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Saturday 17, Dec 2016

  Saudi Football Legend Mohammed Noor Banned

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport has imposed a doping ban of four years on former Saudi Arabia star Mohammed Noor over a doping offence.

The 38-year-old Noor tested positive for banned substance Amphetamine in a routine in-competition doping control exam in November 2015. Amphetamine is considered as a performance enhancing drug by many anti-drug bodies and included in most of drug-related tests. It is not known to create extra physical strength or mental energy and its main effects include alertness, wakefulness, a decrease sense of fatigue, and increased confidence.

Noor, whose full name is Mohammed bin Mohammed Noor Adam Hawsawi, was initially given a ban of four years by the Saudi anti-doping authorities but he was allowed to resume playing football in April this year. This was after an appeal panel accepted his claim that he had served a sufficient punishment. However, FIFA made an appeal to CAS to have his full four-year ban reinstated, which was upheld after proceedings in Lausanne on Friday.

In a statement, the CAS said its Panel found that the player failed to identify any basis for impugning the reliability or accuracy of the testing laboratory’s analysis of his A and B Sample. The statement further reads the player moreover could not identify any particular deviation from the World Anti-Doping Agency International Standards for Laboratories and therefore, the appropriate sanction for the player’s anti-doping rule violation is a four-year period of ineligibility.

Noor was provisionally suspended in November last year and then banned for four years in February by the Saudi anti-doping panel. The football star appeal and the Saudi appeal panel recognized the presence of the banned substance in his sample but decided to end the ban in April. Noor then retired in June.

Noor twice represented his country at the World Cup. He has 98 international caps to his name and is one of the country’s most famous sporting figures and has spent 23 years in the top flight with Al Ittihad and Al Nassr. Noor has won two AFC Champions League and eight Saudi Premier League titles in a highly successful career. An attacking midfielder, Noor spent nearly his entire career at Jeddah club Al-Ittihad. The 38-year-old has played nearly 400 league games for Al-Ittihad, scoring more than 130 goals and has scored 8 goals in nearly 100 appearances for the Green Falcons on international level.

Considered to be one of the best players ever to play in Asia, Mohammed Noor made his first appearance with the national football team in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup in the semi-finals against Brazil. He was honored with many titles and prizes including Arab Nations Cup 2002 – Most Valuable player and 2003 Arabian Footballer of the Year. Noor was voted as the Best Player In Saudi Premier League 2009 and was named as the Arab Player of the Decade (MBC group poll): 2000 – 2010. He was nominated for the Asian Player of the Year in 2009 and became the MVP in the Asian Champions League 2009.

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Thursday 01, Dec 2016

  Anti-Doping Norway Proposes 14-Month Ban For Johaug

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The anti-doping agency of Norway has called for a doping ban of 14 months on cross-country star Therese Johaug.

Johaug, last year’s World Cup champion, tested positive for Clostebol, a steroid that was included in a lotion given to her by the team doctor for treating sunburn on her lips during high-altitude training in Italy in August. The Norwegian cross-country skier who has competed for the clubs Tynset IF and IL Nansen remarked she is not guilty and even asked the doctor if it had any ingredient that was on the doping list and added the doctor said no.

Team doctor Fredrik Bendiksen stepped down from his job after taking the blame for the positive test. Bendiksen said he only read the ingredients that were printed on the box and added it is his responsibility and personal mistake as a medical doctor. Bendiksen said he had given Bendiksen said he had given to Johaug and remarked she is innocent.

Anders Solheim, the head of the anti-doping agency, had earlier said the matter would be treated with the “highest priority.” Solheim added all aspects of the matter must be disclosed in the best possible way, also facts that support the athlete, so we can present it to the body’s prosecution committee for review.

It was found by the prosecution committee that the cross-country star took the steroid unintentionally and not to enhance performance but investigator Niels Kiaer said that she could have avoided the case by checking the medicine that was marked with the word “doping.”

