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Thursday 02, Oct 2014

  Clean Sport Forum 2014 Emphasizes On 2015 Code Implementation

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Over 100 attendees from across the sporting landscape met at Lord’s Cricket Ground on September 25 in London. This meeting was made to discuss preparations for the implementation of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

The fourth annual forum provided the opportunity for UK Anti-Doping to update important stakeholders on the recent developments within anti-doping. It also facilitated UK Anti-Doping to communicate best practice advice across a wide range of areas. This one-day event allowed delegates to share their experiences with network, colleagues, and know more about how UK Anti-Doping can help protect their sport.

European and Commonwealth silver medalist Lynsey Sharp spoke about her experiences of the anti-doping system. Lynsey remarked doping has had a massive effect on her career so far, but she looks forward to the positive impact the 2015 Code will have in the years to come.

UKAD Chief Executive Andy Parkinson emphasized on the importance of collective responsibility to make sure successful implementation of the WADA 2015 Code. Delegates, including Commonwealth Games England Deputy Chef de Mission Graeme Dell and England Boxing Chief Executive Mark Abberley, also heard from other speakers about the possible impact of the WADA 2015 Code on their organizations.

UKAD Chief Executive Andy Parkinson also remarked this is a busy time for anti-doping with the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code coming into effect in three months, along with a revised set of UK Anti-Doping Rules. He remarked to implement these changes effectively will require a collective effort from all our partners in the UK, across every sport. The UKAD Chief Executive added this year’s Forum was about ensuring sports have a clear understanding about their responsibility in this process, and take away best practice examples of how to manage the impact of changes. Parkinson also said the enthusiasm of attendees was really positive, particularly during the closed CEO Forum and added it is imperative that this level of interest is maintained so that every sport has an effective anti-doping strategy that will help minimize the risk of doping in the UK.

In another development, sport medical personnel working with some of the leading athletes of the UK met on September 15, 2014 for the inaugural UK Anti-Doping Athlete Support Personnel (ASP) Forum. This forum promotes and encourages transfer of knowledge within the athlete support community. It also ensures that Anti-Doping Athlete Support Personnel recognize and understand their important role in keeping sport clean. UKAD Director of Communications and Education Nicola Newman said UKAD appreciates the vital role athlete support personnel play in promoting the values of clean sport and the trust athletes place in them to provide accurate and clear anti-doping advice. Newman added this Forum was an important opportunity to engage with this group and ensure they appreciate their expanded role and responsibilities ahead of the 2015 Code. British Olympic Association (BOA) Intensive Rehabilitation Unit Manager James Moore said the event has attracted such a wide variety of sports and some of the best people in their disciplines. Moore added he thinks it is great UKAD has initiated this and engaged with this group.

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Sunday 02, Feb 2014

  Golden Girl Lynsey Sharp Gets Gold Medal

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Golden girl lynsey sharp gets gold medal

Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain belatedly received the 800 meter gold medal from the 2012 European Championships after the initial winner Yelena Arzhakova failed a drugs test and was stripped of her title.

Sharp, a Scottish athlete who competes for Edinburgh AC, received the medal in front of a home crowd at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match. The Scottish athlete, who competes in the 800 meters, is the 2012 European champion for 800m. Sharp had represented Great Britain at the 800m in the 2012 London Olympics where she finished 7th in her semi-final. Sharp was voted “Athlete of the Year” at the annual Scottish Athletics awards for the second successive year in October 2012 and her personal best is 2:00.52.

Sharp remarked at the Scottish Athletics awards that she is delighted to collect the award for second year in a row and added it is a real honor. The athlete said that it was an incredible year for her with Birmingham, Helsinki and London all happening within a few weeks of one another and added she was also involved in a series of Diamond League meetings and ran in Moscow and Morocco so it was a bit hectic at times. The 22-year-old Sharp had to beat off competition from Eilidh Child and Freya Murray Ross, members of Team GB and NI for London 2012.

