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Friday 23, Dec 2016

  IOC Opens Doping Cases Against Russian Olympic Athletes

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The International Olympic Committee has announced it will reanalyze samples of twenty eight Russian competitors. The samples of these athletes were highlighted in the Richard McLaren report that outlined a state-sponsored doping program in Russia between 2011 and 2015.

The report, which was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, disclosed that coffee and salt were used for manipulating samples of Russian athletes. This report also revealed cases of female ice hockey players having male urine samples.  McLaren did not revealed names of athletes and said revealing names of the athletes publically should be done by international sports federations and not him personally.

The second part of McLaren report confirmed the findings voiced in the first part that Russian state officials and the Federal Security Service (FSB) were involved in doping manipulations. McLaren remarked they particularly swapped the doping results at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. He also mentioned that doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, were falsified.

Following the first part of the report, Russia’s track and field and weightlifting teams were banned from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The International Paralympic Committee barred the entire whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The samples are now being re-analyzed at the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory. The IOC said the cases are not yet doping failures but that the tampering alone could lead to sanctions.

IOC president Thomas Bach said this is the immediate follow-up to Professor McLaren’s Report. Bach went on to add that the International Olympic Committee will go beyond the findings of the report by reanalyzing all the samples of all the Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as all those who participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The IOC would retest samples from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver in the wake of the McLaren report that stated that as much as 1,000 Russian athletes including medalists had benefited from the doping program.

In London Olympics, Russia won 72 medals, 21 of which were gold medals, and 33 medals at Sochi, 13 of which were gold.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said abuse of performance enhancing drugs in sports is a global problem. Peskov added all our statements regarding our readiness to cooperate with international sports organizations remain unanswered and more frequently being brushed aside. The Russian presidential spokesman also said the incidents and the data however that had been recently revealed point to the fact that we are not dealing with some sort of a doping crisis that can be attributed solely to Russia. Peskov also said this is rather a crisis engulfing the entire global anti-doping system.

Peskov also said we have in fact encountered a shocking doping scandal in our country. The spokesman said President Vladimir Putin and our senior sports representatives have been repeatedly stating the inadmissibility of doping use in our country, our resolute drive to fight this evil and to eradicate doping in sports.

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Saturday 15, Oct 2016

  More State-Sponsored Doping Anticipated By WADA

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Recently-appointed World Anti-Doping Agency director general Olivier Niggli has remarked an expanding investigations staff will be on the lookout for state-sponsored cheating in other nations after Russia’s widespread anti-doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

In an interview, Niggli remarked it has happened in one country and he believes it would be naive to think it is the only country. The director general of WADA said we have to have our eyes really open and also make sure we act on intelligence and information we might get.

State-directed manipulation of drug-testing results at the Moscow anti-doping lab from at least 2011 through the summer of 2013 was discovered through a report commissioned for WADA. More than 100 Russian athletes, including all but one member of the track and field team, were not allowed to participate in this year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Niggli, a 46-year-old Swiss lawyer who replaced David Howman on July 1, remarked the World Anti-Doping Agency will have conversations with FIFA about testing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Niggli was hired as the legal director of WADA in 2002 and added the title of finance director two years later before he left for a law firm in 2011. Niggli made a return to WADA two years ago as chief operating officer.

Niggli added it is still sufficiently far away to hope that things will have changed and improved in Russia. The World Anti-Doping Agency director general also remarked it is very important that we be able to work with the Russians to try to set up a system that is called compliant and that will provide some safeguards so that everybody regains confidence in what is going on there.

Niggli also rejected a suggestion by Russian President Vladimir Putin that athletes with therapeutic use exemptions be excluded from major competitions. The WADA director general said he does not think it is meaningful and remarked he thinks every human being has a right of being treated for medical conditions.

Niggli praised Major League Baseball, the NFL, and the NHL for their anti-doping programs that are subject to labor laws and negotiated with their unions. Niggli also said the World Anti-Doping Agency accepts decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to cut the suspension of Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova from two years to 15 months. Sharapova, a winner of all four Grand Slam tournaments, tested positive for the heart drug Meldonium, added to the banned list this year. Niggli however remarked it was slightly surprising that at that level she would not get warned properly by her entourage.

