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Wednesday 16, Aug 2017

  IOC Orders To Return Medals Defied By Russian Athletes

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Russian three-time Olympic silver medalist Tatyana Firova has decided not to return her silver medals in defiance to orders issued by the International Olympic Committee.

The 33-year-old 400m runner, who failed a re-examined drugs test from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, argued that “bureaucrats” must share responsibility for the doping scandal. Firova said we sportsmen are performers and we follow the rules that are given to us by the system. The three-time Olympic silver medalist added a normal person can take banned substances if they want to but the athletes are not allowed to.

Firova, who also has to surrender her 4×400-meter relay silver medal from London after the samples of a teammate were retested, remarked she was sentimentally attached to her Olympic hardware.

Meanwhile, the IOC has commented it had already received a number of medals and was in contact with the relevant Olympic committees about the issue.

Former decathlete Alexander Pogorelov, who was stripped of his Olympic diploma for a fourth-place finish in Beijing after Turinabol was found in his sample, said he does not know whether he had lost the medal or not but he has not seen it in a while. Pogorelov, who now heads the sports committee of the city of Bryansk, commented he probably wouldn’t give it back even if he did find it because he thinks he earned it honestly.

In a recent report, an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) task force monitoring reforms at the Russian federation said it had yet to demonstrate that it has established a strong anti-doping culture within its sport, or that it has created an open environment that encourages whistleblowing. Russia has never acknowledged state support for doping though it has pledged to cooperate with global sports bodies over its anti-doping program. A big majority of Russian officials, athletes, and coaches do not still believe that there was wrongdoing and are of the view that their country is being unfairly targeted.

Some athletes commented that they had not returned the medals as the Russian federation had not simply asked for it. Russian athletics federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin denied these claims and said they are lying about the fact they were not notified. Shlyakhtin insisted it had contacted them by phone, e-mail, and mail.

The issue of medals not being promptly returned was downplayed by Russian Sports minister Pavel Kolobkov. The Sports minister said many athletes do not give back their medals, not only athletes in Russia.

Organizers of other sports events have also faced obstacles in reclaiming prize money or medals from Russian dopers. The London Marathon has been trying to reclaim money from Liliya Shobukhova, who won the 2010 title and was runner-up in 2011 before she was banned for doping. Shobukhova was sued in Britain and organizers of the marathon are now waiting for a hearing in Russia to have the judgment applied there. The race’s chief executive Nick Bitel said we will spend whatever money it takes to pursue her and get the money back, even if it makes no commercial sense.

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Tuesday 27, Jun 2017

  Russian Footballers Never Doped, Says Russian Deputy PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday 14, Jan 2017

  US Figure Skater Had No Idea Of Russian Doping

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American figure skater Gracie Gold, who finished fourth at the Winter Games, said she never could have imagined the scope of Russian doping at the Sochi Olympics.

Russian Adelina Sotnikova won a surprising gold for the host nation. South Korea’s Yuna Kim could be elevated to the gold medal that would be second in a row at the Olympics if Adelina is stripped of the gold medal. Italy’s Carolina Kostner would get the silver and Gracie Gold would be awarded bronze.

The International Olympic Committee recently announced that 28 unidentified athletes across a variety of sports presently are under investigation. Italian newspaper La Gazetta dello Sport reported that Sotnikova is among them.

Russia came away from Sochi Olympics with an impressive medal haul in figure skating. The team of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took the gold medals; Sotnikova took the gold medal and Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov took silver in pairs, and the Russian squad captured gold in the new team event. Canada earned silver and the United States took bronze in the team event.

Gold said everything is still under investigation as far as she knows. The figure skater said she cannot really speak to that and added she has always chosen to skate clean. Gold added she does believe doping is unfair to all the other athletes and further said that is kind of what she has to say about that that she has always chosen to compete clean and compete my best as a clean athlete. Gold added however it is certainly causing some headlines, though. Gold said at least what the headlines are saying about the scope of the doping scandal in Sochi, she doesn’t think anyone could have expected anything so widespread. The American figure skater added she doesn’t think anyone expected that.