The 23-year-old athlete, who reached the semi-finals at London 2012, was also upgraded from bronze to silver position in the 800m at the 2011 European Under-23 Championships after the removal of Arzhakova from the results. The athlete reacted to the news on social networking site Twitter by saying that she felt ‘sick’ for being robbed of her place on top of the podium. She said it makes her sick that she was denied the opportunity to do a lap of honor and stand on the top of the podium with her national anthem playing and not to forget her European under 23 bronze from 2011 should now be silver.

Sharp however said she was that the system is working, that the athlete in question has been caught. She added on hearing the Arzhakova’s doping ban that the 800 meter gold medal from the 2012 European Championships at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match will be a very special moment for her, her family, and her support team. She added will be made even more special that she will be receiving it on home soil, in front of a home crowd.

Arzhakova was recently banned for two years, starting from January 29, 2013, after her biological passport revealed an abnormal hemoglobin profile. The Russian runner who specializes in the middle distance events saw her results from July 2011 expunged and lost her European outdoor and European under-23 titles. The suspension of Yelena Arzhakova is due to end on Jan 29, 2015

Neil Black, British Athletics performance director, who described it as a disappointment to us all that Lynsey did not get the moment on the podium that she deserved in Helsinki, said we look forward to making a presentation to Lynsey Sharp in front of her home crowd.

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Tuesday 14, May 2013

  Drugs Are A ‘Huge Problem’ In Athletics

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Drugs Are A ‘Huge Problem’ In Athletics

Scotland’s athlete of the year, Lynsey Sharp, has remarked that drugs are a “huge problem” in athletics after she was upgraded to European 800m gold following a doping scandal. Sharp is now 2012 European champion after Russian Yelena Arzhakova received a two-year doping ban.

Arshakova was banned following an abnormal hemoglobin profile in her biological passport. She came first even though Sharp ran a personal best in Helsinki in June but finished 2.01 seconds behind winner Arzhakova.

The 22-year-old Sharp said doping is a huge problem and there are a lot of people being caught, but it’s nothing compared to the amount of people getting away with it. Sharp said if you spoke to any athlete, they would say there’s a lot of people who get away with it and probably don’t get caught and she is trying to see the positives, but at the same time you’re thinking ‘what’s the point in this?’ if this sort of thing happens. Lynsey Sharp was however happy to now call herself European champion and said she was honestly happy that she was been upgraded, but at the same time disappointed that another athlete in the sport and her event has been done. Sharp also expressed her disappointment that she wasn’t able to do a lap of honour and stand on the podium and have the national anthem playing and be European champion from that day.

Nigel Holl, chief executive of Scottish Athletics, on the possible gold of Sharp, said we are delighted she will now be recognized as a European champion and added it is another boost for Lynsey’s career and a reward for last summer when she won the UK Champs, did so well a few days later in Finland and represented Team GB and NI at the London 2012 Olympics. Holl also remarked you always feel more than a little sorry for athletes in these circumstances, because the very nature of testing afterwards and retrospective bans means they are denied that wonderful and deserved moment of glory standing on top of the podium and said we would love to be involved in any formal presentation to Lynsey of a gold medal by European Athletics and make that as grand and as fitting an occasion as possible.

Scottish Athletics could host a medal ceremony for Sharp, possibly at their annual awards dinner in the autumn if Arzhakova choose not to challenge her suspension or fails with an appeal.

In another development, the Russian athletics federation (VFLA) has handed a suspension of ten years to Olympic discus silver medalist Darya Pishchalnikova after she failed a drugs test for the second time. A sample taken from the 27-year-old in May was re-tested and proved positive for the anabolic steroid Oxandrolone, the VFLA said on its website, after which the VFLA annulled all of Pishchalnikova’s results from 20 May 2012, meaning she is set to lose her London Olympic medal. The Olympic discus silver medalist had already served a doping ban from July 2008 to April 2011.

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