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Friday 18, Aug 2017

  Former Olympic Cycling Champion Fails Doping Test

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Samuel Sanchez, the former Olympic champion from Spain, has been suspended with immediate effect after testing positive for banned growth hormones, according to an announcement by the world governing body of cycling.

The 39-year-old Sanchez, who won the 2008 Olympic road race in Beijing and five individual stages in the Vuelta a Espana between 2005 and 2007 as well as an individual stage on the 2011 Tour de France, will now miss this year’s Vuelta that begins on Saturday in France.

In a statement, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said on its website that Samuel Sanchez had been notified of an “Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of GHRP-2” from an out-of-competition test on August 9th. The UCI added Sanchez has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample in accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules. It added the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.

The governing body also remarked the doping control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.

GHRP-2 refers to GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs) that are classified as “Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics” on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2017 Prohibited List. It is commonly used to increase lean body mass, reduce fat, and improve aerobic performance.

Team BMC Racing of Sanchez immediately announced his suspension and announced the rider would be replaced by Loic Vliegen in the Vuelta. In a statement, BMC said Sanchez has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect in accordance with BMC Racing Team’s zero tolerance policy and UCI regulation. The statement also reads that no further action will be taken until the results of the B sample are provided. The team also commented that all riders and staff are held to the highest ethical standard and BMC Racing Team is extremely disappointed to share this news on the eve of the Vuelta a Espana.

Sanchez vehemently denied doping allegations and remarked the positive test was a ‘total surprise.’ The cyclist added the lawyers have told him not to make statements because we have to wait for the result of the analysis of the B sample. The 2008 Olympic Road Race Champion said he is nearing the end of his professional career and it makes no sense for him to dope at this stage.

Sanchez, who turned pro in 2000 and who has been riding for BMC Racing since 2014, was expected to announce his retirement after Vuelta a Espana. BMC re-signed Sanchez for the 2015 season and his role was described by the team’s sporting manager Allan Peiper as similar to that in 2014, but with a greater focus on supporting and developing the team’s younger riders. The Spanish professional road bicycle racer had proven himself in hilly classics and stage races as one of the most important riders in the peloton in recent years. Known as one of the best descenders in the peloton, Sanchez won the Vuelta a Burgos in 2010, the Tour of the Basque Country in 2012, and five stages of the Vuelta a España.

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Saturday 13, May 2017

  Nicola Ruffoni Blames Positive Test On Prostate Infection

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Bardiani-CSF rider Nicola Ruffoni, who was prevented from starting on eve of the 100th Giro d’Italia after testing positive for human growth hormone, has blamed the positive test on prostate infection.

Ruffoni and his teammate Stefano Pirazzi tested positive for growth hormones GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs) on April 25 and 26, respectively. The results went public 12 hours before the Giro set off from Alghero.

Ruffoni wrote on his Facebook page that he is trying to give a logical explanation of what happened to him by reliving what he did in the last month before the test. The provisionally-suspended rider also commented that the thing that might have been associated with the presence of growth hormone in his urine could be a strong prostate infection he suffered in the period from March 20 to April 20, and that forced him to stop riding and to take antibiotics. Ruffoni added he will therefore turn to an expert endocrinologist for information on this.

The cyclist also said that he is very much aware that his cycling career is at risk but he is equally aware that he had not tried to cheat. Ruffoni added he will therefore calmly wait the counter-analysis and try to defend his credibility to the fullest.

Race’s director, Mauro Vegni, said the damage is done already after hearing about news of the positive tests. Vegni added he is sorry for the Giro, for Italian cycling, and that team represented Italian cycling and added it shows that you have to keep your attention high for doping, because unfortunately, there is always an idiot. Vegni added it happened, it is sad, but the Giro has so much more to it.

The B samples of Ruffoni and Pirazzi are being analyzed to confirm the results of the initial tests. A disciplinary hearing will be opened by the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, where the riders could present their cases.

In a statement, the team sponsors said the news of non-negativity to the doping test of two GreenTeam athletes, on the eve of the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia has struck us and leaves us bewildered. The statement also reads we cannot do nothing, but only dissociate from what happened. The sponsor’s statement also reads that we have chosen to sponsor a young team, launching many of them and focusing on values such as daily work and struggle. The statement added we affirm our choice and want to push even more on it and also said in fact two bad apples can be removed and replaced by four healthy apples.

