Sacramento. The 6-foot-7 starter was performing well for the Triple-A Sacramento and came close to being promoted more than once in June. Gregorio was even pulled from his warmups before a game in Las Vegas as the Giants weighed a move and he was likely to be in the team had he not injured his back a few days back. Gregorio was expected to replace Dan Slania but the chance has now been bagged by Chris Stratton who got the call and arrived in time for the game.

Both of them have been banned for the rest of the season.

This year, Pittsburgh All-Star outfielder Starling Marte and Philadelphia pitcher Elniery Garcia were banned under the major league drug program. In this year, there have been 47 suspensions under the minor league program.

Kansas City Royals catcher Mark Sanchez was recently suspended for 80 games under the minor league drug program of baseball following a positive test. The 22-year-old tested positive for the performance enhancing substance, Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. Sanchez, a 35th-round draft pick last year, was hitting .206 with two RBIs in 11 games this season for Lexington of the Class A South Atlantic League.

Few weeks back, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jair Jurrjens was suspended for 80 games following a positive test for Testosterone that did not originate in his body. The 31-year-old right-hander is 4-3 with a 4.64 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearances this season at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He has not appeared in a game since June 7. A native of Curacao, Jurrjens is a veteran of eight major league seasons and an All-Star with Atlanta in 2011. He is 53-38 with a 3.72 ERA for Detroit (2007), the Braves (2008-12), Baltimore (2013) and Colorado (2014).

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Three Pitchers Suspended By MLB For Use Of Banned Substances