The skater had a urine test on September 16, and the Norwegian anti-doping agency informed her of the finding on October 4. In October, Johaug was suspended pending the investigation. Kiaer further remarked the suspension of two months imposed on Johaug would count toward the ban of 14 months. This means Johaug could compete in late December next year, which will be less than two months before the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The ban she could face would be retroactive to October 18 and endure until December 18, 2017, just two months before the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Kiaer added decision of the disciplinary committee is expected early next year. The decision can be appealed to a national appeals body or the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In a statement, Johaug remarked she is pleased that the prosecution committee believed in what she had said. However, she added but she does not understand how what happened can be the basis of a 14-month ban.

The 28-year-old Johaug won seven World Championship gold medals and the overall World Cup title twice. She won gold in the 4×5 kilometer relay at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, with a bronze and silver at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Johaug won gold in the 4 x 5 km relay, came sixth in the 15 km pursuit at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She won her first individual gold medal in the 30 km mass start race at the 2011 World Championships in Oslo and also went on to win the gold medal in the 4 x 5 km relay, bronze in the 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit.

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Monday 31, Oct 2016

  Spanish Rider Banned For Doping

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The UCI, the world governing body of cycling, has imposed a doping ban of three years and nine months on Spanish rider Alberto Gallego. The Spanish professional cyclist tested positive for Stanozolol just three days into his career.

The 25-year-old was just a few days into his career as a professional rider after joining the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team when his doping sample revealed the presence of Stanozolol. The cyclist was handed a provisional suspension in January by the UCI and his contract was rescinded by Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team.

In a statement, the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team said after the provisional suspension was announced that it has decided to rescind the contract of the rider Alberto Gallego after finding about anomalies discovered in the result of a control carried out on January 3, 2016. The statement further reads the rider came into the team on January 1, 2016 and he had not participated in any race on this season’s program.

A few days back, the cyclist was added to the UCI list of sanctions. His ban effective from the date of the test will run until the 25th October 2019, by which point Gallego will be nearly 28 years of age.

In his defense, Gallego had claimed he was the victim of supplement contamination. In an open letter, the Spanish rider said his reaction could have been what it was: incredulity. The rider he has never taken Stanozolol and did not even knew what it is used for and added he now knows that it is more suited for a bodybuilder than a professional cyclist. Gallego said he is also now aware that the banned substance stays in the system for long and it will be illogical to think that he would have used Stanozolol to improve his performances.

Alberto Gallego also remarked he is very well aware of the fact that many would not believe his innocence and claims but he has no doubts about it. Gallego further added he is more than certain after checking once more all the supplements he had used in recent years that Stanozolol does not appear on any of the labels. The cyclist said he therefore assumes he is a victim of supplement contamination.

The Spaniard impressed on the Spanish amateur scene and was ranked number one before he earned a deal with Radio Popular in 2014. Gallego earned his contract with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team after catching the eye at last year’s Route du Sud where he finished seventh on the queen stage and went on to finish seventh overall behind the likes of Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana.

Manager Juanma Hernandez, while announcing the signing of Gallego, had remarked the cyclist can make very valid contributions to the team. The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team manager had further remarked the profile of Gallego fits well with our team and added he is a courageous rider who climbs very well and is one of the great young assets of our national cycling.

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Friday 15, Jul 2016

  Indian-Born Australian Wrestler To Miss Rio Olympics

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Indian-born Australian wrestler Vinod Kumar has been hit with a doping ban of four years and will miss next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Wrestling Australia has been asked by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to withdraw Kumar from the Olympic team after the wrestler, who competes in the Greco-Roman 66 kilograms division, tested positive for an unnamed substance at the African/Oceania Olympic Qualifier in Algiers in Algeria in April. It was confirmed by the AOC that both his A and B samples returned positive results after he had secured a Rio 2016 spot at the event in the Algerian capital.

Kumar protested his innocence and his coach Kostya Ermakovich remarked he will appeal against the suspension. Kumar’s coach insisted his wrestler has “done nothing wrong” and is “devastated” as Kumar now looks likely to be axed from the Australian team for Rio 2016. Ermakovich claimed the positive test could have occurred as the wrestler does not speak good English and may have misread the labels on a protein shake he was taking. The coach claimed Vinod’s English is really poor and maybe he couldn’t read the labels properly or the protein shakes didn’t have a full description of their ingredients.