Bruno Reverberi, manager of Bardiani-CSF, has tried to distance himself and his Italian team as he fights to keep the all-Italian outfit alive. Reverberi said he found out about the positives at 6pm and called race director Mauro Vegni. Bruno added the UCI decided to put out their press release in the evening so as to not spoil the party atmosphere of the team presentation.

Bardiani-CSF now face a suspension of 15-45 days under article 7.12.1 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, subject to the decision of the UCI Disciplinary Commission.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Nicola Ruffoni Blames Positive Test On Prostate Infection

Tuesday 12, Apr 2016

  Growth Hormones Were Given To Victorian Special Operations Group Members

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday 07, Jun 2015

  UFC Announces Revamped Drug Policy

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UFC Announces Revamped Drug Policy

Earlier this year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced that it will bring a significant transformation to its drug testing policy. On Wednesday, the largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world turned the dream into a reality.

A series of dramatic changes were outlined by Jeff Novitzky, the UFC’s new Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, at a press conference in Las Vegas. This revamped drug policy is created with a vision of being the best anti-doping program in all of professional sports. The new program is expected to roll out on July 1 and will be under the leadership of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Novitzky announced the entire roster of UFC of 500+ fighters will be subject to unannounced, year-round in- and out-of-competition testing including both blood and urine testing, with the possibility of a collection that may occur at any place, any time, with no notice.

The announcement comes a few days after the Nevada Athletic Commission announced a series of sweeping changes to its drug testing program.

Under the revamped UFC drug policy, fighters would be tested for in- and out-of competition for anabolic steroids, growth hormones, peptides, blood doping drugs, and methods. Fighters who fail test for the first time will fail a suspension of 2 years with a possibility of a 4-year suspension for “aggravating circumstances”. The second offense would mean double the sanction for the first offense and the third offense would be double the sanction of the second offense. Fighters would be subjected to in-competition testing only for marijuana, cocaine, other stimulants, and glucocorticosteroids. Athletes failing test for these specified substances, for the first time, will face a suspension of one year with a possibility of 2 additional years for “aggravating circumstances”. The second offense under specified substances’ policy would mean double the sanction for the first offense and the third offense would be double the sanction of the second offense.

The term “aggravating circumstances” across several spectrums was defined by Novitzky including “egregious intent, conspiracy or agreements with others to attempt to defeat the testing system,” along with past offenses and multiple offenses, all modeled after the World Anti-Doping Agency code. In-competition testing was defined by Novitzky as the time period between six hours prior to weigh-ins until six hours immediately following the fight of an athlete.

The UFC also announced that there would be disqualification of result of the bout, and forfeiture of title, ranking, and purse or other compensation in case of anti-doping violation during or leading up to a bout. It was also announced that any purse, compensation or fine forfeited will be put towards cost of anti-doping program and/or anti-doping research of the UFC.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart today is a huge win for the athletes in the UFC as they set a new standard for all professional sport in protecting the rights and health of clean athletes and the integrity of competition. Tygart added the UFC has taken a bold and courageous leap forward for the good of its athletes in developing a comprehensive and cutting edge anti-doping policy expressly modeled on the key elements of the WADA Anti-Doping Program and by having it run by an independent and transparent National Anti-Doping Organization.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: UFC Announces Revamped Drug Policy

Saturday 29, Jun 2013

  Spanish Police Arrest 84 In Doping Crackdown

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Spanish Police Arrest 84 In Doping Crackdown

The Spanish interior ministry has announced that police have arrested 84 people and dismantled two criminal gangs accused of importing and distributing sports doping substances across Spain.

It was further disclosed by the ministry that the raids were conducted over a period of ten months in ten regions of the country, with half the arrests in the country’s three largest cities: Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. In all, the authorities seized about 707,000 doses of anabolic steroids, blood boosters, and growth hormones and these substances were distributed through Spanish private homes and sports centers, according to the ministry statement. The ministry also revealed that one of the involved gangs imported the illegal products from Portugal, and the other imported their substances from Greece and China however the ministry desisted from disclosing the identities of those arrested but said they included a pharmacist.