The 2012 World Junior silver medalist and a two-time U.S. national champion started skating at the age of 8. She competed in pairs with Sean Hickey and they placed eighth in juvenile pairs at the 2007 U.S. Junior Championships. She made her international debut at the Junior Grand Prix in Estonia and won the gold medal. Gold won gold in all seven of her competitions in the 2011-12 season. Gold placed first in the short program with 72.12 points at the 2014 U.S. Championships. This was the highest-ever ladies’ score earned at the U.S. Championships under the International Skating Union Judging System.

Gold remarked she competed against Adelina for many years. The US figure skater said she loved her and Adelina is still a sweetheart. Gold added she had found a lot of Russians to be kind of lovely people despite the stigma of doping that has become associated with them.

Recently, leaders from 19 national anti-doping agencies, including the United States, argued that Russia should be excluded from all international sports events, including next year’s Winter Games in South Korea. The national anti-doping agencies’ leaders also urged Russia to be stripped of its right to host major events such as next year’s World Cup.

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Tuesday 10, Jan 2017

  Russia Biathlete Urges Against Hasty Conclusions Amid Doping Scandal

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Russian biathlete Anton Shipulin said in a live broadcast of Match TV television channel that biathletes should not make hasty conclusions amid the unfolding doping scandal.

An informal meeting of biathletes was held in the German town of Oberhof on January 4. This meeting did not support the call by two-time Olympic champion, French biathlete Martin Fourcade of boycotting the World Cup Biathlon stages. Fourcade said he believed that the sanctions imposed by the International Biathlon Union (IBU) on the suspects of the doping scandal were insufficient.

Shipulin remarked Fourcade opened the meeting and at first biathletes talked much with IBU Deputy Head Nicole Resch. The Russian biathlete added many issues were addressed to her on the McLaren doping report and added he understands that more questions than answers remain for most biathletes, like for us. Shipulin said he took the floor after the talk with Resch and tried to call on the biathletes not to make hasty conclusions and wait for final decisions.

Part Two of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, revealed that more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in the manipulations system of concealing positive doping tests. The second part of the report claimed that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with. It also claimed that doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics had been falsified as well.

The International Biathlon Union recently announced it had obtained a list of 31 athletes, whom the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its Independent Commission led by Canadian sports law professor McLaren suspect of doping violations. Formal investigations were opened by the IBU against the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) and 29 athletes mentioned in the report. The IBU also barred Russian female biathletes Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina from international competitions.

Yana Romanova claimed she was clean of banned performance enhancing drugs. The Russian silver Olympic medalist in biathlon said she does understand that the situation can be changed that I will have to be defending herself taking a look at the recent developments surrounding our sport, all reports, lists and blanket bans of our athletes.

In another development, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said the victory of Russian skier Sergey Ustyugov in the prestigious Tour de Ski race clearly showed to the world that any allegations of state-run doping program in Russia are groundless. Ustyugov won six out of seven stages of the event and remarked the suspension of six other Russian skiers from the race was unfair.

Mutko said the victory of Ustyugov victory is very important to us. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister said he thinks Sergey has said everything and added he is proud and glad for Sergey and for the Russian skiing sport. Mutko also commented that he showed today that all these attacks and talks about special programs have no basis.

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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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Thursday 15, Dec 2016

  Russia Loses Bobsled And Skeleton World Championships

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The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) has announced this season’s biggest Bobsled And Skeleton competition has been pulled out of Russia.

The Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships was slated to happen over the last two weeks of February in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, on the track used for the 2014 Sochi Games.

The IBSF announced the decision to avoid what would have almost certainly been a widely boycotted World Championships. This was after a big number of competitors said they would not compete in a nation so enveloped in a doping scandal. The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation will announce a new site, with Germany and the U.S. as potential hosts, in the coming days. The decision was widely and immediately praised by sliders and decried by Russian officials.

The IBSF move came in the wake of the latest scathing report from World Anti-Doping Association investigator Richard McLaren revealed the depth of tampering and doping by Russia during the 2012 and 2014 Olympic cycles. McLaren’s report showed that some Russian gold medalists from the Sochi Games were tainted by the state-sponsored doping program. The country won gold medals in two-man bobsled, four-man bobsled and men’s skeleton at those Olympics, though none of the athletes who got those victories has been implicated by any known positive or tampered-with tests.  Alexander Zubkov, who drove to wins in two- and four-man and is now president of the Russian Bobsled Federation, was one of the medalists.

