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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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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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Tuesday 30, May 2017

Amendments To Anti-Doping Policy Announced By IWF

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The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has announced a new and tougher anti-doping plan. The new policy, agreed in April and ratified recently, becomes effective from June 15.

The sport’s new anti-doping policy allows the IWF to damage future prospects of countries if their weightlifters who have been disqualified from podium positions at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games for testing positive fail to return the medals. This policy also allows the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) Executive Board to sanction nations whose athletes repeatedly fail to comply with whereabouts requirements of the IWF.

Few days back, the IWF revealed a new method of reporting suspected cheating on its website. The 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games were recently retested and 49 weightlifters were caught cheating.  Of those who tested positive, 30 were medalists – 11 women and five men in Beijing, plus 10 women, and four men from London.

The International Weightlifting Federation had made three significant announcements in the days leading up to the elections for President and a range of other decision-making roles. A new three-year broadcasting deal was announced with Lagardere that will help with “a reimagining” of the grand prix series and televise the next three IWF World Championships.

Tamás Aján was recently re-elected for a fifth term as President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) after he defeated his main rival Antonio Urso in the vote. Aján won by 86 votes to 61; he had also won 80-55 against the Italian in the 2013 election. In 1971, the 78-year-old Hungarian was first elected to the IWF’s Executive Board and became general secretary in 1976 and then President in 2000. Aján will have been at the IWF for more than half-a-century when his latest four-year term ends in 2021.

Aján has pledged to establish women’s weightlifting in all member nations. Aján is an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a Foundation Board member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Aján said before the vote that the most important fact is that weightlifting has not only remained on the Olympic program but has reconfirmed its permanent and respected status in the Summer Olympic Games. Aján also had remarked that our relations with the IOC are close and mutually constructive.

Aján provided a buoyant update on IWF affairs, and especially finances, before the vote to the delegates. The IWF has $37.5 million (£29 million/€34 million) in reserve, a record level that puts it in “a very strong financial position” and is $14 million (£11 million/€12.5 million) higher than the target set in 2012. Aján had also added that there had been progress in the past four years in every area of activities – in organization, management, governance, sports-specific control and supervision, financial management, communication, marketing, anti-doping, continental federation relations, member federation relations, education, development, and gender equality.

Ursula Papandrea was elected as the IWF’s first female vice-president. Sam Coffa lost his place as a vice-president. Coffa had been an administrator in the sport for 59 years.

China’s Ma Wenguang, another Urso supporter, was defeated in the voting for general secretary by Mohammed Jaloud of Iraq. The first vice-president is Thailand’s Maj Gen Intarat Yodbangtoey, who was unopposed.

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Saturday 25, Mar 2017

Athletes Warned About Potentially Dangerous DMAA By MHRA

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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the executive agency of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, has issued a warning as a significant number of products containing DMAA continue to be found on sale in the United Kingdom.

MHRA urged athletes at all levels of sport to steer clear of the potentially dangerous ingredient DMAA. It recently launched a ‘Week of Action’ between January 30 and February 5 supported by a number of leading national organizations to alert people to the potential dangers.

DMAA (Methylhexanamine or Methylhexamine, commonly known as 1, 3-dimethylamylamine) can be found in unlicensed medicines that are marketed as sports supplements. It has been associated with high blood pressure, tightening in the chest, strokes, heart attacks, and even death. DMAA, named on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, is banned during sports competition and the safety concerns are well documented.

MHRA Medicines Borderline Section Manager, Dr Chris Jones said we as always will continue to take robust action when unlicensed medicinal products containing DMAA come to our attention. Dr Jones added we first removed these products from sale in 2012, and will protect public health by continuing to do so. The MHRA Medicines Borderline Section Manager also remarked that any companies, although the sale of DMAA products has dropped since 2012, selling this unlicensed medicine is one company too many.

British Weight Lifting CEO, Ashley Metcalfe, commented that weightlifting is a fantastic sport, not least because of the health and wellbeing benefits associated with strength training. Metcalfe added it is very important, as with all sports that lifters participate in a safe and controlled manner, and are aware of the dangers of taking anything that could be potentially harmful – as has been proven with DMAA. The British Weight Lifting CEO also remarked that we are proud to support this campaign and hope that it encourages lifters that wish to use sports supplements to choose only those that are properly regulated, and remain well-informed about the dangers of using unlicensed medicines.

UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said any athlete who takes supplements containing DMAA in-competition – either deliberately or inadvertently – is not only risking their career, but is also risking their health. Sapstead also remarked if you are considering taking a supplement make sure you assess the need first by speaking to a qualified nutritionist and if you need to take a supplement, make sure you understand the risks and consequences by undertaking thorough research.

ESSNA Chair, Dr Adam Carey said we fully support the MHRA’s efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of supplements that contain DMAA. Carey added that MHRA has classified such products as medicinal products and they have no place in legitimate sports nutrition supplements. The ESSNA Chair also commented that the dangers of consuming DMAA are significant and well-proven. Carey added that we urge all sportspeople to avoid it at all costs – and emphasize that sportsmen and women can only do this by making sure they’re only buying their sports supplements from responsible and reputable retailers.

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Tuesday 21, Mar 2017

Doping In Sport ‘Fast Becoming A Crisis’, Says UKAD Chief

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UK Anti-Doping chief Nicole Sapstead has described recently-revealed figures of a BBC poll into doping in amateur sport as “incredibly alarming”.

The BBC poll revealed more than a third (35 percent) of amateur sports people say they personally know someone who has doped, and 8 percent said they had taken anabolic steroids. Half of the poll population said they believe the use of performance enhancing drugs is “widespread” among those who play sport competitively. Of the 79 people interviewed who had specifically taken anabolic steroids, 41 percent remarked improving performance was the main reason for taking them, followed by pain relief (40 percent) and improving how they look (34 percent).

Only 25 percent of users overall claim they have taken performance-enhancing substances with the intention of improving performance. The poll also found that over half say they were primarily used for pain relief, while 17 percent say they were used to improve looks. Sapstead added she thinks there are clearly a group of individuals seeking to enhance their performance by taking prohibited substances and added then there are others who were taking these substances because they have a body image problem, or actually because they think it is the done thing.

A BBC State of Sport investigation into doping in UK amateur sport also found that 49 percent thought performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) were “easily available” among people who play sports on a regular basis.

UK Anti-Doping figures said the national body responsible for protecting clean sport and there are currently 52 athletes and coaches serving bans. Of them, only 12 percent are professional sports men or women; 62 percent are amateurs, 21 percent are semi-professional, and 5 percent are coaches.

UK Anti-Doping chief, reacting to the ComRes poll for BBC Sport of more than 1,000 men and women who are members of sports clubs and teams, said the figures as regards the prevalence of performance-enhancing substances at an amateur level are incredibly alarming. Sapstead remarked certainly the figures as regards the prevalence of performance-enhancing substances at an amateur level are incredibly alarming and added it does confirm what UK Anti-Doping has long suspected and also seen through some of our intelligence-led testing.

Sapstead said she does not think any sport can say that they don’t have a problem at an amateur level. The UKAD chief also commented that she thinks now is the time for everybody to sit up and acknowledge that this is a reality in every single sport and that you cannot just be washing your hands of it or hoping that someone else will address it. Sapstead also remarked that UK Anti-Doping requires an extension of powers and extra cash from individual sports governing bodies to address what is fast becoming a crisis for sport.

Sapstead also remarked there is a “woeful lack of education” at amateur level about the health risks of doping and commented that there is a “robust” anti-doping program in the United Kingdom but it faces “challenges”. UK Anti-Doping works with police forces to target suppliers of drugs to amateur dopers.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Doping In Sport ‘Fast Becoming A Crisis’, Says UKAD Chief

Wednesday 19, Oct 2016

Russian Weightlifter Loses Olympic Silver In Doping Case

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced Russian weightlifter Apti Aukhadov has been stripped of a London 2012 silver medal after it was confirmed he had tested positive following the re-analysis of samples.

Aukhadov, who is from the Chechnya region, is the latest athlete to be officially sanctioned by the IOC following retesting of more than 1,000 doping samples from the London Olympics and 2008 Beijing Games.