The Ministry said in a statement that officers have dismantled two organizations importing the products, which can cause severe damage to health. The security forces, in their first operation, arrested 75 people accused of using the postal service to introduce doping drugs from Portugal to then sell on in gyms and private homes in Madrid, Valencia, the Basque Country and Asturias. Forty-seven homes were searched by police seizing more than 24,000 doses. According to estimates by the Spanish police, the organization could have introduced doping substances valued at more than 11,000 euros per day during the first trimester of 2013. The second ring made use of social networks for advertising and luring potential clients and introduced the drugs from China and Greece in postal packs. The Spanish police was able to seize 683,000 doses of steroids, EPO, and growth hormone and arrested nine people.

Spanish lawmakers this month approved a new measure that is intended to counter the doping concerns that have damaged the reputation of different sports in the country. The new measure will expand the range of doping tests and imposes larger fines for those dealing in illegal substances along with creating a more autonomous national anti-doping agency to fight the use of performance enhancing drugs. Many believe that this is a desperate attempt by the country because of Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics where it is competing with Istanbul and Tokyo, with the host city expected to be chosen in September. This measure is also expected to bring the country in line with the international norms and dispel the impression that Spain is soft on doping.

The country also wants the world to forget the controversial decision of a Spanish judge after she ordered the destruction of seized blood samples in the Operation Puerto doping scandal, a move that was criticized by the World Anti-Doping Agency and eminent sports personalities like Rafael Nadal. The verdict was even criticized by Alejandro Blanco, the president of Spain’s Olympic committee, who remarked the judge’s verdict had been “a mistake and a disaster” for Spanish sports but insisted that the outcome of the investigation should not undermine Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Summer Games.

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Friday 24, May 2013

  Dank Supplied Peptides To Bandido Toby Mitchell

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Dank Supplied Peptides To Bandido Toby Mitchell

Former Essendon sports scientist Stephen Dank, who is at the center of Australia’s drugs in sport controversy, has been known to facilitate the flow of peptides and growth hormones to Bandido bikie gang Toby Mitchell.

A report in the Herald Sun suggested that Dank has organized peptides for Mitchell, club enforcer to outlaw bikie gang the Bandidos, using contacts in the medical field, according to multiple sources in that field. In the past 18 months, Mitchell has survived two attempts on his life and he was hospitalized in March this year after he sustained a bullet injury during a shootout in an industrial estate on Melbourne’s outskirts. Mitchell was previously admitted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s intensive care unit after being shot five times outside the Doherty’s Gym in Brunswick in November 2011.

Dank, who has been employed at AFL and NRL clubs since 2006, is at the center of the investigations by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority into allegations that athletes may have taken banned substances. Among his business associates are people who reportedly have connections to the Comancheros bikie gang and it is believed that the sports scientists allegedly sourced some of his peptides and hormone supplies from a convicted drug dealer.

Hormones and peptides could be legally prescribed, and most often this occurred in cosmetic medicine, according to Sports physician Dr Peter Larkins who added that arguably you could do blood tests for people over 40 and show that their glandular function is dropping away and you could make a case for using it.

Dank is still maintaining that all the substances he supplied to football players complied with sports anti-doping rules.

Dank, the Australian biochemist who worked as a sports scientist with National Rugby League clubs such as the Manly Sea Eagles, was recently accused by the Melbourne biochemist Shane Charter of sourcing the peptide Thymosin beta 4 while working for Essendon. Thymosin beta 4, a peptide that assists muscle regeneration and is commonly used in racehorses, is prohibited for athletes under anti-doping rules and it has been listed as prohibited from “at least 2011″, an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority spokesman said.

Charter is expected to tell the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority that Dank had ordered enough Thymosin beta 4 to treat a squad of 30 players with regular weekly injections and said it was enough for an entire squad. Charter has disclosed that he will provide ASADA with physical evidence and said ASADA faced a difficult task finding out exactly what took place with the AFL club last season and he wanted to help. He said there is a lot of public misinformation out there and they’re spending a lot of time putting out spot fires and dealing with things other than the actual investigation.

Meanwhile, Essendon stayed away from making any comments and said it could not comment until the ASADA and AFL investigations had finished. In another development, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has moved to shoot down claims by Dank that he had its permission to use a banned substance.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Dank Supplied Peptides To Bandido Toby Mitchell

Sunday 16, Sep 2012

  Ferrari, Del Moral, And Marti Banned For Life

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Ferrari, Del Moral, And Marti Banned For Life

Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral (cycling team doctor), Dr. Michele Ferrari (cycling team consulting doctor), and Jose “Pepe” Martí (cycling team trainer) have received lifetime periods of ineligibility from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as the result of their anti-doping rule violations in the United States Postal Service (USPS) Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy.

