Zubkov Attends IOC Disciplinary Commission Hearing

Double Sochi 2014 gold medalist Alexander Zubkov is among athletes from Russia to attend International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission hearings.

The IOC Executive Board is expected to have a meeting and Russian doping crisis is likely to dominate the agenda. Most Executive Board members are already in Lausanne to attend IOC Commission meetings.

A two-time bobsleigh gold medalist, Zubkov attended the IOC Disciplinary Commission hearing in person. Zubkov, who carried the Russian flag at the Opening Ceremony at Sochi 2014, is now President of the Russian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. The IOC Disciplinary Commission hearings were also attended either via conference call or in person by silver medal winning speed skater Olga Fatkulina along with gold and bronze medal winning skeleton athletes Aleksandr Tretyakov and Elena Nikitina. The three-person IOC Disciplinary Commission is chaired by Denis Oswald, executive board member from Switzerland.

The IOC recently retrospectively disqualified cross-country skiers Evgeniy Belov and Alexander Legkov, Olympic gold and silver medalists at Sochi 2014, from the Games.

In a statement published on the website of his German lawyer, Christof Wieschemann, Legkov claimed to have still not heard of any evidence of his involvement in any manipulation. Legkov said we are all forced to submit to a sanction procedure from which none of us can be sure that it is fair and free of other interests.

All are accused of being a part of a doping and sample tampering program in operation during their home Games. Full verdicts are expected to be published by the IOC later this month.

Posted on November 7th, 2017 by admin  | 

Italian Swimmers Questioned By Italian Anti-Doping Authorities

Italian anti-doping authorities have questioned two-time swimming world champion Filippo Magnini and sprint relay teammate Michele Santucci. The swimmers were questioned over their relationship with a nutritionist who is under investigation for alleged distribution of illegal drugs.

Magnini, who won the 100-meter freestyle at the 2005 and 2007 world championships, has already been cleared by authorities in Pesaro. However, they allegedly have proof of phone conversations, unusual meetings, and payments between the swimmer and Guido Porcellini, the nutritionist.

The two-time World Champion in the 100m freestyle event won titles in 2005 and 2007. In 2006, Magnini won the gold medal in the 100 m and in the 4×200 m freestyle races. Magnini defended his world championship gold medal in the 100 m the next year. In 2014, Magnini won three gold medals in the 100 m, 4×100 m relay and 4×200 m relay freestyle along with a bronze medal at the 2004 European Championships in Madrid.  Magnini has maintained that he never doped and has never tested positive.

“We cleared everything up,” Magnini said after more than three hours of questioning. “We can’t discuss it because there is still an investigation underway.”

Santucci teamed with Magnini when Italy bagged the bronze medal in the 4×100 relay at the 2015 worlds. The most successful international competition of Santucci to date has been the 2006 World Junior Championships where he won 2 gold medals and a bronze.

The nutritionist has previously been sentenced in two other cases, for cocaine trafficking and for domestic abuse.

Posted on October 31st, 2017 by admin  | 

Nine Countries Suspended For Doping Violations

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has suspended nine countries from international competitions.

The decision by the IWF followed the retesting results of anti-doping samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. The federation suspended all countries that had at least three doping offenses from those Olympics. The list included: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. This means weightlifters from these countries would not be eligible for participation from the world championships in California from November 28-December 5.

“I don’t see the good in this decision and I don’t understand the point,” said Russian team coach Nikolaï Kolesnikov.

Oleg Pissarevski, the men’s team coach, commented, “They don’t have the right to act like this. Why are they trying to kill the roots of weightlifting development in our country? “We have changed the executives of the federation. The officials who sinned are no longer there. We exist under the rules, we do 60 checks a week. Our guys have prepared themselves very seriously, and now they have tears in their eyes.”

“At the IWF we have made it clear that the incidence of doping in some areas is totally unacceptable and that our members have a responsibility to ensure clean sport in their countries,” said IWF president Tamas Ajan. “If they do not fulfill their responsibilities to ensure their lifters are clean then they will lose their right to participate. “But we will not turn our backs on them; we will continue to work with them, WADA and their National Anti-Doping Agencies to support their anti-doping activities and help make cultural change.”

Chinese weightlifters will also miss the 2018 Asian Games. Russia was also banned from the weightlifting event at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Posted on October 23rd, 2017 by admin  | 

Maria Sharapova Wins First Title After Doping Ban

Maria Sharapova won her first WTA title after making a return to professional tennis to win the Tianjin Open.

The Russian, a tournament wild card, overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5, 7-6 (8) despite trailing in both sets. Sharapova displayed resilience as she made a great return to the game after coming from behind in both sets to overcome her 19-year-old opponent. Sabalenka led 4-1 in the opener and 5-1 in the second set before Sharapova stunned everyone. The result will lift Sharapova up to No. 57 in the world rankings.