In another development, WADA has joined hands with Astellas Pharma Inc and announced a global agreement to partner on the prevention of misuse and abuse of medicines for doping in sports. Astellas will help WADA in identifying compounds solely developed by Astellas or its affiliates with the potential for sport-related doping abuse. It will also cooperate in sharing relevant information to aid WADA in the organization’s development of detection methods for these compounds.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: More State-Sponsored Doping Anticipated By WADA

Wednesday 07, Oct 2015

  CCES And WADA Join Hands To Drive Anti-Doping Education Strategies Forward

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The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), in partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), welcomed experts from the anti-doping industry on 2 and 3 October to a value-based education conference in Ottawa to improve global anti-doping education initiatives.

The event was attended by representatives from 61 National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs), 18 International Federations (IFs), 4 Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs), and 17 researchers from 50 countries. One hundred and fifty-one people from an additional 26 countries participated in this conference through live streaming. Purpose of this meet was to examine how initiatives on a global level can be advanced by anti-doping organizations by utilizing the collective knowledge of Anti-Doping Organizations and researchers worldwide.

The first day of the conference was based on the requirement of astute education programs to help in educating the world on preventing doping via examination of current research methods and discussions about how these schemes can be put into action. On the following day, broad debates happened on how this research would be important to help in planning anti-doping education strategies across the world.

Rob Koehler, WADA Senior Director, Education and NADO/RADO Relations, said WADA and industry experts recognize that collaboration is paramount to the success of the clean sport campaign. Koehler added the Conference was the ideal forum to discuss ways of addressing global issues, with local sensitivities, with the goal of implementing effective information and education programs. The WADA Senior Director added there is a clear message that all leaders must invest in values-based education to ensure that we have more effective research-based education going forward and also remarked that effective education has the power to prevent doping and, in so doing, effect positive change on society as a whole.

All participants committed to adopt key resolutions that include WADA, NADOs, RADOs, and IFs must devote more financial and human resources to values-based anti-doping education programs. It was also committed that the World Anti-Doping Agency must convene a follow-up conference before 2018 for examining the state of this important area of work and evaluate the progress of these resolutions. The resolutions also included ADOs and researchers must continue to collaborate to further guide and enhance values-based education and NADOs and RADOs must evaluate their anti-doping education programs and ensure that they reflect a values-based approach to enhance their effectiveness.

Paul Melia, CEO of the CCES, said the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is committed to the advancement of values-based education as a means to prevent doping in sport. Melia added this Conference provided an important opportunity to fundamentally shift our understanding of how to use sport values to prevent doping. The CEO of CCES also said in Canada, for example, we are fostering a social change approach that ensures the values of sport drive the experiences in sport from the time a child enters the sport system. Paul Melia also commented that we look forward to collaborating with our colleagues from around the world as we continue to advance new values-based educational initiatives.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: CCES And WADA Join Hands To Drive Anti-Doping Education Strategies Forward

Monday 18, May 2015

  Australian Senate Accused By AOC President Of Failure To Support Battle Against Doping

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The Australian Senate has been accused by Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates of a lack of support in the battle to tackle doping in sport in the country.

Coates, speaking at the AOC Annual General Meeting in Sydney, said the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has its “hands tied behind its back” after an ASADA Amendment Bill in 2013 was rejected by the Senate. This bill was aimed at introducing coercive powers, whereby athletes would have been required to attend interviews for answering questions, produce documents, and provide information regarding doping even if that may result in self-incrimination. ASADA introduced its own changes to the Australian Olympic Committee Anti-Doping By-Law in May 2013 despite the Bill being turned down by the Senate to include similar powers.

Coates told representatives from his member Olympic sports that unfortunately the Government lacked the numbers in the Senate to pass this aspect of the amending Bill and we are left with an Act that excuses individuals from answering questions or giving information if the answer or the information might tend to incriminate them. Coates went on to remark that when it comes to investigating most of the nine anti-doping rule violations which are not based on the presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample, ASADA has been largely left with its hands tied behind its back and also commented that what our elected representatives in Canberra would or could not do for ASADA, we have done for them.