The other three respondents in the case, Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, and Dr. Pedro Celaya were asked for arbitration to go forward or have been given five-day extensions. Lance Armstrong was accused by former teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton of using and promoting EPO, anabolic steroids, blood transfusions, and growth hormones. Armstrong decided not to contest the doping charges and was handed a lifetime ban besides being stripped from all his titles, including seven Tour de France titles.

Ferrari, Del Moral, and Marti accepted their lifetime bans, according to USADA CEO Travis Tygart. He added that objective of the anti-doping agency is to safeguard the rights of clean athletes by helping the sport of cycling get rid of those who abuses their influencing by coercing, encouraging, or assisting sportsmen in cheating through performance enhancing drugs. Tygart added that it is the responsibility of the USADA to act and conduct a thorough, fair investigation to uncover the truth when it has information about the existence of a sophisticated, far-reaching doping conspiracy. The USADA Chief added that permanently banned sport cheats is a powerful statement that safeguards the present and future generations of sportsmen while preserving the integrity of future competition.

Dr. Michele Ferrari is already banned for life in Italy for alleged doping offenses and was consulted with he US Postal Service team and Discovery Channel teams during seven-year Tour de France reign of Armstrong. The doctor is said to have assisted riders to inject the drug intravenously for avoiding having the EPO be detected in the urine test besides providing his assistance in blood doping.

Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral was the team physician for the USPS Cycling Team from 1999 through 2003 and was accused of assisting cyclists to carry out performance enhancing doping including blood transfusions besides saline infusions for preventing the doping from being detected by blood value checks. He was also accused of administering EPO, testosterone, corticosteroids and human growth hormone, all of which are banned by the World Anti-doping Agency code. The doctor was famously videotaped disposing of the medical waste of the USPS team at the 2000 Tour de France but the incident investigated by the French authorities was eventually closed without incident.

Jose “Pepe” Martí was a trainer for the USPS and Discovery Channel teams from 1999-2007 and was banned for delivering doping products that included EPO, testosterone, human growth hormone (hGH), and cortisone from Valencia, Spain and assisting in administering EPO, saline infusions to avoid detection by drug testing and in transfusing blood to riders.

The ban on Ferrari, Del Moral, and Marti will preclude all three men from having any involvement in sports which are signatories to the WADA code.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Ferrari, Del Moral, And Marti Banned For Life

Tuesday 25, Oct 2011

  Use of steroids on a high despite dangers

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The air inside Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium is thick with a handful of men flexing and posing onstage at the annual Lebanese Bodybuilding Championship on Oct. 8.

George, an ex-bodybuilder whose name has been changed to protect confidentiality, whispers ““See that guy?”, pointing to a contestant who looks puny and underdeveloped next to the bulging bronzed giants on either side of him. “He doesn’t use steroids. It’s obvious. He just can’t compete.

According to Jihad Haddad, medical secretary of the Lebanese Olympic Committee, steroids are fast becoming an epidemic in Lebanon.

Saturday 13, Aug 2011

  Steroid and unlawful medicine doses seized

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Steroid and unlawful medicine doses seizedIn what is believed to be the largest international medicine trafficking ring, police have seized 700,000 doses of anabolic steroids, growth hormones, and other illegal medicines.

Police arrested 26 people, including the manager of a cycling club.

One of those arrested is a cycling club manager in the Comunidad de Madrid taking delivery of EPO, which is a glycoprotein hormone that controls erythropoiesis, or red blood cell production.

Wednesday 18, May 2011

  Some members of Festina took growth hormones

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Some members of Festina took growth hormonesWilly Voet, the man whose arrest lifted the lid on drug use in cycling, has alleged that the total amount spent by the Festina squad on performance enhancing drugs each season was more than £60,000.

Voet also claimed that some members of the Festina team took dozens of ampules of growth hormones each season.

Voet said, “It came from Portugal and belonged to the anabolic steroid group which helped build up the muscles in spectacular fashion and became undetectable after just seven days.”

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