The 23-year-old has been ordered to return his medal, which he won as a 19-year-old in the British capital. Aukhadov, the under-85 kilograms lifter, failed retests for anabolic steroids Turinabol and Drostanolone. The weightlifter also faces the risk of losing the World and European titles he won in 2013 as well as his world bronze medal won in 2015. Aukhadov becomes the tenth weightlifter to have been formally confirmed as failing a Beijing 2008 or London 2012 retest by the IOC. The Russian weightlifter lifted a total of 385kg to narrowly miss out on first place in London behind Adrian Zielinski of Poland, who managed the same total but had a higher clean and jerk mark. The weightlifter from Poland was barred from Rio 2016 after failing a drug test ahead of the Games.

It was revealed by an IOC disciplinary commission report that Aukhadov initially replied that he was “shocked” by the retest result and did not accept the anti-doping violation finding. The report added Aukhadov did not attend the opening and retesting of the backup “B” sample and also did not attended the hearing, or put up any further defense. The three-man panel said the athlete beyond alleging to be shocked does not bring forth any explanation in respect of the fact that two different anabolic steroids were found in his sample.

The IOC ordered the International Weightlifting Federation to adjust the London weightlifting results. The IWF has also been asked by the IOC to consider any further sanctions against Aukhadov, who could face a ban of at least two years. His gold medals from the 2013 world championships and European championships could also be annulled by the IWF.

Iranian Kianoush Rostami now stands to be promoted to silver after a total haul of 380kg and Tarek Yehia of Egypt should rise from fourth to the bronze medal position after managing 375kg.

The IOC also announced Ukrainian pole vaulter Maksym Mazuryk is also disqualified after finishing 18th in qualifying at London 2012. The pole valuter also tested positive for Turinabol after his sample was tested with the most up to date methods. Mazuryk, a world junior champion in 2002, had earlier claimed a silver medal at the 2010 European Championships and set a personal best of 5.88 metres indoors in 2011. A graduate of the Bubka Sports Club, Mazuryk was tested in Kyiv in July 2012 before the games. He accepted the positive finding and did not request a retesting of the “B” sample.

In another development, American weightlifter Norik Vardanian has tested positive for a banned substance in a sample he provided while competing for Armenia at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The IWF said he produced a positive test for the anabolic steroid Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Russian Weightlifter Loses Olympic Silver In Doping Case

Thursday 21, Jul 2016

Chad Mendes Gets Two-Year Suspension

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Chad Mendes, one of the world’s best featherweight fighters, has been suspended for a period of two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Mendes tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in an out-of-competition sample May 17, according to USADA. The banned substance GHRP-6, also known as growth-hormone releasing hexapeptide, was found in the system of Mendes. The 31-year-old would not be able to make a return to the UFC until June 10, 2018, two years from the date of the beginning of his provisional suspension.

Mendes admitted he did not do his homework and remarked this was a big mistake. The UFC featherweight title contender said he owns the mistake and will pay for it.

The Team Alpha Male product has been one of the UFC’s best 145-pound fighters for the last five years. The American mixed martial artist has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 17, 2016, the date of sample collection, including forfeiture of any title, ranking, purse or other compensation.

The #4 in official UFC featherweight rankings, Mendes is ranked the #5 featherweight in the world by Sherdog and #8 featherweight in the world by Fight Matrix. Chad Mendes twice earned NCAA All-American honors made his World Extreme Cagefighting debut against Erik Koch on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47 and his UFC debut was against judo black belt Michihiro Omigawa on February 5, 2011 at UFC 126.

The former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler last fought against Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale in December where Mendes suffered a knockout loss.

What Is GHRP-6?

GHRP-6 (Growth Hormone Releasing Hexapeptide) is a prohibited substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. It belongs to the class of drugs known as growth hormone releasing peptides but it is not the same as human growth hormone (hGH). GHRP-6 is designed for improving natural production of growth hormone in the body and is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders without requiring any “cycling” or post cycle therapy.

Growth hormone is believed to be a performance enhancing substance. Its use is associated with reductions in body fat and improvements in the levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) that both increases protein availability and inhibits cell death. These properties of IGF-1 facilitate significantly more efficient muscle growth & repair and aid recovery time from exercise and injury.