In a statement, the AOC said the Australian Olympic Committee has asked Wrestling Australia to withdraw the nomination of athlete Vinod Kumar for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games following an anti-doping violation. The statement further reads that the international federation, United World Wrestling (UWW), has advised they will reallocate his position in the 66kg division to the next best ranked National Olympic Committee.

The 31-year-old wrestler has 30 days to contest the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Kumar, one of two Australians to have qualified for the Greco-Roman discipline and a six-time national champion, had been training in Australia since he arrived as a student in 2010.  In 2010, Kumar immigrated to Australia and first competed for his adopted country in March. Vinod started wrestling at age of eight and hails from a small village of Khanda in Haryana, India. The wrestler participated in state and national competitions for a period of four years and also competed in the popular Indian sport of dirt wrestling. He has so far claimed six national championships and countless medals at the Australia Cup and Canberra Cup tournaments and represented the green and gold for the first time at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand in March, where he bagged the gold medal.

Kumar, who was thrown from a speeding train by the family of a rival in India before landing on his feet in Australia, competed at junior national tournaments across India from a young age. The wrestler worked as a courier and a bouncer at nightclubs to earn money and remarks he owes friends up to A$15,000 ($10,800).

The international wrestling body, United World Wrestling, has indicated the position of Kumar will not be reallocated to another Australian. The profile of Vinod Kumar has already been taken down from the Australian Olympic Team’s website.

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Saturday 16, Apr 2016

  Paolini Receives Doping Ban Of 18 Months

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Italian road bicycle racer Luca Paolini has received a doping ban of 18 months from the world governing body of cycling. The cyclist tested positive for cocaine during last year’s Tour de France.

The 39-year-old was facing the possibility of facing a ban of two years when his hearing took place in March. Paolini’s case was one of the first cases heard by the UCI’s Anti-Doping Tribunal. Cocaine is classified as a banned substance in competition under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code. However, athletes are not banned if they test positive for the social drug out of competition.

Paolini’s teammate Alexander Kristoff had previously revealed the cyclist’s use of sleeping tablets. Kristoff remarked he knew Paolini was struggling to sleep at night and to wake up in the day. Paolini had himself already admitted to using the drug and also said he has an addiction to sleeping tablets, calling himself a slave to the pills. Paolini admitted he took cocaine in June at a personal training camp and also remarked it happened at a low point in his life after he spent years of addiction to the sleeping medicine Minias (Benzodiazepine). The rider has undergone treatment for his addiction to the sleeping medication since he was suspended from racing following his A-sample test.

The suspension of Paolini will end 18 months from the date of the ‘adverse analytical finding’ and he can make a return to the Peloton as he will be free to race from January 6 next year, 11 days before his 40th birthday.

The rider however has the right to appeal the decision. Meanwhile, his former team, Katusha, has confirmed that it will not take Paolini back after nullifying his contract last year. A Katusha spokesperson said we are happy that there’s now been a decision but for us it doesn’t change anything for the team because we terminated his contract last year. The spokesman added he admitted at a certain point to us that he took cocaine and that is really against the team rules and added Paolini still has the right to go to appeal but it doesn’t change things for us as we have strict anti-doping policy.

A statement on the UCI’s website said the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has rendered its decision in the case involving Luca Paolini. The statement further reads that the Anti-Doping Tribunal found the rider guilty of a non-intentional anti-doping rule violation (presence of a cocaine metabolite – Benzoylecgonine) and imposed an 18-month period of ineligibility on the rider. In accordance with the Procedural Rules of the Anti-Doping Tribunal, the decision will shortly be published on the UCI website.

Born on 17 January 1977, Luca Paolini has been professionally riding since 2000. Paolini started his sports career by joining Mapei–Quick-Step (2000–2002) and then its successor team Quick-Step–Innergetic (2003–2005) where he attained many wins, including first places at Gran Premio di Lugano, Giro del Piemonte and Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli. Paolini also won stages at Tour of Britain and Tour de Wallonie.

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Monday 07, Mar 2016

  Mejia Claims Conspiracy By MLB Over His Doping Ban

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New York Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia has claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy after he was issued a lifetime doping ban by Major League Baseball.

