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Wednesday 11, Feb 2015

  More Governments Need To Make Doping Illegal, Says WADA Chief

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Sir Craig Reedie, the president of the World Anti Doping Agency, has called on world governments to criminalize doping. Reedie said acting in this way would play an important role to prevent current problems that are escalating and spilling over into everyday society.

In a WADA statement, Reedie requested for an escalation of preventative measures and said sport is now a hugely lucrative industry, and there is a real area of concern with drugs being counterfeited, illegally produced, trafficked, and distributed – and ultimately these drugs get in the hands of elite athletes and, increasingly, members of the public. He further added police will act and the scourge of doping can be prevented if governments can introduce relevant laws, and applicable penalties to combat this abuse of substances.

Reedie and WADA Director General David Howman were part of the Second International Conference on the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Fight against Doping last week that was co-hosted by the World Anti Doping Agency, as well as by others including UNESCO, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports, Science & Technology, and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA).

The WADA head also remarked there should be exchange of information between various organizations to ensure details gathered in one country can be of use to another. He remarked evidence is rife that athletes will go to unthinkable lengths to find shortcuts to success, and it’s now up to proponents of clean sport – be they anti-doping organizations, governments, public health organizations or even law enforcement agencies – to share information that stops prohibited substances from getting in the wrong hands.

Reedie also remarked doping substances are no longer just of use to elite athletes, but to high school students who want to increase their strength or the older generations who long for the ‘fountain of youth.’ He also said these types of substances are not approved and they have not gone through the required health checks and to put simply, we do not always know from where these dubious substances originate. The WADA chief added the internet means that these substances are increasingly easy to access, and that in itself is a concern and also remarked however the danger that these substances pose to public health has, in the partnerships the anti-doping community and pharmaceutical industry are now forming, a real answer in place.

Reedie also outlined the importance of the current cooperation between WADA and other anti-doping bodies along with big drug companies. In the past, these kinds of associations have benefited the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, and others to detect new products like the blood booster CERA. During the 2008 Tour de France, the UCI was able to identify Riccardo Ricco, Stefan Schumacher, and others for CERA use. The WADA chief said this kind of collaboration is essential and gave references about the former partnerships already in place with companies such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and Amgen, as well as federations like the IFPMA [International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations].

Some countries such as France, Spain, and Italy have already criminalized the abuse of doping products. The World Anti Doping Agency is not seeking to criminalize doping athletes themselves, but rather those who facilitate their drug use.

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Monday 01, Apr 2013

  Stefan Schumacher Says He Doped

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Stefan Schumacher Says He Doped

A German professional road racing cyclist who won the bronze medal in the 2007 Road Race World Championship, two stages in the 2006 Giro d’Italia, and two stages in the 2008 Tour de France has admitted regularly knocking back a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs, and compared it to eating pasta after training.

The former Gerolsteiner rider Stefan Schumacher said he used took EPO, growth hormones, and corticoids (steroids) and remarked doping became an integral part of the daily routine, like a plate of pasta after training. Schumacher, who now races for the Danish team Christina Watches-Onfone, was caught in October 2008 when a sample taken during Tour de France contained CERA, a variant of the banned blood-booster erythropoeitin (EPO). First professionally employed with Team Telekom in 2002, Schumacher also tested positive at the Beijing Olympics. He was also implicated in a doping case in 2005 when he tested positive for an amphetamine but was cleared by the German cycling federation of a doping offense.

Schumacher, riding as leader of Gerolsteiner, won both time trials in the 2008 Tour de France beating Swiss favorite Fabian Cancellara, and took the yellow jersey of race leader after the first. He then signed a two-year contract with Quick Step.

On October 6, 2008, the media reported that the German cyclist had tested positive for the controlled substance CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator), a new generation of EPO but Schumacher continues to assert his innocence though Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevre has said Schumacher’s contract would not be honored. In 2008, two of Schumacher’s team mates, Italian Davide Rebellin and Austrian Bernhard Kohl, also failed tests for EPO-CERA.

The cyclist was banned by the UCI for two years on 19 February 2009 but the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) reduced Schumacher’s ban in January 2010, allowing him to ride again per August 2010. His name was raised in connected in April 2009 with a positive test for performance enhancing drugs at the 2008 Summer Olympics and both the “A” and “B” samples tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He was disqualified after the positive test, and appealed against the verdict at the Court of Arbitration for Sports, but dropped his appeal in April 2010.

Meanwhile, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and national cycling federation (BDR) have welcomed the admission of Schumacher that he had used banned substances. DOSB general director Michael Vesper and BDR chief Rudolf Scharping said in a joint statement the admission comes too late and Stefan Schumacher could have spared himself and his sport some things if he had told the truth earlier but they added that his admission comes early enough to draw consequences for the fight against doping and it is expected that through his statements, the people behind it will be caught and punished.

The 31-year-old German rider was quoted as saying that he would be prepared to share what he knows with the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Cycling Union, and others “if that is wanted.”

