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Wednesday 28, Nov 2012

  Armstrong Quits Cancer Charity

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Armstrong Quits Cancer Charity

The seven-time Tour de France cycling winner, Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his titles on cheating allegations, has cut his last official tie with the cancer charity Livestrong by resigning from its board. The cyclist who stepped down as chairman of the group was the target of a report released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that alleged he was part of the largest sports cheating ring in cycling history.

The last day of the disgraced cyclist as a board member at the charity he founded in 1997 was November 4, according to Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the group. McLane said Lance decided to resign from the foundation’s board to spare it any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career. Armstrong has not completely severed ties with the foundation but “his visibility will be reduced,” added communications chief Katherine McLane. Katherine added that Lance is still the foundation’s creator though he has no formal leadership role in the organization and the foundation is focusing on elevating the voices and stories of survivors all around the world not just a single individual.

The Austin, Texas-based foundation was created by Lance Armstrong after his career was almost abruptly ended by testicular cancer and Livestrong mission is to connect cancer patients with resources to help with their care, and to inspire them to live active lives.

The cyclist has always maintained that he never cheated and vehemently denied all doping allegations but his decision not to fight the round of charges against him allowed the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the governing body of cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale, to strip him of his wins. The cyclist recently posted a picture on his Twitter account of lying on the couch with seven of the Tour de France yellow jerseys on the wall behind him. The cyclist was issued a life ban and stripped of seven Tour de France titles in August by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which last month revealed 1,000 pages of evidence against him, including testimony from 11 former teammates. He also faces legal actions which could see him required to return millions in prize money and bonus payments besides facing the possible risk of being stripped of the time-trial bronze medal he won at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Livestrong’s popularity has fallen out of the list of the 400 charities in the Chronicle of Philanthropy though it still remains the top athlete-founded charity. The cancer foundation is hopeful that donors will look past the alleged cheating of the cyclist to the good work done by the charitable foundation in linking cancer patients with resources, Greg Lee, remarked the foundation’s chief financial officer before an announcement on the board resignation of Lance Armstrong and added that the foundation has sufficient reserves to survive a downturn. Garvey said Livestrong is “deeply grateful” for Armstrong’s “devotion to serving survivors” and Lance was instrumental in changing the way the world views people affected by cancer, Livestrong chairman Jeff Garvey said.

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Friday 02, Nov 2012

  Doping Inquiry Into Cycling Bronze Opens

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Doping Inquiry Into Cycling Bronze Opens

On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee opened an investigation into the role of Lance Armstrong in a doping scandal that has tarnished the image of professional cycling besides wiping out his seven Tour de France titles. The investigation would also mean that the cyclist may lose his Olympic bronze medal he won in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The cyclist finished behind winner and U.S. Postal Service teammate Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia and Jan Ullrich of Germany and now his medal will go to Abraham Olano Manzano of Spain, who stands to move up to bronze if Armstrong is stripped of the medal. Vyacheslav Ekimov was upgraded to the gold after the IOC stripped a former Armstrong teammate, Tyler Hamilton, of his gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics after he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.

A former Armstrong teammate who won the time-trial bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, Levi Leipheimer, may also have his medal revoked after he confessed to doping. He is presently serving a reduced, six-month suspension after cooperating with the USADA inquiry. Alberto Contador, the Spaniard who was stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title after testing positive for clenbuterol, finished fourth behind Leipheimer in 2008.

The Olympic involvement of other riders and officials implicated in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report will also be examined by the IOC. The USADA report detailed “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” After the release of this report, it was sent to the governing body of cycling (UCI) and World Anti-doping Agency (WADA). The UCI endorsed the sanctions imposed on the cyclist by USADA and said Armstrong had no place in cycling. The United States Anti-doping Agency banned the seven-time winner of Tour de France for life and stripped him of all his titles after August 1, 1998.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that it will start the process regarding the involving of Armstrong, other riders, and their entourages. The medals could come up for review at the executive board meeting of the IOC next month in Lausanne, Switzerland. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is also evaluating the plans of UCI for an independent investigation for examining the allegations about the own conduct of the federation and its relations with the cyclist as raised by the report by USADA.

