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Monday 02, May 2011

  Sports drug has home in Dublin

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Sports drug has home in DublinA drug used by many leading sports figures, Androstenedione, which is banned by the International Olympic Committee, has been patented on the continent and in America by a Dublin company.

An Irish company, backed by associates of Deutsche Bank, owns patents to the substance found in the Michelle de Bruin urine sample taken on January 10, 1998.

Androstenedione is available over the counter in America and on the internet.

Sunday 24, Apr 2011

  Further checks on samples by IOC

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Further checks on samples by IOCThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) made it clear that it would not hesitate carrying out further checks on samples given during doping tests in Beijing.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said: “Our message is very clear. The IOC will not miss any opportunity to further analyse samples retroactively. We hope that this will work as a strong deterrent and make athletes think twice before cheating.”

Andy Parkinson, UK Sport’s head of operations, has appreciated the IOC announcement.

Tuesday 21, Apr 2009

  Football under Elimination Threat from Olympic Circle

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Football under Elimination Threat from Olympic CircleGiving a new spark to WADA’s new code, football could face Olympic axe if its chief bodies, FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA, do not meet the terms of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) “whereabouts” code.

WADA wants the sport to join athletics against steroid abuse fight by providing players’ location for one hour each day of the year for doping test procedures. However, FIFA and UEFA said that they wanted to respect players’ privacy and did not accept that controls be undertaken during the short holiday period of players.

Wada general secretary David Howman said, “The sport could be removed from the Olympics.” He also added, “There is a clause in the IOC (International Olympic Committee) charter that states this – it falls in the IOC jurisdiction and not ours.”

In a teamwork effort to fight against doping, FIFA and Uefa asked Wada to reconsider its position on the ‘whereabouts’ rule. The governing bodies wanted to point out the fundamental differences between an individual athlete, who trains on his own, and a team sport’s athlete, who is present at the stadium six days out of seven, and thus easy to locate. Because of that, FIFA and UEFA wanted to replace the individual ‘whereabouts’ rule by collective location rules.

President of Wada, John Fahey responded, “One of the key principles of efficient doping control is the surprise effect and the possibility to test an athlete without advance notice on a 365-day basis. Alleging that testing should only take place at training grounds and not during holiday periods, it ignores the reality of doping in sport.”

However, Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who sits on Wada’s board, said that football’s world governing body had teamed up with other team sports, such as basketball, ice hockey and rugby union, to oppose the rules. “We are a little bit surprised that through certain declarations [Wada] say there will be no exceptions made,” he said.

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) had already signalled their opposition to the WADA’s new code of doping.

Tuesday 16, Dec 2008

  Three more athletes found guilty of doping in Beijing

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steroids medalistThe International Olympic Committee announced that two medalists and a fourth finisher in the Beijing Olympics were disqualified due to doping violations.

Hammer throwers Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan, both from Belarus, face ban for testing positive for abnormal levels of testosterone. Devyatoskiy’s penalty could be a lifetime ban since this is second doping offense. He served his first offense in 2000-2002. It is Tsikhan’s first offense and he’s likely to get a two-year ban from the sport.

The two were found guilty during their meeting with the IOC disciplinary committee in Lausanne in September.

Their disqualifications have stripped them of their medals. Devyatovskiy and Tsikhan won the silver and bronze in Beijing, respectively. The silver medal now goes to Belarus Krisztian Pars and the bronze to Japan’s Koji Murofushi. Slovenia’s Primoz Kozmus won the gold in that event.

Polish canoeist Adam Seroczynski, meanwhile, was disqualified for testing for the weight-loss drug Clenbuterol. Some reports classified Clenbuterol as an anabolic steroid. Seroczynski was the fourth finisher in the flatwater K2 event in Beijing.

These three recent cases bring the total number of disqualified athletes in testing carried out during the Games to nine. The six athletes disqualified during the Games were Ukrainian heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska, Ukrainian weightlifter Igor Razoronov, Greek hurdler Fani Halkia, North Korean shooter Kim Jong Su, Spanish cyclist Isabel Moreno and Vietnamese gymnast Thi Ngan Thuong Do.

Prior to the commencement of the Beijing Olympics, more than a dozen athletes were barred from participating at the Games for doping violations. Among those disqualified were 11 members of the Greek weightlifting team when they tested positive for steroids in April.