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Stefan Schumacher Says He Doped

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.

Thursday 07, Apr 2011

  Bernhard Kohl falls to disgrace

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Bernhard Kohl falls to disgraceThe Silence Lotto team has decided to sack Bernhard Kohl after his sample tested positive to CERA, the new generation of the banned blood booster EPO, at the Tour de France.

The National anti-doping agency (AFLD) of France confirmed the positive sample finding.

It was revealed by the anti-doping authorities that a sample of Kohl contained CERA before and during the Tour after re-tests at a laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry.

Saturday 19, Mar 2011

  Representatives of Stefan Schumacher condemn doping tests

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Representatives of Stefan Schumacher condemn doping testsRepresentatives of Stefan Schumacher have condemned the doping procedures that led to a positive test for Schumacher.

Schumacher tested positive for the new generation of the banned blood booster EPO both before and during the Tour.

The positive test was confirmed by re-tested samples at the French laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry.

Tuesday 15, Mar 2011

  Silence Lotto team to sack Kohl

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Silence Lotto team to sack KohlBernhard Kohl is expected to be sacked by the Silence Lotto team after he tested positive for CERA, the new generation of the banned blood booster EPO, at the Tour de France.

A sample of Kohl was found to contain CERA before and during the Tour after re-tests at a laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry.

The positive sample finding was confirmed by France’s national anti-doping agency (AFLD).

Monday 14, Mar 2011

  IOC confirms more of drug tests

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IOC confirms more of drug testsThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently confirmed that it will be 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 welcomed the IOC step.

Monday 17, Nov 2008

  Italian Cyclist Sella gets 1-year ban for blood doping

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italy_dopingEmanuel Sella is the latest cyclist to be found guilty of using CERA, the third generation EPO drug, it was reported.

The Societa CSF Gruppo Navigare rider has been banned for one year by the Italian Olympic Committee‘s (CONI) anti-doping office after being caught in an out-of-competition test taken on July 23.

A one-year ban was handed down, instead of two, after the rider admitted his guilt and -operated with the court during his trial in August, ANSA news agency reported.

Sella was the surprise package of the 2008 Giro d’Italia, winning three climbing stages and the time trial at Plan de Corones.

However, he is the latest rider to fail a test for CERA, which has also snared Tour de France third Bernard Kohl and Riccardo Ricco, Leonardo Piepoli and Stefan Schumacher.

In September, Tour de France officials announced they would be retesting samples for CERA, with the International Olympic Committee following suit in October.

CERA is new variation of exogenous erythropoietin, or EPO. EPO is anemia-fighting agent and works by promoting production of red blood cells. CERA has been approved for therapeutic use in 2007 and its illegal use as a performance-enhancing drug was first documented during the 2008 Tour de France in the incidents involving Kohl, Ricco, and Piepoli.

Testing for CERA via urine samples reportedly lack validity because the compound does not pass through the kidneys.

In September, however, French doping officials came up with a blood-based doping control, which is found to be more accurate in testing for this EPO variant. French sports officials later announced that they will implement retroactive testing for 2008 Tour de France participants. Subsequently, the International Olympic Committee declared they will also be retesting samples taken from the participants of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Saturday 11, Oct 2008

  Retroactive testing for CERA – This is going to be one helluva uphill ride for 2008 Tour de France riders,dopers

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Tour_De_France_steroidsThis 2008 Tour de France’s riders might have crossed the finished lines several weeks ago, but it looks like the rigors of the race is not yet over. The rigors of Tour de France drug screening, that is.

Retroactive testing for the new generation blood booster CERA, or Continuous Erythopoiesis Receptor Activator, is now being carried out by French laboratories. So far, two riders were caught using the banned compound since the retroactive testing was implemented. It was announced on Monday that Italy’s Leonardo Piepoli and Germany’s Stefan Schumacher both tested positive for CERA.  And race officials are expecting more positive tests in the coming weeks.

“The tests are still underway, they are not all done yet,” French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) head Pierre Bordry told Reuters on Wednesday.

“I imagine there could be one or two more cases,” race director Christian Prudhomme added, in a week when two Tour riders were exposed as drugs cheats.

Italian rider Riccardo Ricco was suspected of taking CERA when the race was still underway in July and was subsequently sent home. Spanish riders Manuel Beltran and Moises Dueňas, tested positive for EPO, and were also sent packing.

Why the late screening?

“People in the street ask me: ‘How did that come out so late?”‘ Prudhomme said. “In July, the process wasn’t legitimate at the time … These tests are of a new type.”

There are two labs which are currently testing the samples from all of the riders who competed in this year’s race.

The Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, which has developed a more effective blood test to find this EPO variant, and a WADA-approved Lausanne facility are testing blood samples. CERA is difficult to detect through urine samples.

“We are testing samples from July 3, 4 and 15,” Bordry said, adding there was no room for error.

“They are all tested by the Chatenay-Malabry lab, which is the official AFLD lab, but also in Lausanne, as a guarantee.”

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.