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Friday 20, Jan 2017

  Anti-Doping Initiatives Welcomed By Kenyan Athletes

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Elite Kenyan athletes have welcomed the recent move by Athletics Kenya, the governing body for track and field in the East African country, of getting a ‘trustable’ team of doctors to monitor top athletes.

The doctors are Victor Bargoria, David Muhindi, Fredrick Kipkorir, Mwithia Ngundo, Wycliffe Koskei, and Castro Mugalla. They have been chosen by Athletics Kenya and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in an attempt to fight against doping that has brought shame to the sport in Kenya. The country is still on the watchlist of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Athletics Kenya Chief Jackson Tuwei said the doctors will be preparing a report on a monthly basis that would be sent to the IAAF medical and anti-doping commission. Tuwei added an initial team of five “trustable Kenyan doctors” had been picked to monitor top runners of the country. The Athletics Kenya chief added this step would limit bad medical practices and doping-promoting behaviors by some Kenyan health professionals.

The AK Chief also issued a warning to dopers by saying that any athlete who failed to comply would not be selected for international competition. Tuwei added it is absolutely mandatory for these elite athletes to go through this network and said he can understand that it is painful, it is strict, it is critical but we have to do it. The move aimed at curbing the doping menace in the country is expected to be fully operational within a week.

Tuwei added forty-nine athletes have been found to have violated the World Anti-Doping Agency code in the past five years but were cautioned according to the laws of the land and WADA code. Tuwei also remarked we saw it fit to have all athletes in such a similar so that we familiarize ourselves on laws and regulations of doping.

Olympic champion and London marathon winner Jemima Sumgong remarked this anti-doping initiative would help honest athletes. Sumgong added it will make it easier and faster to do a medical, now that there are six doctors whose contacts have been given to us and added this is a good start to eliminate doping. Sumgong, who won Kenya’s first women’s marathon gold in Rio last year, said it will be easy for us now to communicate with these doctors before we take any medicine when the need arises.

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge said this is a good step and a major development for our country. Kipchoge added he is happy with it and added authorities would still need to make athletes aware of the dangers of doping.

The initial list of 109 elite athletes includes women’s 5000m Olympic champion, Vivian Cheruiyot and three-time steeplechase world champion Ezekiel Kemboi. It also includes Kipchoge, Sumgong, two-time Olympic 800m champion and world record holder, David Rudisha, and javelin world champion, Julius Yego.

The world governing body of athletics, the IAAF, commented that this step is not meant to vet athletes, but to provide good quality medical support. Chris Turner, a spokesman for IAAF, remarked the network comes as part of the preventive measures intended to address the proliferation of rogue doctors, limit poor medical practice, and address the supply of prohibited substances.

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Wednesday 24, Feb 2016

  Argentina Now Compliant With WADA Code

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The World Anti-Doping Agency has declared Argentina compliant again with its global anti-doping code.

The South American nation had been declared non-compliant because of its national anti-doping agency using non-accredited laboratories for doping tests. According to an announcement by WADA, the national anti-doping agency was previously using non-accredited laboratories for doping tests but the same has been resolved now.

A statement by WADA said it, following a circular vote of its Foundation Board members, announces that it has removed the Secretaría de Deporte de la República Argentina (Argentinian NADO) from the list of signatories previously deemed non-compliant with the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

In November last year, Argentina was put on the list of non-compliant countries along with countries like Andorra, Bolivia, Russia, and Ukraine.

The world governing body of athletics had banned Russia from international track and field competitions after it was alleged by a WADA report that vast system of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups existed in the country. Decision by the WADA to suspend the Russian Anti-Doping Agency followed decision by the IAAF to ban Russia’s track and field athletes from competing in international competition. This means the Moscow laboratory that processed blood and urine samples from athletes of its country has been decertified and the country now has no functioning national anti-doping body to test its athletes in any sport.

