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Friday 17, Jun 2016

  Evidence Suggests Lord Coe Knew About Doping Corruption

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A senior Conservative MP has suggested that the position of Lord Sebastian Coe as the IAAF president could be at risk over “very, very disturbing” allegations about his knowledge of the doping problems of Russia.

Jesse Norman, chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, said the “jury is out” on whether he has confidence in Sebastian Coe in his present role. Norman remarked he expects the Tory peer to make a return before the committee to answer fresh questions and issue an apology to the parliament among the potential measures available if it is shown he misled parliament.

Tory MP Damian Collins said that the position of Coe as president of the IAAF will be ‘impossible’ unless he can provide a ‘robust explanation’. Collins added he thinks this is really significant information on the evidence about doping in Russia that he was sent the detailed allegations four months before the evidence became public and yet denied any knowledge.

Norman told BBC Radio 4’s Today program he would say it is almost certain that we will want to have Lord Coe back in front of the committee. Norman added competence is one thing, confidence is another thing and part of that would also be to assess whether he is giving the IAAF the leadership that he has promised and also commented that may all be swept away if the committee comes to the view that there’s been some issue of misleading Parliament here. Norman also said it was very disturbing that an email sent to Coe had detailed allegations about a Russian marathon champion asked to pay £360,000 to senior athletics officials to have her drugs offences covered up. Coe, now the president of the International Association of Athletic Federations, received the email outlining the doping scandal in August 2014.

This was after an investigation by the BBC’s Panorma program claimed that Coe might have misled the parliament in 2015 about when and what he knew about the Russian doping scandal. The BBC also gathered evidence that strongly suggests Sebastian Coe turned Papa Massata Diack, the disgraced former official at the centre of the corruption scandal, to help him win the presidential election.

Meanwhile, the IAAF has said Coe was right to pass on information to the ethics commission he received in 2014 about allegations of a plot to blackmail a Russian athlete over blood results. The world governing body of athletics said the panel told Sebastian Coe it was already aware of the allegations that were being “actively investigated”, so left the case with it. The athlete-in-question was Liliya Shobukhova, the former London marathon winner who was asked to pay €450,000 (£360,000) to officials for concealing her doping offences and allowing her to run in the London Olympics. The Russian athlete was eventually sanctioned for doping offences and a sum of €300,000 (£240,000) was repaid to her from an account belonging to Black Tidings, the company in Singapore controlled by a business associate of Papa Massata Diack and also now the focus of a criminal investigation being conducted by the French financial authorities.

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Thursday 20, Aug 2015

  New IAAF President To Target Doping

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Sebastian Coe, who was recently elected as the new head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has vowed to stand by his campaign pledge to establish an independent anti-doping body for the embattled sport.

The world governing body of athletics has been battered by doping allegations over the last few weeks of widespread doping and claims of no action against cheats.

The 58-year-old Briton remarked an independent body is the only way for ensuring an end to all questions about the vigilance of the IAAF. The new IAAF President said we do have to recognize that there is too broad a view that this something – whether real or perceived – that there are conflicts and loopholes and added that an independent system is what we need to close down any thought that we are doing anything other than being entirely vigilant about that.

Coe remarked he is happy to inherit a “very strong sport” from Senegalese Lamine Diack. Coe won the IAAF Presidency by beating Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka 115-92 in a ballot of the IAAF’s 50th Congress. Coe will take his job on August 31, a day after the world championships end inBeijing. A twice Olympic 1,500 meters champion, Coe remarked he have had all the joys of Olympic competition and he had the joys of being part of something special in London a few years ago, but this for him is the pinnacle.

Coe also remarked he will do everything within my human capabilities to make sure our sport maintains the values, maintains the strong legacies and the very, very firm foundations that President Diack has left me. Coe, who was highly successful as the head of the organizers for the 2012 London Olympics, said there is zero tolerance to the abuse of doping in sport and he wants to continue that.

The credibility of the IAAF came under repeated attacks in recent weeks after a leaked database of 12,000 tests had revealed “extraordinary” levels of doping. The doping allegations were slammed by Diack as “sensationalist and confusing”.

The IAAF recently banned 28 athletes from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships after their samples were retested. A few days back, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) stripped the London 2012 Olympic 1,500m champion Asli Cakir Alptekin of her gold medal after the IAAF made its case against decision of the Turkish athletics federation. Alptekin received a doping ban of eight years after abnormal values were found in her blood samples.

In another development, the outgoing IAAF President Lamine Diack said track and field’s doping detractors had painted the sport as a “monster”. The 82-year-old, who is stepping down as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after 16 years in charge, remarked we have the world championships here in Beijing and people will say 80 percent of the athletes are bound to test positive but that is absolutely not true. Diack added the IAAF spends millions of dollars every year to ensure athletes are protected and remain clean.

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Tuesday 14, Oct 2014

  Gatlin Hits Back At Doping Accusations

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Gatlin Hits Back At Doping Accusations

Former Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin has hit back at those who doubt the legitimacy of his unbeaten season. The US sprinter, who served a four-year ban after testing positive for excessive testosterone in 2006, said his fast times are due to “hard work and dedication”.

Gatlin, the fastest 100m runner in the world this year, rubbishes recently-concluded research into doping that was conducted on mice. The sprinter insisted his recent performances are based on ‘hard work’. Gatlin has not lost a 100m or 200m race this season and set a personal best of 9.77sec in 100m.

It was indicated recently by a research conducted on mice by the University of Oslo that muscles retain the advantages provided by anabolic steroids long after the doping has stopped. Kristen Gunderson, Professor of Physiology at the University of Oslo, said he believes it is likely that effects could be lifelong or at least lasting decades in humans. Gunderson added if you exercise, or take anabolic steroids, you get more nuclei and you get bigger muscles and if you take away the steroids, you lose the muscle mass, but the nuclei remain inside the muscle fibers. Professor Gunderson added they are like temporarily closed factories, ready to start producing protein again when you start exercising again.

Gatlin insisted that there is no evidence that it has any effect on humans and remarked any other suggestion is “discrediting” his name. The US sprinter said for the few haters out there, seems like that’s what they want to do, discredit his name and label him with laboratory rats in Oslo. He went on to remark that a lot of athletes that tested positive, they never came back and ran times close to the times they ran when they were positive and added he thinks that proves hard work and dedication on his behalf.

Last week, Lord Sebastian Coe revealed he had “big problems” with Gatlin being shortlisted for the IAAF male athlete of the year. Fellow nominee Robert Harting asked to be withdrawn from consideration due to the inclusion of Gatlin. Gatlin responded by saying that he did not ask to get nominated and added his choice was to run and win races and be dominant for himself. The US sprinter also remarked his job is not to go out and lose and his job is to win and that’s what he is supposed to do, like everyone else nominated. The former Olympic 100m champion said he is sad to say that a lot of people out there feel that, ‘Once a doper, always a doper’ and remarked but that makes no sense as that means you don’t believe your system is working.

In another development, Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency has remarked that athletes banned for doping offences should be handed second chances. Tygart remarked Gatlin still deserves a shot at “redemption” despite serving two doping bans. Tygart told BBC Sport if somebody commits a violation, serves a ban and comes back to the sport, part of the rule is this idea of redemption and added that there is some recent science on the effect of steroids on mice, but there is no proof yet it translates to humans.

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