The 26-year-old Dominican right-hander told the New York Times that MLB officials were out to get him in a witch hunt. Mejia also blamed officials of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPS) for not finding grounds to appeal his punishment.

Mejia tested positive for Boldenone last month that was his third positive test for a banned performance enhancing substance in less than a year after which he was banned for life. Mejia claimed he was only guilty of the first violation and added the second positive test was not accurate and he was pressurized by MLB officials to share information about his doping connections. The Mets pitcher said he felt there was a conspiracy against him and also remarked he feels that they were trying to find something to bring me down in his career. Mejia, who was named the Mets’ closer in May 2014, said they will find a way to find a third positive if he appealed the results of the second test.

The Dominican professional baseball pitcher who played for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball was suspended for the first 80 games of the 2015 season after he tested positive for Stanozolol, a performance enhancing drug. In July 2015, he received his second suspension after a second failed test for Stanozolol and Boldenone and a third positive was reported on February 12, 2016, resulting in his permanent suspension from Major League Baseball. The lifetime ban imposed on Mejia also prohibits him from playing Professional baseball leagues in other countries, including Japan, South Korea, and Mexico. However, Mejia could apply for reinstatement in one year to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred but he is then expected to sit out a minimum of two seasons before he could be reinstated to pitch in Major League Baseball.

The claim of Mejia was denied by Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball. Courtney remarked no one at MLB or representing MLB has met with Mejia regarding any of these drug violations.

Born in Dominican Republic, Mejia developed an interest in baseball after he realized that large signing bonuses were paid to players. His skills got the attention of many teams like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees and he signed with the Mets for $16,500 at the age of 17 in 2007. Jenrry Mejia was named the 48th best prospect in the major leagues in the MLB.com Midseason Top 50 Prospect list after his success in the 2009 season. The Mets assigned him after the 2009 season to the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League and Mejia was ranked as the 56th best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America in February 2010. Mejia made major league debut on April 7, 2010 and presently remains under control of the New York Mets until the end of his current contract.

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Thursday 20, Aug 2015

  New IAAF President To Target Doping

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Sebastian Coe, who was recently elected as the new head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has vowed to stand by his campaign pledge to establish an independent anti-doping body for the embattled sport.

The world governing body of athletics has been battered by doping allegations over the last few weeks of widespread doping and claims of no action against cheats.

The 58-year-old Briton remarked an independent body is the only way for ensuring an end to all questions about the vigilance of the IAAF. The new IAAF President said we do have to recognize that there is too broad a view that this something – whether real or perceived – that there are conflicts and loopholes and added that an independent system is what we need to close down any thought that we are doing anything other than being entirely vigilant about that.

Coe remarked he is happy to inherit a “very strong sport” from Senegalese Lamine Diack. Coe won the IAAF Presidency by beating Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka 115-92 in a ballot of the IAAF’s 50th Congress. Coe will take his job on August 31, a day after the world championships end inBeijing. A twice Olympic 1,500 meters champion, Coe remarked he have had all the joys of Olympic competition and he had the joys of being part of something special in London a few years ago, but this for him is the pinnacle.

Coe also remarked he will do everything within my human capabilities to make sure our sport maintains the values, maintains the strong legacies and the very, very firm foundations that President Diack has left me. Coe, who was highly successful as the head of the organizers for the 2012 London Olympics, said there is zero tolerance to the abuse of doping in sport and he wants to continue that.

The credibility of the IAAF came under repeated attacks in recent weeks after a leaked database of 12,000 tests had revealed “extraordinary” levels of doping. The doping allegations were slammed by Diack as “sensationalist and confusing”.

The IAAF recently banned 28 athletes from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships after their samples were retested. A few days back, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) stripped the London 2012 Olympic 1,500m champion Asli Cakir Alptekin of her gold medal after the IAAF made its case against decision of the Turkish athletics federation. Alptekin received a doping ban of eight years after abnormal values were found in her blood samples.