WADA’s spokesman, Ben Nichols, then explained Andorra and Israel were declared non-compliant after it was deemed they did not have sufficient anti-doping rules in place. Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine were declared non-compliant for using non-accredited laboratories for their urine and blood sample analysis – this is prohibited under world anti-doping rules. On the other hand, WADA gave four months to Belgium, Brazil, France, Greece, Mexico, and Spain to put their houses in order; these countries were put on a compliance “watch list”. Belgium, Brazil, France, Greece, Mexico, and Spain were given tine until March 18 to come into compliance.

Last month, Israel was removed from the list of countries found to be non-compliant with the world anti-doping code. According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, Israel “drafted and adopted anti-doping rules” in line with the global WADA code.

In another development, German journalist and producer of the film on doping in Russian sports Hajo Seppelt has remarked WADA is under heavy influence from international sports organizations. Seppelt said he would not say that WADA is not clean but he would like to highlight that approximately 50 percent of its money comes from sports federations and the president of WADA is also the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee and he does not think this is the best way to fight doping around the world.

Following the broadcast of Seppelt’s film The Doping Secret: How Russia Creates Champions that disclosed some hard truths by Vitaliy and Yuliya Stepanov – Russian Whistleblowers, an investigation was opened by WADA into use of performance enhancing drugs by Russian athletes. In January this year, a number of athletes were disqualified by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, including Olympic champions Sergei Kirdyapkin, Valery Borchin and Olga Kaniskina, and a world champion Sergei Bakulin.

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Saturday 24, Jan 2015

  Olympic Doping Appeal Of Backstrom Resolved With Reprimand

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Olympic Doping Appeal Of Backstrom Resolved With Reprimand

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has withdrawn his appeal against ruling of the International Olympic Committee that he violated World Anti-Doping Agency law.

Backstrom, the Swedish professional ice hockey centre and an alternate captain for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, was allowed to keep the silver medal he earned playing for Sweden in the Sochi Olympics last February. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Backstrom had not intended to gain any competitive advantage by using the medication.

According to a joint announcement between Backstrom, WADA, and the IOC, Backstrom agreed upon a reprimand that is the minimum application sanction permitted by the WADA code. The announcement said the final decision was reached for Backstrom to remove his appeal and the World Anti-Doping Agency to issue a reprimand after constructive discussions between Backstrom’s representatives and those of the IOC, WADA, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

It was also revealed by the announcement that at no time was Backstrom’s receipt of his Olympic silver medal at issue in the proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The announcement emphasized that Backstrom did not intend to enhance his sport performance by taking a prohibited substance, that the prohibited substance (PSE) was contained within a product Backstrom was taking for medical reasons, that Backstrom relied on the specific advice of his team doctor that his use of the product would not give rise to a positive sample, and that he openly disclosed the product on the doping control form at the time of the doping control.

Backstrom received the full support of Coach Barry Trotz, his teammates, and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly when it emerged that the World Anti-Doping Agency had appealed the IOC’s decision to exonerate Backstrom. In early December, Daly said the NHL supports Nick in this circumstance and added that he thinks there were unfair circumstances surrounding the determination, and unfortunately it is still in litigation.

The 27-year-old Swede was judged to have committed an anti-doping rule violating on March 14, 2014 based on elevated pseudoephedrine levels. Backstrom tested positive for pseudoephedrine after Sweden’s win over Slovenia in the Olympic quarterfinals on February 19, 2014. The Washington Capitals centre claimed the stimulant was contained in a sinus medication he had been taking for allergies. Nicklas Backstrom was suspended and pulled from the Swedish team just hours before the February 23 gold-medal game, which Sweden lost 3-0 to Canada. The timing of the decision angered the Swedes who said it affected the team’s performance.

Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient found in his allergy medication not banned by the National Hockey League (NHL). This resulted in Backstrom getting barred from playing in the gold medal game. Later, Backstrom was awarded his silver medal in a ceremony in Sweden on August 28.

On April 2, 2014, Backstrom filed his appeal and challenged that an anti-doping rule violation had occurred. The World Anti-Doping Agency filed its appeal on October 9, 2014 and tried to counter ruling of the IIHF Disciplinary Committee that Backstrom had not violated the WADA code.

