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Friday 01, Jul 2016

  Russian Sculls Team Banned From Rio Olympics

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World rowing’s ruling body has announced on Thursday that the quadruple sculls team of Russia has been disqualified from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics for a doping violation. The team will now be replaced at the games by New Zealand.

The 36-year-old is the 2004 Athens Olympic Games gold medalist and two-time European champion.

The World Rowing Federation revealed Trimetazidine, a banned substance, was found in a urine sample given by rower Sergey Fedorovtsev in an out-of-competition test on May 17. Sergey competed a week later at the final Olympic qualifying regatta in Switzerland, where Russia finished first to qualify for Rio. The World Rowing Federation, FISA, remarked the B sample was opened on 30 June 2016 in the presence of the rower and the subsequent analysis confirmed the result and therefore it is considered that an anti-doping rule violation has taken place.

The federation said the results of all competitions in which the rower participated after 17 May 2016 are therefore automatically disqualified as Fedorovtsev, who won a gold medal in quadruple sculls at the 2004 Athens Olympics, had provided a positive doping test.

New Zealand that finished third behind Russia and Canada in the qualifying event will replace the Russian crew in Rio. Canada also qualified by finishing second and will join the top eight crews who secured their Olympic places at the 2015 world championships, held in France.

In another development, about 10 Russian field and track athletes sent their individual applications on Tuesday to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) requesting the right to take part in the 2016 Olympics, said Mikhail Butov, the secretary general of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF). Russian woman pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, winner of two Olympic gold medals, was one of those to file an application at the International Association of Athletic Federations for participation in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil

A few days back, Alexandra Brilliantova, the head of the legal department of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), remarked the interests of the Russian field and track athletes would be represented by the Russian Olympic Committee at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne.

The Russian Olympic Committee has employed the services of British firm Morgan Sports Law to represent them at CAS. The ROC hope to have the suspension by the world governing body of athletics overturned in time for Russian athletes to be able to compete at Rio 2016. The London-based company has recently represented a number of clients at CAS against the IAAF. It recently successfully led an appeal to CAS from Tatyana Andrianova against the All-Russia Athletic Federation and the IAAF against a decision to strip her of the bronze medal she won in the 800 meters at the 2005 World Championships following a re-analysis of her urine sample that had shown traces of banned performance-enhancing drugs. Morgan Sports Law also successfully appealed to CAS on behalf of Belarus’ Olympic hammer silver medalist Vadim Devyatovskiy to have a lifetime ban imposed by the athletics’ world governing body from the sport lifted, despite Vadim been involved in several doping scandals during his career.

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Tuesday 07, Jun 2016

  Twenty Weightlifting Positive Tests From 2008 And 2012 Olympics

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The International Weightlifting Federation has announced it was informed by the International Olympic Committee of 10 positive doping cases from the 2008 Beijing Games and 10 from the 2012 London Games, including medal winners.

In a statement sent, the IWF said the 10 from London were described as confirmed positives while the 10 Beijing tests were “presumed” positives that still require “B” sample analyses. The IWF revealed the positive tests included that of some medal winners but refused to give any names or nationalities. The 20 positive doping cases account for a larger part of the total of 55 positives which the International Olympic Committee has reported so far, including 32 from Beijing and 23 from London.

The IOC started retesting blood and urine samples after many eminent newspapers and whistleblowers alleged systematic cheating from the now-tainted Russian lab at the 2014 Winter Games. The present retesting program is targeting athletes who could possibly be eligible to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

In another development, Russia has started to clean up sports in the country and suspended seven sports stars for doping offenses. It was reported by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) that a judo fighter has been hit with a four-year ban and six weightlifters have been banned for between two and eight years. Larisa Kobeleva, the 2014 world junior champion, has been suspended for four years along with Kseniya Kolomiyets and Anton Kotlayrov. Five-time Russian weightlifting champion Aminat Maskhadova and 2014 European junior silver medalist Yegor Ivanov have each been given doping bans of eight years. The 2015 Russian judo champion, Pyotr Khachirov, has received a four-year suspension and Nadezhda Ovchinnikova, the 2014 European champion, has been banned for two years.