In another development, the outgoing IAAF President Lamine Diack said track and field’s doping detractors had painted the sport as a “monster”. The 82-year-old, who is stepping down as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after 16 years in charge, remarked we have the world championships here in Beijing and people will say 80 percent of the athletes are bound to test positive but that is absolutely not true. Diack added the IAAF spends millions of dollars every year to ensure athletes are protected and remain clean.

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Saturday 01, Nov 2014

  Tiernan-Locke Says He Has No Respect For The Doping Sanction

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Tiernan-Locke Says He Has No Respect For The Doping Sanction

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, the former Team Sky rider who was banned from cycling for two years in July, hits back at UCI President Brian Cookson. The cyclist remarked he has no respect for the doping sanction placed on him after Cookson described him as “foolish” for comments he made about the governing body and its disciplinary procedures.

Tiernan-Locke described the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) hearing into his case as a “Mickey Mouse court” when he appeared at the Exmoor Beast sportive. The cyclist added he will make a return to professional bike racing when his doping ban ends in December 2015 and remarked he will take some kind of coaching in the meantime.

Speaking at the Tour de France route presentation, Cookson said it is very foolish and not a wise thing for Jonathan to term UKAD anti-doping hearing as a Mickey Mouse court. Cookson said Jonathan has to look at the terms and conditions of his sanction and added that he is afraid that he is banned from coaching or any event in any capacity that has anything to do with the UCI or any national federation affiliated with the UCI. Cookson went on to add that the cyclist would be wise to accept his sanction and if he wants to return in two years, then let us see what happens. Tiernan-Locke responded by saying that he would not waste his time reading the terms and has no respect for the sanction. The cyclist added he has no faith in the governing body and said he will continue coaching and giving advice to athletes and nobody can stop him from doing that.

The 29-year-old from Devon became the first Sky rider to be banned under anti-doping rules.  The former Team Sky rider was banned for anomalies in his biological passport. The 29-year-old has maintained that the discrepancy was due to dehydration brought on by a binge drinking session 32 hours earlier. Tiernan-Locke was stripped of his 2012 Tour of Britain title after the positive test and is also stripped of his result from 2012 World Championship road race. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is ineligible to race until December 31, 2015. The contract of Jonathan was terminated by Team Sky after his anti-doping suspension was confirmed. Sky team principal Dave Brailsford had remarked Jonathan’s contract has been terminated and added whilst there have been no doubts about his time with us, his doping violation – from readings taken before he joined this team – means there’s no place for him in Team Sky. We’ve a well-known stance on anti-doping and our action is the inevitable outcome of a violation.

The UCI, in a statement, had revealed that it confirms receipt of the United Kingdom National Anti-Doping Panel’s decision on the Jonathan Tiernan-Locke case. It added that a two-year ban was imposed on the rider as a result of his anti-doping rule violation based on his Athlete Biological Passport and he is declared ineligible until December 31, 2015 and disqualified from the 2012 Tour of Britain and the 2012 UCI Road World Championships, competitions during which abnormalities were clearly identified.

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Friday 06, Jun 2014

  WADA Will Not Appeal Against Tyson Gay’s Lenient Doping Ban

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WADA Will Not Appeal Against Tyson Gay’s Lenient Doping Ban

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has remarked that it will not appeal against the “too lenient” doping ban imposed on American sprinter Tyson Gay by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

The 31-year-old Gay tested positive for the presence of an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid and/or its metabolites which was confirmed by CIR (GC/C/IRMS) analysis, as the result of two out-of-competition and one in-competition urine samples collected by both USADA and the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF).

In a statement, WADA said Gay’s ban that had been widely criticized in Europe as extremely lenient was ‘compatible with the World Anti-Doping Code.’ The world’s second fastest man, Tyson Gay, accepted a suspension of one year last month by USADA after a 2013 positive test for an anabolic steroid. USADA backdated the ban to June 23, 2013 to make Gay eligible to make a return to running later this month and Gay’s first race after the ban will be a 100 meters at Lausanne’s Diamond League meeting on July 3.

Gay accepted the doping ban and returned the silver medal he won as a member of the U.S. 4×100 meters relay team at the 2012 London Olympics. The athlete has also been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to July 15, 2012, the date he first made use of a product that contained a prohibited substance, including the forfeiture of all medals, points, and prizes.