The IOC said it has taken note of the decision made by the governing body of cycling and welcomes every measure taken to shed light on the full extent of the episode and to help the sport of cycling reform to move forward. It also added that that finding of the independent commission that will be looking into the role of the UCI and the recommendations for a healthy future for the game are awaited. However, the IOC may find itself in a dilemma whether to apply the eight-year statute for revising Olympic results or not. IOC vice president Thomas Bach said the report by the USADA took an intriguing approach that leaves the eight-year period open to discussion.

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Wednesday 17, Oct 2012

  Lance Armstrong’s Cat-And-Mouse Game

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Lance Armstrong’s Cat-And-Mouse Game

Disgraced seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong recently said he wanted to see the names of all his accusers. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) soon obliged him by giving him 26 names, including that of 11 former teammates. The agency even provided him with evidence of 200 pages filled with vivid details, from hotel rooms transformed into makeshift blood transfusion centers to the ex-wife of the cyclist rolling pills of cortisone into foil and handing them out to all the cyclists.

The agency remarked that Lance Armstrong’s desire to win at all costs was what made him go dependent on first EPO and then blood transfusions and other performance enhancing drugs like growth hormone and testosterone. He tried the biggest tricks in the game to run the most sophisticated doping program in cycling and had the habit of running from places whenever and wherever anti-doping team came to test him. From 1999-2004, Armstrong won the Tour as leader of the U.S. Postal Service team and again in 2005 with the Discovery Channel as the primary sponsor.

USADA accused Armstrong of depending on performance enhancing drugs to fuel his victories and more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates. Among the 11 former teammates who testified against Armstrong are Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, and George Hincapie. The USADA report said Hincapie alerted Armstrong when he found drug testers at the hotel in 2000 after which Armstrong dropped out of the race to avoid being tested. The USADA also interviewed Toronto cyclist Michael Barry, Frankie Andreu, Tom Danielson, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Zabriskie besides Andreu’s wife, Betsy, who was one of Armstrong’s most consistent and unapologetic critics.

The report went to the governing body of cycling, UCI, and it also went to the World Anti-Doping Agency that also has the right to appeal but so far has supported the position of the USADA in the case against Lance Armstrong.

Recently, Canadian cyclist Michael Barry released a statement in which he admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs after feeling pressure to perform from the United States Postal Service Cycling Team.

Armstrong insisted that he never cheated though he find it easy not to fight the USADA charges than to save his reputation and integrity by contesting the charges levied against him. His attorney, Tim Herman, called the report a one-sided hatchet job — a taxpayer funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories. Herman, in a letter sent to USADA attorneys, said dismissed any evidence provided by Landis and Hamilton and said the riders were “serial perjurers and have told diametrically contradictory stories under oath.

USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart said the cyclist was given the chance to take his case to arbitration and declined and rather decided to accept the sanctions in August. Once he decided not to contest the charges, the anti-doping agency stripped him of all his titles and banned him for life and now Armstrong’s bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics is also in the danger of getting lost. However, the International Olympic Committee will wait for cycling’s governing body to act on the doping case before it thinks about taking away his Olympic bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Lance Armstrong’s Cat-And-Mouse Game

Friday 06, Jan 2012

  Jones visiting Serbia and Croatia

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On behalf of the U.S. State Department, former track star Marion Jones is making a series of diplomatic visits to Serbia and Croatia.

Jones, once considered the fastest woman in the world, give back her five medals from the 2000 Sydney Olympics after lying to federal investigators about taking performance enhancing drugs.

“I think that this country is in the process of rebuilding,” she said. “My story is one that I am also rebuilding from making some bad choices in the past, so I think that was one of the main reasons that I was chosen because I have decided to not give up in my quest to help people.”