The 65-year-old Coates also said the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code is applied to all sports. The AOC Chief said it is just plain wrong to say, as he has read, that the WADA Code was not designed for team sports and added these commentators forget that the highly professional team sports of football, ice hockey, basketball and volleyball and the other team sports of handball, rugby sevens, hockey and water polo, which have always been bound by the Code at both the international and national levels, are Olympic sports.

Coe’s comments come despite the Australian Senate passing a Bill in June 2013 that gave more powers to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority so that it can speed up doping investigations. The legislation allows ASADA to demand phone records, medical prescriptions of suspect athletes and other parties, text messages, and other documents with fines of up to $5,100 (£3,060/$4,700/€3,600) to those who do not comply with the requests. Victorian Greens politician Richard Di Natale told the chamber after passing the bill that ultimately we do accept the argument that ASADA needs further powers to expand its investigations into doping.

After the legislation was passed, Sports Minister Kate Lundy said doping has no place in sport and it is incumbent on the Government to provide ASADA with the right tools to investigate allegations of doping. At that time, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates welcomed the passing of the bill and remarked Australia, with this legislation and the new powers it provides ASADA, remains at the forefront of the fight against doping in sport.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Australian Senate Accused By AOC President Of Failure To Support Battle Against Doping

Friday 08, Nov 2013

  Cookson Vows To Offer Doping Amnesty To Cyclists

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Cookson vows to offer doping amnesty to cyclists

Brian Cookson, the International Cycling Union (UCI) presidential hopeful who is challenging incumbent chief Pat McQuaid, has vowed to offer an amnesty to cyclist if they decided to come clean about doping.

There has been growing calls in the cycling circles for a truth and reconciliation commission that could provide an opportunity to riders who want to reveal everything about their use of banned performance enhancing drugs. Cookson remarked we need to define exactly what we mean by truth and reconciliation and certainly as part of that we need to have more of an incentive for people to come forward and tell the truth, so he guess there will have to be some sort of amnesty or reduction in sanction.

He went on to remark that let us not forget that doping in sports is actually against the law and illegal in some countries now, so we need to be clear about what level of amnesty and what level of offers we can make to people before we encourage them to tell the truth. Cookson said he saw Lance Armstrong admitting to use of banned drugs on the Oprah Winfrey show and it’s clear he was telling some of the truth, and he would like to encourage him now to tell all of the truth. The UCI President hopeful added that he is sure we all know he was not the only rider who was guilty of doing what he did, but certainly he’s the only one who won seven Tour de France so he bears heavy responsibilities for some of the activities in that era. Cookson also remarked that what he wants to make sure we do is treat everybody on an equitable basis to make sure people are treated fairly, but he wants to get more of the truth out and he wants to get it out once and for all so that we don’t have this continual drip, drip, drip of information and confessions, forced or otherwise, as we’ve seen through the course of this year.

In the last few months, McQuaid has come under severe criticism on his handling of the Lance Armstrong doping affair and allegations that he and the world governing body of cycling’s previous chief, Hein Verbruggen, accepted bribes and covered up failed dope tests, by former Tour de France winners Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador. McQuaid has however vehemently denied the allegations and said they are complete fabrications and the UCI chief accused his rival of indulging in “gangster politics”.

Cookson also said that the no one will be above the law if allegations are found true while referring to claims made by Floyd Landis that Verbruggen colluded with Armstrong to cover up failed dope tests. Cookson warned let us be clear, if people have misbehaved or done things they shouldn’t have done, [such as] anything illegal or ‘collusional’, then there is no hiding place. He also said it’s absolutely right that public authorities, the police or judicial authorities should treat all those things in the appropriate way and said he hopes that’s not the case, he likes to think there hasn’t been anything like that, but clearly we need to investigate that.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Cookson Vows To Offer Doping Amnesty To Cyclists

Sunday 04, Aug 2013

  Doping Cheat Identification In Sport Pointless

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Doping Cheat Identification In Sport Pointless

Sports authorities cannot hope to prevent cheating as the cost of testing is extremely high and the probability of detecting sports people who take performance enhancing drugs is so low, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide collected data from across the world of positive doping test results. The involved researchers assessed the frequency and sensitivity of testing across 93 different sports. They found that anti-doping systems were unreliable and the numbers of tests every year are low, which means that the likelihood of catching a drug cheat was highly unlikely.