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart had remarked we appreciate Tyson doing the right thing by immediately withdrawing from competition once he was notified, accepting responsibility for his decisions, and fully and truthfully cooperating with us in our ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding his case.

Under rules, an athlete receives a suspension of two years for their first major doping offense but this ban may get reduced for ‘substantial cooperation’ under anti-doping rules. USADA remarked that Tyson Gay was eligible for a doping ban reduction as he offered what it termed substantial assistance in his case and WADA said it was satisfied with the USADA decision. In a statement, WADA remarked it is satisfied that Tyson Gay provided substantial assistance to USADA in an appropriate fashion after careful review and scrutiny of the full case file.

It added WADA will therefore not appeal USADA’s decision that is compatible with the World Anti-Doping Code. Officials of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that also has the right to appeal against the decision declined to make a comment and remarked that the matter remains in the hands of its doping review board to assess. Last month, IAAF president Lamine Diack said he supported the WADA Code rule that permits athletes to receive reduced sentences if they provide substantial assistance to anti-doping agencies.

In an interview at the inaugural IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas, Diack said we have to use this in the fight against doping. He added if someone gave really very good cooperation and gives us the possibility to do more to fight doping, we have to do something.

Gay is keen to make a return and remarked Lausanne has always been one of his favorite meets, and added he is thrilled to have it be his opening meet.

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Monday 05, May 2014

  Liliya Shobukhova Banned For Doping

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Liliya Shobukhova Banned For Doping

Liliya Shobukhova, the second fastest female marathon runner of all time, has received a doping ban of two years from the Russian athletics federation.

The Russian athlete was banned for abnormalities in her biological passport. Russian Athletics announced all her results since October 9, 2009 have been annulled. This means her marathon best of two hours 18 minutes and 20 seconds, which was set in winning in Chicago in 2011, will be wiped from the record books. Shobukhova’s suspension is backdated to January 24, 2013 and will end on January 23, 2015. The biological passport can be used to trace fluctuations in hematocrit, hemoglobin, and red blood cell counts and is also effective for tracing changes in testosterone, epitestosterone, and testosterone/epitestosterone ratio that are possible indicators of steroid use.

One of the most successful marathon runners in history, Liliya Bulatovna Shobukhova previously specialized in the 3000 and 5000 meters track events and has been lately competing in marathon races. Shobukhova is the current European record holder in the 3000 m and 5000 m. Shobukhova may be stripped of her 2009, 2010, and 2011 Chicago Marathon victories, as well as her 2010 London Marathon win. Shobukhova will have to repay her prize and appearance money from these London and Chicago races.

Nick Bitel, General Counsel of World Marathon Majors, said WMM will continue to hold a stern line and supports all measures to ensure the integrity of the athletes competing in their races and added that cheats need to understand that they are not welcome in our sport and that they will be caught. Shobukhova has a right to appeal the Federation decision.

Shobukhova won the Philadelphia Distance Run and set a half marathon best of 1:10:21 after representing Russia in the women’s 5000 meters at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In October 2009, she was the female winner of the Chicago Marathon and finished in a time of 2:25:56 and was the female winner of the 2010 London Marathon by finishing in a time of 2:22:00. In October 2010, Shobukhova took the 2009–2010 World Marathon Majors jackpot of $500,000 US dollars with a Russian record of 2:20:25 for the marathon. Shobukhova finished as runner-up last April in London and became the first athlete, man or woman, to win Chicago three years in a row. She is the second-fastest woman in history and is behind only Paula Radcliffe.

Hugh Brasher, the London Marathon race director, said in a statement that London Marathon is at the forefront of the fight against doping in our sport and we are very proud to have been the first major marathon to introduce blood testing for all of our elite competitors, prior to each event. He added this mandatory blood testing commenced at the London Marathon in 2002 and has continued with all our elite competitors throughout and went on to remark that as one of the world’s leading marathons, we continue to work very closely with UK Anti-Doping, the IAAF and WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) with the aim of eradicating drug taking in our sport.

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