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Thursday 11, Dec 2014

  WADA Not Supportive Of Jail Term For Doping Cheats

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WADA Not Supportive Of Jail Term For Doping Cheats

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has remarked that it does not support the imposition of criminal sanctions on cheating athletes despite it in the favor of a tougher code that will come into effect on January 1 next year.

The new WADA Code will punish first-time offenders with four-year bans instead of two years of suspension. It also puts a greater emphasis on investigation and gathering intelligence.

Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President and former chairman of the British Olympic Association, made this comment after a three-year sentence for doping offenders was proposed by a draft German law. Reedie said dopers should only be sanctioned within the rules of their sport and added a custodial sentence is not appropriate. He remarked an athlete should be sanctioned under the sports rules which have been developed over many years and he should not be sanctioned under Criminal Law.

Reedie, speaking at a members’ meeting, also insisted that the World Anti-Doping Agency is working closely with the Brazilian anti-doping organization to make sure that the quality of tests at Rio 2016 are adequate. Reedie said it is important that we have the laboratory in Rio re-accredited so it doesn’t make any mistakes. The WADA President added it made some mistakes, which is why it lost its accreditation and added but nothing would be worse for athletes than to take part in the competition when they knew there was any question of wrong results from a laboratory that we used to test the samples. Last year, the credentials of the drug-testing laboratory in Rio de Janeiro were revoked by WADA as it failed to comply with the agency’s standards. The revocation forced FIFA, the world governing body of football, to turn to a Switzerland lab for the analysis of the 2014 World Cup samples.

It was also announced by WADA that pledges for the creation of an anti-doping research fund reached more than US$10 million (S$13 million) that match the financial investment made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). WADA announced pledges from the Ivory Coast, Japan, Qatar, Russia, France, Sweden and Peru, joining Turkey, South Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United States. These countries were named by WADA as donors for its research fund that will be beneficial for exploring new techniques for the detection of prohibited substances and methods. Therefore, the joint project will have a budget of about US$20 million.

Reedie also commented on the growing incidents of doping in Kenya. The African country has experienced a dramatic increase in doping cases. This year, Rita Jeptoo was among the high-profile cheats. The Kenyan marathon runner tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), which is used by strength athletes and cyclists to improve the production of red blood cells in the body. Reedie said WADA officials recently met their Kenyan counterparts to help them establish the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya with Chinese and Norwegian agencies providing technical training and guidance. Reedie also commented that Kenya produces many of the very best middle- and long-distance runners in the world and it is very much in Kenya’s interest to have this treated properly.

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Wednesday 07, May 2014

  More Research Required To Catch Cheats, Says WADA Vice-President

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More Research Required To Catch Cheats, Says WADA Vice-President

World Anti-Doping Agency vice-president Makhenkesi Stofile has remarked sport is going to be free of cheats only if science is ahead of the dopers. The WADA VP said pharmaceutical companies assisting WADA is a big step in the fight against cheats.

A long-time advocate of doping-free sport, Stofile said it is positive to see some of the pharmaceutical companies putting their efforts to assisting (WADA) in the fight against doping, because until science consistently stays ahead of the dopers, we are not going to be entirely rid of a cheating culture. He added in this regard, more and more research is going to be crucial in order to sharpen our skills.

The World Anti-Doping Agency vice-president said WADA has done a great job in very difficult circumstances and said he remember in Athens in 2004 that cheating in sport was not only the crime of the athletes, but also the crime of the coaches and, in some cases, the crime of friends or relatives or even governments. He added all these people need to take responsibility for this issue and the numbers of those getting caught is certainly increasing; even the big cheats in sport spend a great deal of time discussing their misdemeanors. The WADA VP added we also have a greater level of cooperation taking place between different stakeholders: the Sports Movement, the International Olympic Committee and of course the public authorities across the world and unless we work together in this way, side by side, we will not succeed in catching the cheats.