Wednesday 09, Nov 2011

  Doping guru claims all Sydney 100m finalists cheated

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Victor Conte, the former doping guru, has claimed that all eight 100 meter finalists at the Sydney Olympics were cheats.

The finger of suspicion was also raised by Conte at world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica in an interview with Italy’s La Gazetta dello Sport.

“I believe that before the BALCO affair, 80 per cent of athletes were using steroids, today that figure stands at about 65 per cent,” Conte said in the hard-hitting interview.

Monday 07, Mar 2011

  Jerome Young to challenge life ban over testing flaws

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Jerome Young to challenge life ban over testing flawsJerome Young, who was stripped of the gold medal he won in the 2000 Sydney Olympics because of failing to clear a drug test, has been making efforts to overturn the life ban due to doubts over the reliability of the test for erythropoietin.

The American was suspended for life by the International Association of Athletics Federations after he tested positive for EPO, the blood-boosting drug, his second offence.

Young first tested positive for nandrolone in 1999 but was cleared by USA Track & Field, who allowed him to compete in Sydney.

Tuesday 11, Jan 2011

  Andris Reinholds tests positive for nandrolone

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Andris  style=Latvia’s lone rowing competitor, Andris Reinholds, is facing a life ban from the sport after he became the fifth athlete to be kicked out of the Olympics for failing a drug test.

Reinholds, who finished eighth in the single sculls, tested positive for the steroid nandrolone following a random urine test.

The expulsion of Reinhold brings the number of competitors thrown out of the Sydney Games to five.

Wednesday 08, Dec 2010

  Seven US sprinters win back medals

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Seven US sprinters win back medalsSeven members of the US relay team that won medals at the Sydney Olympics have won back the relay medals. The athletes were stripped of their medals after their team-mate Marion Jones was caught doping at the time.

The IOC decision to strip athletes from medals was overruled by the Court of arbitration for sport.

It seems that luck was on side of the athletes truly because they were innocent and didn’t indulge into cheating like Jones.

Sunday 21, Nov 2010

  Tim Montgomery admits using testosterone and human growth hormone

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Tim Montgomery admits using testosterone and human growth hormoneThe disgraced US sprinter, Tim Montgomery, admitted of using testosterone and human growth hormone before the Sydney Olympics.

The former 100m world record holder went on to say that he did not deserve the gold medal he won in the 4x100m relay.

Montgomery is presently in prison after being convicted of cheque fraud and heroin trafficking.

Friday 26, Dec 2008

  Marion Jones says she had paid the ultimate price because of doping

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marionjones-steroidsDisgraced sprinter Marion Jones once again appeared in a TV show to profess her innocence in the BALCO doping controversy that has ruined many athletes’ stellar career.

In her recent appearance on “Good Morning America” Jones  admits the incident may have ruined her reputation forever but she hopes that she can prevent others from committing the mistakes she has made. This is the same mantra she uttered at the “Oprah Winfrey Show”, her first interview since she was released from prison in September. Expect the same tune to be played in 2009 as the former track star is apparently running a crusade to “reach out” to youths out there.

“I have paid the ultimate price,” she said on “Good Morning America“. “For the rest of my life, certain people will equate me with this controversy.

“Throughout all of this I’ve learned I’ve hurt a lot of people and it’s my responsibility to give back,” the 33-year-old said.

Up to this day, Jones insists she has no knowledge that prohibited compounds were being administered to her. This despite of her six-month imprisonment for lying about her anabolic steroid use and her involvement in a check-fraud scheme.

BALCO’s Victor Conte had consistently refuted Jones’ claims. “She did the injection with me sitting right there next to her,” he said in December 2004.

Between these two controversial figures, who do you think people would believe?

On Oprah, Jones apologized to her teammates who were stripped of their medals and records because of her doping violation during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“When I stepped on that track, I thought everybody was drug-free, including myself,” Jones said. “I apologize for having to put everybody through all of this.

“I’m trying to move on. I hope that everybody else can move on, too.”

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