GHRP-6 is known to significantly increase appetite as it acts as a mimetic of ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”). It indirectly results in increased hGH production in the pituitary, primarily through ghrelin release and the hGH travels to the liver and signals it to produce IGF-1. This means many advantages for athletes such as decreased recovery times, decreased body fat, improved muscle tissue repair, and improved body composition. Growth Hormone Releasing Hexapeptide is usually injected though it may be used in cream form. Administration of GHRP-6, IGF-1 or hGH is banned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Chad Mendes Gets Two-Year Suspension

Tuesday 12, Apr 2016

Growth Hormones Were Given To Victorian Special Operations Group Members

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The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court has heard that an associate of key figures in the Essendon doping scandal provided members of Victoria Police’s elite Special Operations Group with growth hormones.

The Court heard that a sergeant and his colleague from the Special Operations Group were patients of Robin James Taylor, who was charged with possessing anabolic steroids and Testosterone after his Melbourne Sport Medicine and Anti-Aging Clinic was raided in October 2013, along with a member of the Hells Angels bikies club. Taylor once used to work at Shane Charter’s doctor ageless clinic. Shane provided growth hormones and peptides to Essendon Sports scientist Stephen Dank.

The officer, who cannot be named, told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Taylor provided him with growth hormones SARMS 22 and GHRP 6 that help with muscle growth. The unnamed official admitted before the Court that he used the drugs to find relief from a shoulder injury. The officer said his blood test results were discussed by the controversial clinic owner and he was thereafter provided with the medication.

The officer also remarked Taylor’s co-accused doctor Hoong Pan Sze-Tho was in the room but did not speak during the consultation. The SOG member said Taylor left the room and came back with medication and added that we were shown some medication and then given some Intel on how to use that medication and the name on the packets were SARMS 22 and GHRP 6.

Taylor’s wife Georgina Matta has also been charged along with a doctor, Hoong Pan Sze-Tho, and the clinic’s receptionist, Amy Lee Gorgievski. Taylor faces more than 70 charges including trafficking other anabolic androgenic steroids, importing prohibited goods, and obtaining property by deception by purporting to be a licensed medical practitioner. Dr Sze-Tho faces 242 charges that include trafficking anabolic steroids and prescribing testosterone for other than medical treatment while Ms Matta is charged with 55 similar offences. The offences are alleged to have occurred between January 2012, and October 2013.

An audit by the Department of Health at a Chemist Warehouse pharmacist near Taylor’s Ascot Vale clinic found Dr Sze-Tho was ordering very huge amounts of testosterone that Taylor or his wife would pick up from the clinic. It was disclosed by Chris Falke, Manager of Compliance at Department of Human Services that some of the prescriptions were for 90 injections and that is an extraordinary quantity. Falke added he would say prescribing 90 injections is very difficult to justify in any circumstances.

Doping in sports is not new but rare in Australian sports. During 2013, Australia recorded 35 drugs offences, and most of these cases were from bodybuilding and Rugby (including both Union and League). Australia’s positive drug tests according to figures from the World Anti-Doping Agency were bodybuilding (seven), bowling (one), boxing (one), cycling (two), netball (one), powerlifting (four), aquatics (two cases), athletics (three), AFL (three), motorsports (one), baseball (one), rugby (six), triathlon (one), weightlifting (one) and wrestling (one). Russia had 225 drugs cases in 2013 and Turkey had a total of 188 drugs cases.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Growth Hormones Were Given To Victorian Special Operations Group Members

Friday 26, Feb 2016

Young Athletes Pushed To Doping By Parental Pressure

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A research from the University of Kent has shown that pressure to be perfect from parents makes young male athletes feel positive about doping.

The research from the University’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences revealed that pressure from parents makes junior athletes more likely to use banned substances to improve sporting performance. It was suggested by lead researcher Daniel Madigan that anti-doping programs because of the risks identified in the findings should target junior athletes early in their sporting career. Madigan also suggested that parents should be made of the potential consequences of such pressure on their children.

The first-of-its-kind research, which was published by the Journal of Sports Sciences, discovered that attitudes of young athletes are more influenced by their parents than anyone else. Perfectionism and attitudes towards doping in 129 male British junior athletes (mean age 17.3 years) were examined by the research in four different aspects of perfectionism.

It was found by the study that there was a positive relationship with positive doping attitudes only from parental pressure. The researchers examined other factors such as the striving of athletes for perfection, pressure from their coach to be perfect, and their concerns about making mistakes. Perfectionistic strivings additionally showed a negative relationship in a multiple regression analysis controlling for the overlap between the four aspects. A structural equation model that examined the relationships between all variables suggested that pressure from coaches had a negative indirect effect on attitudes towards doping via perfectionistic strivings. It was indicated by findings of this study that perceived parental pressure to be perfect may be a factor that contributes to vulnerability of athletes to doping where perfectionistic strivings may be a protective factor.