He further remarked all the countries need to help in the process of implementing the WADA code and said what needs to be done now, with the implementation of the Code, is the introduction of necessary rules in order to facilitate the process of implementing the Code and all countries and all NADOs and RADOs will need to work with WADA in establishing the legal framework. Stofile added it has a busy first three months, especially with the Sochi Games which was the first Paralympic Winter Games he attended. He remarked he also had an opportunity to visit the WADA Athlete Outreach and Independent Observer teams in Sochi, both of whom demonstrated a wonderful spirit behind their work, and wonderful cooperation and motivation for the athletes, managers, WADA members, and of course the whole anti-doping system, too.

Stofile, who took charge as the vice president of WADA, served on the WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board from 2004-2010. Stofile was elected by the Foundation Board as WADA’s new Vice President and his three-year term began on January 1, 2014.

In another development, new recommendations have been made from 24 international sports bodies aimed at tackling doping. This includes the storage of samples for up to 10 years that will facilitate more extensive retrospective testing as newly devised methods are put in place. Jiri Dvorak, Chief Medical Officer of FIFA, remarked the fight against doping has intensified over the past 10 to 15 years, but the increase in simple sampling procedures has not stopped some athletes from continuing.

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Saturday 22, Mar 2014

  Doping Case Of Tiernan-Locke Is Imminent, Says UK Anti-Doping Chief

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Doping Case Of Tiernan-Locke Is Imminent, Says UK Anti-Doping Chief

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson has remarked that the doping case of Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is likely to be heard within a month.

Speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport conference at Wembley, Parkinson said that was now close to being heard. “imminently,” and added that clearly the issue with that case is that it was in the public domain earlier than was ideal, and earlier than we put out a notice of charge.  Parkinson added the process has seemed longer than it has been because we only received the notification after Christmas and biological passport cases are difficult to run and you need a lot of expert witnesses.

The former Tour of Britain winner became the first rider of Team Sky to be charged with doping, a charge that he vehemently denies. This was after discrepancies in his biological passport were found by the International Cycling Union (UCI) suggesting that the rider had taken drugs. The findings came from the rider’s time on the Endura racing team for whom he won the Tour of Britain in 2012, said Team Sky.

The UCI confirmed that it had initiated disciplinary proceedings against the 28-year-old rider. In a statement, the UCI said the analysis of the biological passport of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke by the experts panel has demonstrated an anti-doping rule violation (use of prohibited substances and/or methods) and the UCI has requested his national federation to initiate disciplinary proceedings consequently, and in compliance with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules. The UCI statement also revealed that the World Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping have been notified of the matter pursuant to the UCI Anti-Doping Rules and the WADA code.

The representatives of Tiernan-Locke issued a statement protesting his innocence and confirmed he would fight the charges. The statement reads that Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was notified that the UCI wish to instruct British Cycling to instigate proceedings against him regarding an abnormality in his biological passport. It also revealed that Tiernan-Locke vehemently denies the charges brought against him and has informed the UCI that he fully intends to contest them and Tiernan-Locke will not ride for Team Sky, attend training camps or undertake any team duties until a decision is made in these proceedings and added that Tiernan-Locke is looking forward to a speedy and just resolution of these unfortunate charges. The statement by the rider’s representatives added that Tiernan-Locke will make no further comment on the matter until a decision has been reached.

According to a confirmation by the UK Anti-Doping director of legal Graham Arthur, the doping case of the rider has been handed to it for management. Arthur added we are progressing on a case relating to a possible anti-doping rule violation and the matter is subject to confidentiality restrictions imposed by the Anti-Doping Rules, and as such we are unable to comment further as this protects the rights of all involved. He also added that all violations of the World Anti-Doping Code are published on our website if confirmed, when sanctions have been agreed and all appeal windows are over.

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Friday 24, Aug 2012

  Lance Armstrong To Be Banned

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lance armstrong caught dopingSeven-time Tour de France winner, @Lance Armstrong, may lose his titles and may be banned from cycling for life. This was after the cyclist dropped his fight against drug charges that threaten his legacy as one of the all-time greats.

Armstrong won the sport’s ultimate contest from 1999 to 2005 before retiring. The cyclist said his dropping charges against the USADA is not an admission of guilt and remarked that he was growing weary of the fight and the strain doping accusations had put on his personal and professional life. The cyclist won his first Tour at a time when a trace amount of a banned anti-inflammatory corticosteroid was found in his urine sample and cycling officials remarked that he was authorized to make use of a small amount of a cream for treating saddle sores.

