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Saturday 27, Sep 2008

  Kenyan sprinter gets two-year ban for failing steroid test

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elizabeth-muthukaIt is now confirmed that Kenyan sprinter Elizabeth Muthuka has failed a steroid test at the July 26 to 28 national championships.

Athletics Kenya (AK) initially has not offered any explanation when Muthuka’s name was not among those who were sent to Beijing. She was the only female sprinter to qualify for the 2008 Olympics and was expected to run at the 400-meter event.

AK’s secretary general David Okeyo explained the reason for the delay in releasing details regarding the athlete’s failed test.

“Yes, Muthuka tested positive at the national championships. We had to treat the matter in confidence because procedural things had to be done to avoid legal issues,” AK secretary general, David Okeyo, said yesterday.

“At the national championships, six athletes were tested for drugs and only her results returned positive. We have forwarded her name to the IAAF. She now has to follow the full procedure if she wants to compete again,” Okeyo added.

“We could not tell you this since we had to wait until we got her B sample test results, which later proved positive. She appeared before AK’s medical board to explain her case and she was found to have no excuse to engage in drug abuse,” Okeyo further explained.

Muthuka’s A and B blood samples tested positive for anabolic steroid nandrolone and was penalized with a two-year ban by AK.

According to The Standard, the sprinter’s women’s 400m national record of 50.82 ran at the Olympic trials will be erased. She was also asked to return the monetary reward, which amounted to Sh10,000, for breaking Ruth Waithera’s record set of 53.3 in 1984. Mathuka was also compelled to give back all other earnings from the track.

Further, her women’s 400m national record of 50.82 ran at the Olympic trials is now considered deleted.

Monday 15, Sep 2008

  Bulgarian weightlifters penalized for steroid use

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This is some ‘heavy’ news. Two Bulgarian weightlifters were banned for life while the other nine members of the Bulgarian weightlifting Olympic team were penalized with four-year bans. The International Weightlifting Federation recently imposed the bans according to the state agency for youth and sports (DAMS).

The two weightlifters, Georgy Markov and Alan Tsagaev, received lifetime bans since it was their second doping infringement. All the 11 athletes tested positive for the anabolic steroid methandienone in early June, ahead of the Olympics in Beijing.  The Associated Press reported that incident, excerpts below.

Bulgarian weightlifters will have to wait a lot longer to compete in the Olympics.
In the latest scandal to affect the sport before the Beijing Games, the Bulgarian weightlifting team withdrew from the upcoming Olympics after 11 of its athletes tested positive for a steroid.

Eight members of the men’s team and three women tested positive during out-of-competition checks on June 8-9, a federation statement said Friday.

“As a result, the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation took a decision to withdraw its national weightlifting teams — men and women — from participation in the Olympics,” the statement said.

Bulgaria’s federation said the male athletes who tested positive were Ivailo Filev, Demir Demirev, Mehmed Fikretov, Ivan Stoitsov, Georgi Markov, Ivan Markov, Alan Tsagaev and Velichko Cholakov. The women were Milka Maneva, Donka Mincheva and Gergana Kirilova.
The federation took the action without waiting for the results of backup tests. It also said it was “theoretically possible” that the substance could have been ingested accidentally as part of a food supplement, or that the athletes’ food could have been spiked.

Because of the incident, the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation was also asked to pay a $US465,000 ($A583,000) fine to the IWF.

DAMS held a meeting to discuss measures to overcome the crisis, stating that “weightlifting is one of our most successful sports that has brought numerous medals, titles and fame to Bulgaria”. The agency ultimately decided to cut state funding to the national weightlifting federation.

Bulgarian’s weightlifting representatives had already been involved in major doping controversies in the past. In two Olympic Games in 1988 and 2000, held in Seoul and Sydney respectively, the weightlifters were pulled from the games because they tested positive for illegal compounds.

Sunday 07, Sep 2008

  Jets’ Jesse Chatman receives four-game suspension for failed steroid test

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Jesse_Chatman_SteroidsWhat a way to kick off NFL’s season!

New York Jet’s running back Jesse Chatman was already handed out suspension for testing positive for anabolic steroids. Ouch!

And for that, Chatman will never see the red zone for four games of the season.

NFL’s official statement reads: “Jesse Chatman of the New York Jets has been suspended without pay for the team’s first four regular-season games of 2008 for violating the NFL Policy on Steroids and Related Substances.”

Without pay? That’s double ouch for Chatman.

Jet’s coach Eric Mangini’s states on a media conference: “Chatman’s suspension begins on Saturday, August 30. He is eligible to return to the Jets’ active roster on Monday, September 29 following the team’s September 28 game against the Arizona Cardinals.”

Chatman’s agent, Brett Tessler, relays this statement: “Jesse never tested positive for a steroid or any other performance-enhancing drug. Near the end of last season the League claimed he had a diuretic in his system that they said could also be used as a masking agent. After spending great time and money defending his innocence, the League made its final ruling and now Jesse has no choice but to look ahead to week 5.”

The 5-foot-8, 220-pound Chatman spent his first three NFL seasons with San Diego from 2002-04, but was released by the Chargers in July 2005. He signed with the Dolphins before that season, but was traded to New Orleans after being inactive for the first five games. Chatman was then inactive for three games with the Saints before they also released him.

After sitting out a year and losing 60 pounds, Chatman was again signed by the Dolphins and revived his NFL career.

Oh yeah, what a way to revive one’s career. A four-game suspension at the start of the regular season? Let’s get it on, Chatman!

And count on more players to join Chatman sitting out as the NFL implements new rules for the 2008 season.  Expect confusion and explicit audibles that could end up in fists flying and referee shoving in the field.