Monday 01, Dec 2008

  IOC will implement retroactive dope screening for Beijing samples until 2016

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Beijing-2008-Summer-Olympics-SteroidsOne Times Online article labeled International Olympic president Jacques Rogge as a “deluded individual” when Rogge expressed his displeasure of Usain Bolt’s celebration of his victory at Beijing. Usain earned Rogge’s rebuke when the Jamaican sprinter failed to shake hands with his co-competitors after his impressive win at the 100 meters.

However, Rogge’s recent interview with the BBC’s Inside Sport, as related by AFP, portrayed a very pragmatic man. The IOC president said those who aspire for a 100 percent drug-free Olympics were out of touch with reality. He added cheating will always be part of human nature.

“I think one has to be realistic,” Rogge said.

“Drug-free sport in general is Utopia. It will be naive to believe that no-one will take drugs.

“There are about 400 million people practicing sport on this globe, there are not 400 million saints on earth.

“Cheating is embedded in human nature and doping is to sport what criminality is to society.

“You will always need cops and judges and prisons and jails and rules and regulations.”

IOC is planning to catch more users of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancers as it’s currently implementing re-testing of the samples taken at the Beijing Olympics. The IOC head “expects further positive doping cases to emerge from these” up to 2016 Games.

Rogge said all the samples they obtained from Beijing – more than 5,000 screenings, including nearly 1,000 blood samples – will be available for retroactive testing. The blood samples will be screened for new generation performance-enhancing drugs CERA and insulin. And if new testing techniques will emerge between now and 2016, the same samples will go through re-testing.

“We are keeping the samples for eight years and we are going to re-test them,” said Rogge.

“And ultimately the judgment on the Beijing Games will be given in eight years’ time, because each time a new scientific test is coming up we are going to re-test.”

Rogge assumed the IOC position on July 2001, replacing Juan Antonio Samaranch. Rogge has his share of criticisms and the most recent of these were his disapproval of Bolt’s behavior (mentioned above) and his statement regarding Greek athletes. He allegedly stated that “Greece won the gold medal in doping” because of a spate of failed dope tests of Greek athletes.

Tuesday 11, Nov 2008

  London Olympics 2012: Should we expect tougher anti-PEDs legislation?

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2012-the-summer-olympics-steroidsLondon is under pressure to toughen its stance on use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Will the 2012 Summer Olympics host city give in?

Presently, the International Olympic Committee is yet to receive any definitive action by the British government regarding legislation that will outlaw possession, supply and distribution of performance enhancing drugs.

The IOC would prefer that Britain should follow the path other European nations have taken. Countries like Sweden, Italy, Greece, and Germany have stricter doping laws where violators and suppliers can be imprisoned.

IOC’s chairman of medical commission Arne Ljungqvist, said he would be pushing for a change in the British law.

“I think legislation is very important that criminalizes certain offenses as detailed in the WADA code because it allows public authorities to intervene where we cannot,” Ljungqvist said, who is also a board member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“We as sports authorities have our limited possibilities regulated by our code. We can do testing but we cannot do searches,” Ljungqvist added.

Britain is expected to have a new independent anti-doping agency in place by next year but it is still recalcitrant as far as criminalizing doping.

“This is on my agenda so that Britain does have a law in place at the time of the Games which will allow them to take the same action as the Italians did if a similar situation occurred,” Ljungqvist said.

Ljungqvist was referring to the incident at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin when the Austrian cross-country skiing team was exposed of practicing blood doping. Italian police conducted search on said team’s accommodations and came up with banned substances and paraphernalia.

Wednesday 22, Oct 2008

  300 test results lost and found in Beijing; all are negative for steroids and other PEDs

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steroids-2008olympicsA big “OOOPS” from the anti-doping officials.

The 300 or so test results, which had initially been reported missing by a team of independent observers during their recent visit in Beijing, have been traced by the International Olympic Committee. All tested negative for prohibited compounds.

According to the AP report, the team of 10 observers had been tasked by the World Anti-Doping Agency to review the Beijing Olympics drug-testing program.  The missing test results had been included in the team’s final report to WADA.