The IBSF was urged by some of the world’s best sliders — including reigning Olympic medalists Steven Holcomb, Matt Antoine and Meyers Taylor of the U.S., Martins Dukurs of Latvia and Lizzy Yarnold of Britain — for weeks to take a strong action.

The national skeleton team of Latvia recently became the first nation to confirm it will boycott the bobsleigh and skeleton world championships in Russia. In a statement, the Latvian skeleton team said enough is enough. The statement further reads that we will be glad to race in World Championships at any track of the world, but we are not participating in World Championships in Sochi, Russia — a place where Olympic spirit was stolen in 2014. The four-man bobsleigh team of Latvia is the reigning world champions. They also won silver in the four-man bobsleigh at the 2014 Games – a feat matched by Martins Dukurs in the men’s skeleton.

Austria, the United States, and South Korea were also considering such a move.

U.S. women’s bobsled pilot Elana Meyers Taylor said she is ecstatic about the decision. Elana added this is a monumental decision by the IBSF and the right move to protect clean athletes and to tell the world that state-sponsored doping is unacceptable.

Elana Meyers Taylor and Lolo Jones both indicated they would withdraw if the event isn’t relocated, mentioning doping control, personal safety and information security among their concerns.

USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele said this was a serious decision and one the IBSF did not take lightly. Steele added it might not have come as quickly as many would have liked, but it received the careful attention it deserved.

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Sunday 27, Nov 2016

  Kazakh Weightlifting Federation’s Chief Coach Steps Down After Doping Scandal

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Alexei Ni, the chief coach of the Kazakh weightlifting federation, has stepped down from his position after the doping scandal that recently engulfed the sport. Ni helmed the national weightlifting team of Kazakhstan for over 20 years since 1994. Kazakh weightlifters participated in six Olympics Games under his guidance.

The International Olympic Committee stripped weightlifter Ilya Ilyin of Kazakhstan of two gold medals — one each from the Beijing and London Games, both in the 94-kilogram class. Ilyin is believed to be the first summer Olympic athlete to lose two gold medals for doping. Szymon Kolecki of Poland is likely to get Ilyin’s weightlifting gold from Beijing while Saeid Mohammedpour of Iran could take Ilyin’s 2012 gold.

Three Olympic gold medals and one silver medal were stripped of their medals in the latest round of positive doping retests from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games. The IOC announced seven athletes from Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan were retroactively disqualified after they tested positive for steroids in a reanalysis of their stored doping samples.

Ilyin’s sanction was announced recently by the Kazakhstan Olympic Committee. In a statement, the IOC said Ilya Ilyin tested positive for Stanozolol on his Beijing sample and for Stanozolol and Turinabol in his London test. One of the biggest names in weightlifting, Ilyin said he was “shaken” and “in shock” at the news. Ilyin, the only athlete to win two Olympic gold medals for Kazakhstan, said he was considering an appeal.

The weightlifting program of Kazakhstan, which had been one of the world’s most successful programs over the last decade, has been almost wiped out by retesting of samples,

The IOC also announced Oksana Menkova of Belarus was stripped of the Beijing gold medal in the women’s hammer throw after her retested samples came back positive for Turinabol and Oxandrolone. Menkova was also disqualified from the London Games, where she finished seventh after testing positive for Turinabol and Stanozolol.  The hammer gold medal of Menkova could now be awarded to Yipsi Moreno of Cuba, with Zhang Wenxiu of China in line to be upgraded to silver and Darya Pchelnik of Belarus to bronze.

The World Olympic body also announced Natalia Mikhnevich of Belarus was stripped of the silver medal in the women’s shot put from Beijing after her samples were reanalyzed and tested positive for Methandienone and Stanozolol. Natalia now faces a life ban for a second doping offense as served a two-year doping ban in 2013-15. Her husband, Andrei, is already serving a life ban after he lost his 2008 bronze medal when he was caught for doping in retests of samples from the 2005 world championships.