The Russian sports ministry also announced a detailed series of reforms that are aimed at altering social attitudes to doping in Russia. The Ministry, in conjunction with the Council of Europe, will aim to educate young athletes with the message that doping is unacceptable. A ministry statement said all higher education institutions for professionals in the fields of sport and medicine will teach an anti-doping class. The statement further reads that lessons on anti-doping will be rolled out as part of the curriculum in schools across the country as a final step and also remarked that the classes on anti-doping will be taught as part of Physical Education classes, and will be obligatory for all children, meaning that it will reach millions of students across Russia.

Natalia Zhelanova, anti-doping adviser to the minister of sport of Russia, said she was fully committed to clean up sports in the country. Zhelanova added she wants to ensure the next generation of athletes is properly educated about doping issues. The anti-doping adviser also said we recognize that to create real change we must inform athletes from the very beginning of their careers and remarked it is about instilling the right values from the outset, but we hope this initiative will be supported by wider society as this is a change that all Russians must embrace.

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Wednesday 04, May 2016

  Accreditation Of Africa’s Only Doping Lab Suspended By WADA

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Accreditation Of Africa’s Only Doping Lab Suspended By WADA

On Tuesday, the World Anti-Doping Agency suspended the accreditation of the drug-testing laboratory in South Africa, which is the only accredited facility in Africa until after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Suspension of the accreditation means the South African doping control laboratory in Bloemfontein would now not be able to analyze any doping samples for five months — until September 30 — for failing to meet WADA standards.  The lab in the central city of Bloemfontein receives doping test samples from many other African countries, including top distance-running nations Kenya and Ethiopia and they now have to use other facilities.

Lacea Loader, communications director at the University of the Free State, said the lab did not plan to appeal the suspension as the shutdown was planned with the World Anti-Doping Agency to allow the facility to upgrade equipment and give staff more training. She remarked it was an amicable decision made in conjunction with WADA and added the facility is expected to re-open once the necessary steps have been taken.

The lab said it was not possible to upgrade its services while still continuing with its day-to-day work associated with testing samples. In a statement, the lab said technical and infrastructure adaptations need to be continuously implemented in the laboratory to keep up with the demands because of ever-increasing demands on the number, variety and analytical sensitivity of compounds to be analyzed according to the Prohibited List of WADA. It was also remarked that this has to be done while normal routine analysis continues and it became clear that at present, implementation cannot be successfully accomplished together with the workload from normal routine analyses.

In a statement, WADA said the suspension covers all anti-doping testing including analyses of urine and blood samples. It was further added by WADA that samples during the period of suspension are required to be transported securely to another WADA-accredited laboratory, ensuring that athletes can have full confidence in continued high quality sample analysis and the wider anti-doping system.

The lab, which is based at Bloemfontein’s University of the Free State, previously said it would be upgrading its facilities for six months from the beginning of April and would send some samples to Doha to be tested during that time. It said urine samples would be sent to Doha but would still be able to analyze blood samples. However, the recent suspension imposed by WADA means the South African lab cannot analyze any samples. The World Anti-Doping Agency remarked the lab can apply for the suspension to be lifted before September 30.

South Africa is due to host the African Track And Field Championships in June but the decision of WADA will complicate the doping control program for the championships as organizers now set to have to fly samples to a laboratory on another continent.

Last month, the World Anti-Doping Agency suspended the accreditations of doping labs in Beijing and Lisbon, Portugal, and revoked the accreditation of the lab in Moscow after allegations of wide-ranging corruption in the anti-doping program of Russia. Brazil managed to avoid losing the accreditation of its lab in Rio de Janeiro in March; the lab needs to test thousands of doping samples at the Olympics in August.

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