“Once the laboratory had apparently delivered all reports to the IO (independent observer) team, it transpired that around 300 test results were missing in comparison to the doping control forms,” the WADA report said.

“Regarding the ‘300 missing tests,’ it is our understanding that there has been a communication problem between the Beijing laboratory and the IO team on the results of a number of tests,” IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said in an e-mail. “The results of these tests were communicated to the IOC by the end of August. All were negative. The results have now been transmitted to the IO team.”

Apparently, the team conferred with the IOC’s medical commission regarding said results’ status, but IOC was unable to finish processing of the lab results in time for the group’s completion of their final report last month.

The procedural lapse had put the credibility of the anti-doping program in the Beijing Olympics. Additionally, the team reported another significant loophole in IOC’s control doping process at the Beijing Olympics.  It was found out that 102 of the 205 participating countries failed to provide sports officials with whereabouts information regarding their athletes. Such information is needed to implement pre-Games and out-of-competition testing.

It was not all negative points for the IOC however. The WADA group gave their thumbs up to the increased number of overall tests (4,770), blood tests (969) and tests for EPO (817) and human growth hormone (471). The 2008 Olympics implemented the largest drug-testing program in the history of the Olympics.

Six athletes were thrown out for doping violations during the Olympics, and three other cases are still pending.

The most controversial case of doping at Beijing has been Fani Halkia, the Greek hurdler who won the gold at the at the women’s 400m hurdles at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. On August 16 at the Beijing Olympics, Halkia tested positive for the anabolic steroidss methytrienolone.

Thursday 09, Oct 2008

  Steroids take backstage as IOC announces retroactive testing for blood booster CERA

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BeijingOlympicsSteroidsThe International Olympic Committee plans to take the same track Tour de France has taken. IOC says blood samples taken at the Beijing Olympics are to be reanalyzed for the EPO (erythropoietin) variant CERA, or Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator.

Oh, we can almost hear Beijing Olympic dopers singing, “Que sera, sera (whatever will be, will be),” as their fates now rest on the hands of the anti-doping officials. From ABS-CBN:

The IOC’s announcement comes 48 hours after reanalyzed samples from the Tour de France using the latest technology unearthed two drug cheats – Germany’s Stefan Schumacher, a double stage winner on this year’s race, and Italian Leonardo Piepoli.

IOC spokesman Emmanuelle Moreau told AFP: “This is part of our normal procedure. We keep the samples for eight years and whenever a new test arrives we carry out new tests.”

The CERA form of EPO was detected for the first time at this year’s Tour in the sample of Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco with a full test developed to combat it by the French laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry.

The laboratory is currently retroactively checking 15 samples from this year’s Tour with two of those producing Schumacher and Piepoli’s positive tests.

It was that double success that “prompted the IOC to retest samples from Beijing,” explained Moreau.

The IOC is now in the process of moving all the Beijing samples to its headquarters in Lausanne before finalizing the conditions and timing of the new tests.

“A joint IOC/WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) commission is going to decide the procedure,” Moreau said.

At the recently concluded Summer Olympics in Beijing, over 1,000 blood samples were taken from participants as part of over 5,000 anti-doping screenings. Testing for CERA is found more effective using blood samples than urine samples.

Over 1,000 blood samples were taken at the Games as part of over 5,000 anti-doping controls. IOC officials bannered the 2008 Beijing Games as one of the ‘cleanest’ in the history of modern Olympics.

Although more than a dozen athletes were tested positive for illegal substances in the months leading up to the Beijing Olympics, only six athletes tested positive for banned compounds when the Beijing Olympics went underway. Spanish cyclist Maria Isobel Moreno was the first athlete to be ejected from the Games when she tested positive for EPO. The other athletes tested positive either for anabolic steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

Saturday 06, Sep 2008

  Greek athletes tried to outsmart IOC with ‘rare’ steroid

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olympics steroids greeceThe doping outbreak in the country’s Olympic team already resulted in a judicial inquiry in Greece. It also urged its parliament to enact tougher anti-doping legislation.

Under the new regulations, reward cuts for athletes and harsher penalties against those guilty of supplying banned substances and corrupt anti-doping and sports officials will be imposed.

Fifteen Greek athletes have tested positive for methyltrienolone before and during the Beijing Olympics. Out of the 15 athletes, eleven were from the weightlifting team who tested positive for M3 in an out-of-competition screening in March this year.