The IOC announced sanctions on Pavel Lyzhyn of Belarus, fourth-place finisher in the men’s shot put in Beijing, and Svetlana Usovich of Belarus, eliminated in the semifinals of the women’s 800 meters in Beijing. The International Olympic Committee also sanctioned Boyanka Kostova of Azerbaijan, fifth place in the women’s 58-kg weightlifting division in London, and Anastasia Mironchuk-Ivanova of Belarus, seventh in the women’s long jump in London.

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Friday 11, Nov 2016

  Jobe Watson To Return Brownlow Medal

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Essendon Football Club bedrock Jobe Watson has decided to hand his 2012 Brownlow Medal back to the Australian Football League.

Jobe remarked he does not want the specter of the club’s doping scandal looming over his win. In a statement, Watson remarked he will be handing back the sport’s highest individual accolade “with mixed emotions,” and added it is now up to the league to decide what to do with the medal. Referring to the recent decision of a Swiss court not to hear an appeal from the Bombers deemed to have broken doping guidelines. Watson said it has been incredibly distressing for him to have people question his integrity and infer an intention to act against the spirit of the game, a spirit that is intrinsically a part of who he is. Jobe added the basic principle behind this prestigious award is to honor the fairest and best and added if there is a question in peoples’ minds as to whether the 2012 award is tainted, the fairest and best thing to do is to give it back and honor the history that has gone before him. Watson added giving the award back was the only thing to do in the spirit of the Brownlow Medal.

Watson, who served a year-long suspension because of findings of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, said this decision does not change his stance that ruling of the CAS was based on “perception rather than evidence.” Watson was scheduled to face the AFL Commission next week regarding his award and decided to bring an end to a a long period of speculation regarding what would become of the medal.

In a statement, the AFL’s chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan acknowledged the decision of Watson. McLachlan remarked Jobe, in his own words, is honoring the history of the medal and putting the interests of the game first, and this is an honorable position for him to have taken. The AFL CEO added AFL Commission would hold its regular scheduled meeting in Melbourne next Tuesday and will consider the statement of Jobe before formally ruling on the future of the 2012 award.

New West Coast midfielder Sam Mitchell declined to comment about the possibility of becoming the official 2012 Brownlow Medalist. Mitchell finished second to Watson in the 2012 vote while playing for Hawthorn. The midfielder remarked he had not heard about the decision and therefore did not want to comment on it.

Essendon chairman Lindsay Tanner said the Australian Football League club took responsibility for placing its captain in this position. In a statement, Tanner remarked Jobe has remained unassailably dignified under the most extraordinary pressure over the past four years and added the club takes responsibility for placing Jobe in this position and unreservedly apologizes to him and his family. Tanner also commented that Jobe is a person of the highest integrity and character and has the total support and admiration of our membership, staff, executive and board and also said the Essendon family has been, and will continue to be, incredibly proud of Jobe Watson.

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Sunday 09, Oct 2016

  Anti-Doping System ‘Not Broken’, Says Athlete Commission Head

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Beckie Scott, the head of WADA’s athlete commission, has contended that the global anti-doping system is not “broken”. The former Olympic cross-country skier from Canada lamented that politics surrounding the Russian doping scandal has sown “discord” in the fight against performance enhancing drugs.

Scott urged all sides to put aside their differences and work together to combat an undeniable threat to the integrity of sport today. In an op-ed released by the Montreal-based agency, Beckie Scott, who chairs the World Anti-Doping Agency athlete committee, said the World Anti-Doping Agency has come under intense criticism and scrutiny in the wake of the allegations of state-backed doping in Russia. She remarked WADA has been right to successfully fulfilling their mandate and taking the necessary decisions. Beckie Scott said the “system” is not broken and said a “broken” system would not have exposed systematic and state-controlled doping in Russia.

WADA has been criticized by several IOC members who accused the agency of failing to act sooner on the Russian doping problems. These IOC members also criticized the anti-doping agency for releasing report by investigator Richard McLaren on systematic Russian doping just weeks before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The McLaren report led WADA to call for the exclusion of the entire Russian team from the Rio Games. The recommendation of WADA was rejected by the IOC and the Olympic body instead asked individual sports federations to determine which Russian athletes could compete.