This study also disclosed the price young athletes may choose to pay to meet their parents’ expectations and dreams with the rise of so-called “tiger” parenting where strict and demanding parents push their children to high achievement levels.

The study will now be widened for examining if young female athletes are similar and if the findings of this study are the same for those taking part in team versus individual sports.

Daniel Madigan, who is a PhD student, said the problem of pressure from parents watching their children play sports is widely known, with referees and sporting bodies highlighting the difficulties and taking steps to prevent it.

Perfectionism and attitudes towards doping in junior athletes (Daniel Madigan; Professor Joachim Stoeber, School of Psychology, University of Kent; Professor Louis Passfield, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent) is published online in the Journal of Sports Sciences.

In another development, Windsor Lancer athletes visited St. Anne’s high school recently to make students aware of the dangers of using performance enhancing drugs. This visit was part of the Succeed Clean program that started with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport back in 2010 for encouraging young athletes to avoid doping to improve their performance.

Liz Vandenborn, the region’s community coordinator for the centre for ethics, said when a lot of people think about doping in sport, they think about males, who are taking testosterone, taking steroids but a growing population of females are actually using steroids at an increasingly alarming rate.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Young Athletes Pushed To Doping By Parental Pressure

Tuesday 05, Jan 2016

UK Government Advisors Urge Online Steroid Imports To Be Banned

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The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), the expert group of UK drug advisors, is pressing for a ban on online imports of anabolic androgenic steroids amid concerns over their use by teenage boys and young men to improve body image.

ACMD said the ban is required as anabolic steroids that are sold online are often out of date, contaminated, or delivered with wrong dosage instructions. Professor Leslie Iversen, the chairman of ACMD, remarked anabolic steroids were now much too easily available. Iversen said you can see endless offers if you search online and added that the ACMD is the lone voice against this tide of promotion on the internet.

Iversen also added we think an import ban on steroids would have a considerable dampening effect on demand but did admit that it may be difficult to enforce such a ban but it would act as a simple deterrent. The chairman of ACMD also said there is no question that the number using the drug for sporting reasons is now a minority and the real growth has come in young users who want to improve their body image. Iversen concluded by saying anabolic steroids were becoming a “big phenomenon” in Britain.

Iversen also said misuse of steroids carries significant risks while the health-related harms associated with these substances are not as severe as with some other drugs, especially for young people whose bodies are still developing. The ACMD chair added more needs to be done to tackle the supply of anabolic steroids and to educate people to the potential dangers.

A recently concluded ACMD report to the home secretary on anabolic steroids quoted the latest figures from the British Crime Survey. It was estimated that anabolic steroids have been used by 50,000 people in the last year for non-medical purposes like bodybuilding. The British Crime Survey was told more than 220,000 had used anabolic steroids. According to drug experts, these are very much underestimates of the number of people who are using steroids as a majority of steroid users would not openly admit to using such performance enhancing drugs even in an anonymous self-report survey such as the British Crime Survey. According to the report, some syringe and needle exchange programs for problem drug users also reported a dramatic rise in steroid injectors.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) said steroids should remain a Class C illegal drug that can be purchased from a pharmacist. It is presently legal to possess or import anabolic steroids as long as they are for personal use only while it is illegal to import or sell steroids for non-medical purposes. The drug advisory body said it is time that steroids should be made illegal to order substances online from overseas websites and import them by post or courier. However, personal possession of steroids that would include bringing them into the country would stay legal as it is believed by authorities that problem would be pushed underground by criminalizing users.

The ACMD report revealed that only a small number of deaths have ever been attributed to liver damage associated with use of anabolic steroids for a long term. It was further added that most of the harmful effects of steroids are not life-threatening in nature. However, the report raised concerns about use of steroids by young people as the drugs can disrupt the normal pattern of physical growth and can stimulate masculinizing effects in women and children.

The drugs minister, James Brokenshire, said we will carefully review the recommendations set out in this report and respond shortly.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: UK Government Advisors Urge Online Steroid Imports To Be Banned

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