The tennis star last won a title at the Italian Open in May 2015 and served a doping ban for Meldonium. The former top-ranked player and owner of five major titles tested positive at the Australian Open in January 2016.

“Such a special, special tournament, and victory for me, one that I’ll remember forever,” Sharapova said. “Sometimes you never know when it will all come together but it happened to me this week in Tianjin.”

The 30-year-old glamour girl of tennis posed besides a giant tennis ball. Her fans then held up a poster blaring “Unstoppable” – that is the title of her book – as a beaming Sharapova posed with the trophy.

Next week, Maria will play her home WTA event for the first time in a decade after she accepted a wildcard into the Kremlin Cup. Sharapova was twice a quarterfinalist at the event in 2005 and 2006.

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by admin  | 

Drug Testing Policy Revamped By Iditarod

The Iditarod Trail Committee has announced revamped testing, prevention, and anti-doping policy to control the menace of performance enhancing drugs in the Last Great Race for good reason.

It was recently revealed that “several” dogs tested positive for banned substances in 2017. The team was not penalized by the race. A statement by race officials did not disclosed the name of the musher, the drug in question, or the number of dogs.

The new rules stipulate that mushers would be strictly liable for any positive tests. The race will grant an exemption from penalty only in cases where the musher is successfully able to establish evidence that the positive tests resulted from causes outside their control.

The Iditarod Trail Committee lists 12 drugs as prohibited, including anabolic steroids and painkillers. “No oral or topical drug which may suppress the signs of illness or injury may be used on a dog,” states Rule 39.

“No other drugs or other artificial means may be used to drive a dog or cause a dog to perform or attempt to perform beyond its natural ability.”

The race may subject mushers to polygraph tests if dogs yield positive tests. The race officials could disqualify or ban mushers if they tamper with their own or another team’s dog food, snacks, or supplies.

Iditarod spokesman Chas St. George said he “did not have information about the last time an Iditarod sled dog tested positive for a prohibited drug or a musher faced penalty because of a positive dog drug test.”

The Iditarod is treating the positive results from 2017 “very, very, very seriously,” according to St. George.

Posted on October 12th, 2017 by admin  | 

Jesse Taylor Denies Taking Steroids

Jesse Taylor, who won The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption in July, has been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a potential anti-doping violation.

In a statement, the UFC said it was notified that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Jesse Taylor of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on August 22, 2017. The statement further reads that Taylor has been removed from the card and the UFC is currently seeking a replacement because of the proximity to Taylor’s upcoming scheduled bout in Sydney, Australia on November 18, 2017, against Belal Muhammad.

“The truth will come to light! I am just as shocked and surprised by this tragedy. Our team is looking into this matter,” Taylor wrote on his Instagram account and denied that he failed a drug test for steroids. “Let due process do it work before judging on the matter. Those that know me know this is wrong. We will fight this and I will be back. I am sorry to Aussie friends and fans, but that fight is off due to this matter. I am very bummed, but we will get to bottom of this. I’ll be back.”

Taylor (31-15), the American professional mixed martial arts fighter currently competing in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is not new to controversies. He infamously lost his spot in the final of The Ultimate Fighter season 7 after his drunkenly destructive behavior footage at a Las Vegas hotel was shown to Dana White. The UFC cut Taylor loose after he lost to C.B. Dollaway on the TUF 7 Finale card. He then fought for different promotions and was brought back for The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption. Taylor racked up the victories and went on to submit Dhiego Lima in a dramatic final to win the $290,000 tournament grand prize.

Posted on September 18th, 2017 by admin  | 

Priorities To Fight Doping Outlined by WADA Annual Report

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has outlined its priorities towards furthering its objective of worldwide movement for a doping free sport in its recently published 2016 Annual Report.

WADA remarked it was largely successful in the attainment of its priorities for the year 2016 that included the development of new detection methods for doping, equipping Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) with tools to protect the integrity of sport and monitoring global anti-doping activities, and conducting new research.

The annual report outlines ten priorities for WADA to deter, detect, and prevent doping in sports. The first priority is to increase cooperation of WADA with National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADO), Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADO), and International Federations to improve anti-doping capacity.

The report also calls for the development and implementation of a strong WADA led Compliance Program that includes meaningful and proportionate sanctions for non-compliance by Signatories through a new International Standard. It also includes a recommendation to manage the outcome of the McLaren investigation report that highlighted the state sponsored subversion of the drug testing process.

The World Anti-Doping Agency also prioritizes research and development in scientific-based knowledge in areas including the Prohibited List and the assessment of the prevalence of doping.  A four-year plan (2018-2021) has also been developed by the WADA management to raise funds from resources for activities such as monitoring of the compliance of Anti-Doping Organizations, developing and managing Whistleblowers program, and enhancing investigations capacity.