The most prominent of these controversial athletes is Fani Halkia, who won the silver in hurdling in Beijing. She was later disqualified and stripped of that medal.

Tuesday 12, Aug 2008

  Greece contingent to Olympics dwindles due to steroid use

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Greece_olympics_steroidsThere is a forced exodus of Greek athletes from the 2008 Olympics because of their alleged use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.

The latest list of athletes who have been banned from participating in the ongoing Summer games in Beijing include Tassos Gousis, Kostas Kenteris, and Katerina Thanou.

The incident involving Gousis broke on the day of the opening ceremony of Olympics in Beijing. Gousis was expected to run in the 200-meter event before he was recalled after testing positive for a banned compound, according to Greek sports officials. The officials did not immediately name the athlete since only the first of his two samples has tested positive.

“We have been informed that there is a positive result involving one of our athletes,” Segas chairman Vassilis Sevastis told AFP. “The athlete will be recalled and suspended pending tests on the second sample,” he added, without giving further details.

The Greek media, however, identified the athlete as Gousis who later told reporters that he was not guilty of any wrongdoing.

“I am innocent and my conscience is clear”, Gousis said. “It would be stupid for me to take a banned substance just before the Games,” he added.

The media has reported that Gousis has tested positive for the banned compound methyltrienolone.

In anti-doping testing, both samples should test positive for steroids before a doping violation is declared. Both samples are taken from a single batch provided by the athlete at the control and are identified as A sample and B sample. Anti-doping organizations do not determine guilt until the positive A sample has been confirmed by the B sample.

A statement issued by the Hellenic Olympic Committee said that the athlete had been tested by the Eskan, the Greek anti-doping council. The Greek Olympic team has undergone scheduled check prior its entry into the Olympic Village.

“There will be further statements after the test results are finalized,” the HOC said. HOC officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou was disallowed to join in the Summer Games by the International Olympic Committee on Sunday. The IOC imposed the ban because of Thanou’s involvement in a drug-testing scandal that took place four years ago at the Athens Games.

According to the IOC spokesperson Giselle Davies, the IOC’s executive board decided to bar the female sprinter after its disciplinary panel looked into Thanou’s selection for the 100 meter-event for the Greek team.

The three-man panel convened on Thursday to deliberate the case and then provided recommendations to the executive board on Sunday. The board agreed with the panel’s findings which rendered Thanou ineligible to compete in Beijing because she violated rule 23.2.1 of the Olympic Charter. The rule pertains to withdrawal of accreditation among other disqualification grounds.

Before her exclusion from the Games, Thanou was scheduled to participate at the 100-meter heats scheduled for August 16.

Thanou, along with fellow sprinter Kostas Kenteris, reportedly missed doping tests on the eve of the opening ceremony of the Athens Games. The pair claimed they missed the testing because they were injured in a motorcycle accident and were hospitalized because of the accident. An official Greek investigation, however, found out that it had been staged. Both athletes eventually withdrew from the Games and returned their Olympic accreditations.

They were not immediately sanctioned by the IOC but they were subsequently penalized with a two-year suspension by the International Association of Athletics Federation, the world governing body for athletics.

In 2007, Thanou returned to the track and was selected to join in the Greek team.
Thanou won the silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the same event where the controversial Marion Jones had won the gold. Since Jones was stripped of that medal (along with the four others she had won in Sydney) due to steroid use, Thanuo could be awarded the gold. However, because Thanuo’s career is also tainted with doping allegations the IOC is yet to take any decisive action on the matter.

In March 2008, eleven out of 14 members of the weightlifting team were tested positive for the anabolic steroids methytrienolone. This is also the same banned compound that allegedly nailed Tassos Gousis (as mentioned above) and swimmer Yiannis Drymonakos. Drymonakos is currently the European 200-meter butterfly champion.

Greece’s hope for victories in swimming dwindles with the Drymonako’s failed doping test. Aside from winning the 200-meter butterfly at the European championships in Eindhoven in March and setting a new European record there, Drymonakos also won the silver in the 400-meter medley at the same meet.

A month later, he won a bronze medal in the 400m individual medley at the world short-course championship in Manchester.

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