It was suggested by the researchers that doping in sports now seemed to be more widespread than ever despite testing. They revealed that the probability of detection in the case of continuous doping was only 33 percent if an athlete was tested 12 times in a year. It was further disclosed in the study that athletes do not continuously take performance enhancing drugs and instead use increasingly sophisticated techniques to avoid detection to reduce the probability of detection even further.

The study was undertaken by Professor Maciej Henneberg from the university’s school of medical sciences, who supervised PhD student Aaron Hermann who performed the calculations. In a paper published in Archives des Science in Geneva, the research concluded the detection rate would be about 34 percent or odds of 3:1 based on the assumption of an average of 12 tests a year, indicating there was a 66 percent chance of not being detected – “quite good odds for someone willing to take a risk.” It was suggested by the findings of the study that the fact that tests are not working well is illustrated by the recent decision of the World Anti-doping Agency to increase the length of doping bans from two to four years with the aim of increasing the deterrent effect of the penalty.

The total cost per year for all athletes to be effectively tested would be astronomical, Henneberg said. The researchers, using German data, calculated that the annual cost of testing 4,000 official athletes of Germany would exceed €84 million (US$120 million) a year. Henneberg added that is a massive shortfall when you consider that the annual revenue for the German National Anti-doping Association was only €4.5 million in 2010 and this suggests the current system of anti-doping testing is inadequate to eliminate doping. It was further added by Henneberg that it appears that anti-doping policies are in place more for perception, to show that the right thing is being done. In practice, based on these estimates, the anti-doping system is doomed to fail.

The study also revealed that it would not be economically viable for drug testing to be completely effective. It revealed that each of the world’s athletes would need to be tested up to 50 times a year at a cost of at least US$25,000 per athlete if sports authorities were to have a 100% chance of detecting drug cheats. This estimate was based on the lowest-cost tests currently available, without any of the additional expenses.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Doping Cheat Identification In Sport Pointless

Saturday 31, Jul 2010

  New technique identification by researchers

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New technique identification by researchersA new technique meant to prevent doping in sports has been identified according to a finding revealed by a research published in the journal Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry.

This technique has the potential of identifying the presence of natural and synthetic steroids in the body.

The technique was formulated by scientists from Imperial College London and the University of Nottingham and could be used by anti-doping officials to examine cheating in sports.

Wednesday 14, Jul 2010

  Doping admitted by Olympic Medalist

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Doping admitted by Olympic MedalistA member of the gold medal winning US 4 X 400m relay team has admitted that the he used performance enhancing drugs during the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Antonio Pettigrew admitted using performance enhancers and the admission can mean that gold medals won by fellow relay team members Alvin and Calvin Harrison are also in jeopardy.

Pettigrew’s admission came during a testimony in the trial of Trevor Graham, his former coach, who is accused of hiding the truth to federal authorities investigating doping in sports.

Saturday 28, Nov 2009

  Intake of growth hormone does not result in improved physical performance

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Intake of growth hormone does not result in improved physical performanceInjecting growth hormone (GH) expecting improved physical performance is a complete waste of efforts, as per a new dissertation from the Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University in Sweden. It was revealed that growth hormone does not result in building muscle mass or improving the level of physical performance.

GH does not bring the same dramatic benefits as other anabolic steroids but can result in severe side effects such as damage to the blood vessels and heart.

Christer Ehrnborg remarked that athletes injecting growth hormones experience immediate effect in the body and are of the view that it will improve physical performance. But, this is not the complete truth as there are no effects of increased muscle mass from the growth hormone as per the conducted experiments.


Friday 07, Aug 2009

  Is it even wise to test athletes for doping?

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Is it even wise to test athletes for doping?With doping in sports always a complicated issue, things need to be kept straight as earlier as possible. With records getting tumbled almost every day, there is a thin line between real and ‘unreal’ performance.

With every dramatic performance seen with suspicious eyes, sportsmen are really irritated when asked if they delivered performance in the right manner and to the best to ethics. This is ridiculous, how can one doubt a sportsman, whether or not on steroids. People just like watching aggressive games and they are themselves steroids, so how can they blame sportsmen when they use them.

In short, steroids and sports are two sides of the same coin. One cannot get steroids out from sports just like that. One needs to just accept the truth and finds a consolation with those dramatic performances.