Posted on September 11th, 2017 by admin  | 

Robbie Lawler Used Steroids, Says Rory MacDonald

Former UFC welterweight title contender Rory MacDonald has remarked he is quite sure that former UFC champion Robbie Lawler was taking banned substances when they fought at UFC 189.

The fight that was regarded as one of the best for both men saw Lawler coming out victorious. It came when the UFC was just beginning to use services of the United States Anti-Doping Agency for drug testing.

MacDonald continued his crusade against steroids and called it a “true shame” that any fighter – male or female – would use banned substances. MacDonald was referring to Jon Jones testing positive and said it is shameful when someone use steroids and then gloats during victory.

The 28-year-old Canadian signed with Bellator after he completed his UFC contract. MacDonald holds a win over the current UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, and is likely headed for a bout with Bellator titleholder Douglas Lima next.

UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler had also condemned doping in the past. “People make mistakes, but it was definitely a black eye for the sport,” Lawler referring to the failed tests of Jon Jones and Anderson Silva. “Hopefully the commission, the UFC and all the fighters can help clean up the sport.” “I’m bummed about it,” Lawler added. “It’s not good for the sport. Just hopefully people realize that not everyone is the same. Not everyone is doing those things.”

Lawler said after winning the welterweight title by beating Johny Hendricks at UFC 181 that “Ruthless” is definitely in favor of more stringent drug-testing methods. The UFC said it would be implementing a year-round, random drug-testing program for all of its nearly 600 athletes. But recently UFC president Dana White has taken a step back from that and said the UFC wouldn’t do it after a mistake made over the summer in testing fighters at an event in Macao. The UFC regulated itself for that card and was not under the watchful eye of an athletic commission.”

Posted on September 4th, 2017 by admin  | 

Ban On Sara Errani Likely To Be Extended

The anti-doping agency of Italy is likely to make an appeal to lengthen the two-month ban handed to former French Open finalist Sara Errani.

NADO Italia that operates independently from the Italian Olympic Committee has filed a “statement of appeal” with the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The anti-doping agency has not specified how long of a ban it is seeking.

The former French Open finalist blamed food contamination from the breast cancer medication of her medication after she tested positive for the banned substance Letrozole in a test taken in February. The test was conducted in an out of competition level on February 16.

In a statement following the judgment, Errani said, “I never took, in my life and during my career, any prohibited substance. From the first day I have turned pro I always followed precisely the WADA program; I never asked for any therapeutic exemption to use any banned substances, not even when needed because [I was] ill.”

“However, this substance is present in Femara, a medicine my mother has been using daily since 2012 for therapeutic purpose, further to a surgery for breast cancer, and therefore is present in the house where I am currently living.”

It was ruled by an International Tennis Federation adjudication panel that the fault of Errani was “at the lower end of the scale.” The initial ban imposed on Errani expires on October 2, precluding her from playing at the US Open.

Posted on August 31st, 2017 by admin  | 

Shalane Flanagan Awarded 2008 Olympic Silver Medal

US distance runner Shalane Flanagan has been awarded her silver medal from the 2008 Olympic Games 10,000 meters. This development occurred after a doping ban was imposed against Turkish second-place finisher Elvan Abeylegesse.

It was confirmed by the United States Olympic Committee that Flanagan had been upgraded to silver after a retest of a sample belonging to Abeylegesse from the 2007 World Championships found traces of banned drugs.

Flanagan posted a picture on Twitter of herself where she was seen kissing her newly acquired silver medal in celebration. The athlete remarked she had declined an offer from the United States Olympic Committee to have her silver awarded at a public ceremony.

“Receiving my proper medal and having the record books changed is a dream come true,” Flanagan said.

“I greatly appreciate the USOC’s efforts to host a more formal medal ceremony in my honor, but with my coach and my family, I have decided to forego that option and instead celebrate in private,” she added.

“This news, and receiving my medal, are all that I need to feel incredibly fulfilled and happy. I’m honored and proud to officially be the 2008 10,000-meter silver medalist.”

The 36-year-old Flanagan finished sixth in the women’s marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“The U.S. Olympic Committee would like to extend its congratulations to Shalane for her outstanding performance in Beijing,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a press release. “As one of our country’s most decorated distance runners, we commend her for her success on the field of play, as well as her conduct off the field of play. She epitomizes the Olympic values with her integrity, sportsmanship and unwavering dedication to competitive excellence. On behalf of athletes like Shalane, the USOC is committed to working tirelessly with the global Olympic Movement to help reform international anti-doping efforts.”

Posted on August 22nd, 2017 by admin  |