The chief executive of USADA, Travis Tygart, said the cyclist may be hit with a lifetime ban on Friday. Under the WADA code, Lance Armstrong may lose his 2000 Olympics bronze medal besides losing awards, cash earnings, and event titles. Armstrong would be stripped of all his results dating back to August 1, 1998, said USADA chief Travis Tygart. He added that this is an example and reassuring reminder to all clean athletes that there is a big hope for future generations to compete on a level playing field without using performance enhancing drugs.

Lance Armstrong BANNED, USADA Strips Titles – Video

Armstrong said in a statement that there comes in a point of the life of every man when he has to say ‘enough is enough’ and that time is now for him. He termed the investigation of the anti-doping agency an “unconstitutional witch hunt.” The cyclist added that he has passed hundreds of drug tests during his illustrious career and he adhered to all rules that were in place at the time of his Tour de France wins. The cyclist added that the USADA has used heavy-handed tactics to pursue him and even broke the law and remarked that he refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. The investigation, from the beginning, has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs, said Armstrong.

The statement was very soon taken by the USADA as an admission of guilt on an athlete who was a hero to many for overcoming testicular cancer and the support of his foundation for cancer research. Tygart added that it is a sad day for all who love sports and athletes and said that there is no success in cheating to win.

The anti-doping agency has maintained that Armstrong had made use of banned substances such as EPO and anabolic steroids as well as blood transfusions as far back as 1996 for boosting his performance. John Fahey, the President of the WADA, said decision of the cyclist to drop his fight against drug charges was an admission that the allegations against him “had substance in them.”

The International Cycling Union that had backed legal challenge of the cyclist may take the case before the International Court of Arbitration.


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Monday 20, Aug 2012

  Anti-Doping Policies Defended By Football Association

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dopingThe Football Association have defended its anti-doping rules after Dispatches program of Channel 4 revealed names of several players who have failed drugs tests. The Association said its policy is to keep names of players who fail tests for social drugs out of competition private though a punishment of up to six months for first-time offenders can be given out.

Players should be allowed privacy to get help for their problems, when required, according to the association that added that there is no guideline for identifying those who have failed tests for recreational drugs away from game time.

The Dispatches program named players with experience of the Premier League but not active in the top flight for testing positive for cocaine. It was stressed by the FA that it is working hard for eliminating all illegal substances and underlined that players testing positive for social drugs would face punishment even if their names were not disclosed.

The association remarked that any player who fails to clear a test for a performance enhancing drug is named, irrespective of whether he or she is tested in or out of competition. The FA said in a statement that the association conducts a comprehensive anti-doping program that is the largest of any sport in the United Kingdom besides prohibiting all the doping offences listed in the World Anti-Doping Agency code and applies all the sanctions laid down in the WADA code for the offenses. It added that the association that is supported by all the football stakeholders recognize the issues that are or may be caused by use of social drugs by players and even choose to go beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency code by proactively testing all samples for social drugs, irrespective of whether the tests are conducted in or out of competition.

The Football Association added that football is one of the only sports in the United Kingdom that ban use of social drugs at all times and every defaulting player is charged and sanctioned that ordinarily includes a suspension from all football activity for a period of up to six months for a first time offense. The players are also subjected to target testing for a period of two years and names of such players may not be reported to help the player undergo any necessary rehabilitation and counseling. The FA added that while Premier and Football League clubs and players are subject to strict FA whereabouts regulations, all England representative teams are subject to UEFA and FIFA regulations and further added that players are drug tested on a no-advance notice basis. In case of any breach of the FA whereabouts regulations, the clubs or players are subject to disciplinary processes.

David Howman, director general of the World Anti Doping Agency, said the Football Association should consider naming all drug-using players, no matter what they are found to have taken or when they are tested. Howman added that the FA should do well to make its doping detection program fully transparent and avoid so much secrecy.

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