Scott said it is unacceptable that there is a sense of discord when there should be harmony when it comes to clean, fair sport. The head of WADA’s athlete commission also remarked almost every day someone new from the Olympic family takes to the media with the critical claim that the global anti-doping system is broken. Highly critical assessments of WADA have been issued by International Olympic Committee members Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., Sergei Bubka and Gerardo Werthein in recent weeks. Scott said cynicism alone will not win the fight and added the issue has become so deeply divisive and conflicted among stakeholders that it seems athletes have another competitor in the ring — politics. Scott also added we have to be solution focused and can no longer afford to become subject to the politics, conflicted interests and game-playing that has held us back for so long and added WADA needs better funding for clean, legitimate sport.

In another development, Travis Tygart, chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping agency, said separating the anti-doping efforts from sports organizations would be an important step forward. Tygart remarked removal of the fox guarding the henhouse has been one of the principles we’ve been talking about for years. The USADA chief added sport leaders are concerned with marketability and the brand and then what happens is the status quo prevails until there is a scandal that harms and taints the brand and only then do they react to clean it up.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will convene a summit in Switzerland to address the ongoing Russian doping crisis. There is a possibility that the IOC can be separated further from the testing process; it currently runs the lab at the Games. The role of WADA will also likely be discussed as some IOC members have floated the concept of creating a new organization to oversee anti-doping testing and enforcement.

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Saturday 28, May 2016

  Olympian Stages DIY Gold Medal Ceremony

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Australian Olympic race walker Jared Tallent staged a gold medal ceremony of his own. This was after it was made public that the two track and field athletes who finished ahead of him during his third-place finish at the 2011 World Championships were among those involved in the state-sponsored Russian doping scandal.

Tallent will get the medal at a ceremony in Melbourne in June but put in some practice with a couple of friends in a video posted online. In the video, Tallent stands up on the mock podium and waves in traditional Olympic style before someone comes forward to shake his hand and put a medal around his neck.

Tallent finished the 50 kilometer walk in 3:43:36 at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu to grab the bronze medal behind the Russian duo of Sergey Bakulin and Denis Nizhegorodov. Sergey Bakulin, was banned for doping last year by Russian authorities and his result of Daegu was disqualified by CAS in its March ruling. Runner-up Denis Nizhegorodov, who won the 50km bronze at Beijing, is now named by a Russian news agency as one of the athletes who failed retrospective drug tests from the 2008 Beijing Games. Last week, the International Olympic Committee said 31 athletes had failed drug tests from the 2008 Games after samples were re-examined.

Tallent was confirmed as the London Games’ 50 km walk gold medalist in March after Sergey Kirdyapkin of Russia was stripped of the title for doping following a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said he will pick up the gold medal from his Russian counterpart soon and present it to Jared Tallent with full Olympic protocol in Melbourne on June 17. Collingwood Football Club president Eddie McGuire remarked Tallent should receive his gold medal at the MCG and this could possibly be during the Pies’ Queen’s Birthday game against Melbourne on June 13. McGuire said Jared receiving his medal before a full MCG or Olympic Park stadium would be very fitting and added they should do that and then give him another ceremonial presentation in the Olympic stadium at Rio. Tallent remarked he would be honored to receive his medal at the iconic “G”; Tallent won a bronze medal in the 20km walk at the 2006 Commonwealth Games at the same place.

The Australian race walker, a three-time Olympic medalist and three-time World Championship medalist, became the first Australian to win two athletic medals in the same Olympics since 1972. Tallent took home gold in the 20 km walk at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Jared married Claire Tallent, a fellow Race Walker in 2008, and won his third World Championships medal with silver in the 50 km walk at the World Championships of Athletics in Beijing in 2015. Claire represented Australia at the Olympic Games and World Championships in Athletics. She claimed the silver medal behind England’s Johanna Jackson at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. She took the women’s title while her husband won on the men’s side at the Australian 20 km walk championships.

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