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  1. #256

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Natasha Bertrand Verified account @NatashaBertrand
    Dec 26
    The whistleblower who exposed Russia’s systematic doping of Olympic athletes has been warned by US officials that Russian agents may be inside the United States looking for him

    As Putin seethes over Olympic ban, doping whistleblower fears for his life
    Michael Isikoff Chief Investigative Correspondent,Yahoo News•December 26, 2017

    The whistleblower who exposed Russia’s systematic doping of Olympic athletes has been warned by U.S. officials that Russian agents may be inside the United States looking for him, and that new security measures needed to be taken to ensure his safety, the lawyer for the whistleblower tells Yahoo News.

    The warning about a possible threat on the life of Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of the Moscow Anti-Doping Center — and by his own admission, one of the masterminds of a vast Russian state-run cheating scheme — came earlier this month, within a day after the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from participating in the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to the lawyer, Jim Walden. The ban, which has been vigorously protested by Moscow, was imposed after Rodchenkov, who fled to the United States two years ago, told authorities how with the assistance of Russia’s intelligence services he had helped the country’s athletes dominate the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 — and evade detection by tampering with urine samples.

    Rodchenkov is now in hiding, and participates in the U.S. government’s federal witness protection program. But Walden, a former federal prosecutor who now represents Rodchenkov, told Yahoo News he was recently informed by a U.S official that “you have to assume there are people here looking for him” and that there needed to be a “significant change” in the protocols for his security.

    “It’s an incredibly tense situation,” Walden said. “If they get the opportunity, they will take him out.”

    Walden declined to provide any more details or identify the U.S. government official that alerted him to the concerns about his client’s safety. But Walden said enhanced security measures have already been taken and he has not even been able to communicate with his client for more than a week. (He said, however, he has been assured of his safety.) A spokesman for the FBI, which tracks Russian intelligence efforts in the United States and assists the U.S. Marshals Service in the witness protection program, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

    The warning comes at a time when the Russian government of Vladimir Putin has ramped up its attacks on Rodchenkov. Prosecutors in Russia have filed criminal charges against him, accusing him of drug trafficking, and insisted he be returned by the U.S. government to Russia — a demand that is unlikely to be granted given that there is no extradition treaty between the two countries.

    Putin, who greatly values his country’s Olympic program, weighed in on Rodchenkov’s fate during his annual end of the year press conference on Dec. 14. He suggested that the whistleblower was being drugged and manipulated by U.S. intelligence agencies.

    Rodchenkov’s presence in the U.S. “is not a positive for us, it’s a negative,” Putin said. “It means he’s under the control of American special services. “What are they doing with him there?” Putin added. “Are they giving him some kind of substances so that he says what’s required?”

    Concerns about Rodchenkov’s safety extend beyond the Russian president’s remarks, according to Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, a U.S.-funded nonprofit that has worked closely with Rodchenkov since he came to the United States. He noted that one top Russian Olympic official recently suggested that Rodchenkov deserved to be executed. “Rodchenkov should be shot for lying, like Stalin would have done,” Leonid Tyagachev, who was the head of the Russian Olympic Committee from 2001 to 2010 and remains its honorary president, said in remarks on a Russian radio station.

    That threat was taken especially seriously in light of the unexplained deaths of two Russian Olympic officials last year who had worked with Rodchenkov, Tygart added. One of them, Nikita Kamayev, the former executive director of Rusada, Russia’s anti-doping agency, died in February 2016 from an apparent heart attack at the age of 52, reportedly after contacting a journalist offering to speak out about Russian doping. Just days earlier, Vyacheslav Sinev, Rusada’s former general director, also died of unknown causes.

    “There are a lot of people who don’t want the truth exposed,” said Tygart. Speaking about the potential threats on Rodchenkov’s life, he added: “This is a serious issue and has to be taken seriously.”

    Walden, Rodchenkov’s lawyer, says an additional cause for concern about his client’s welfare is the timing of the criminal charges filed by Russian prosecutors against Rodchenkov for drug trafficking, which came with a warrant for his arrest. It was, he said, the same day that Rodchenkov was taking part in a confidential interview with U.S. immigration authorities over his status in the United States. The fact that the Russians filed the arrest warrant that day, Walden said, suggested they may have been tipped off, and filed the criminal charges in order to undercut his application to remain in the U.S. by branding him a fugitive from Russian justice and demand his extradition, he said.

    “That is a coincidence too remarkable to believe,” said Walden. “It seems fairly clear they were trying to influence the immigration process.”

    Walden, in a statement he released to Yahoo News, said that Rodchenkov had disclosed “the single greatest conspiracy to cheat the Olympics” and called on the International Olympic Committee to demand that Russia stop its efforts to retaliate against him. If the Russians were to succeed in their efforts to have Rodchenov returned, he “would face death and torture at their hands.”

    Rodchenkov’s role as the chief of the Russia anti-doping program — while secretly running an operation to help Russian athletes avoid detection for injecting banned substances —received widespread attention earlier this year with the release of “Icarus,” a Netflix documentary about the inadequacy of drug-testing programs in international sports. The film showed Rodchenkov instructing the filmmaker, an amateur bicyclist named Bryan Fogel, on how to inject himself with performance-enhancing drugs to boost his performance in a bicycle race in France — and how to swap urine samples in order to avoid detection.

    Rodchenkov’s troubles began after a report in 2015 by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which found evidence of systematic doping among Russian track and field athletes. He was forced to resign, and, fearing for his safety, fled to the United States and began describing the scheme he helped run to Olympic authorities and other organizations — and to the media. Working with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian spy agency formerly headed by Putin, Rodchenkov, under the direction of Russia’s sports ministry, claims he supervised a system in which urine samples were smuggled out of the storage room through a hole in the wall, secretly unsealed and their contents swamped, allowing athletes to take banned substances to avoid detection. After the Sochi Olympics, Rodchenkov was awarded a prestigious “Order of Friendship” medal by Putin.

    Since coming to the U.S., Rodchenkov has continued to provide evidence about the Russian doping program, including turning over incriminating emails and diaries to the World Anti-Doping Agency and other international investigators. Some of the emails suggested Russian officials had given banned steroids to blind powerlifters in competitions for the disabled without the knowledge of the athletes.

    “It’s a disgrace,” Rodchenkov wrote to an official at the Russian Sports Training Center, in one of the emails that has since been made public. The coaches were “picking on the blind [who] can’t even see what people are giving them.”

    Walden said U.S. Justice Department investigators are also working with Rodchenkov, exploring possible racketeering charges against the Russian officials responsible for the country’s doping program. Some 33 Russian athletes had their medals revoked by the IOC and many of them are appealing that decision to the appellate body in Switzerland — a process for which Rodchenkov’s testimony is critical.

    That has given the Russians new incentive for silencing Rodchenkov, Walden said. “If they can get him arrested or kill him,” Walden said, and his testimony is no longer available, the ban could be reversed.

    Richard McLaren, a Canadian law professor who prepared a detailed report on Russian doping for the World Anti-Doping Agency based in large part on Rodchenkov’s evidence, said the Russian’s testimony is still critical in order to explain many of the entries in his diaries — a body of evidence about Russian doping that has not yet been fully explored.

    “The Russians would like to shut [the investigations] down permanently, and the best way for them to do that is for him not to be around,” McLaren said. “The threat is real.”
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  2. #257

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Robinson Cano hit with 80-game ban in baseball stunner
    By Post Sports Desk
    May 15, 2018 | 1:58pm

    Robbie Cano, dontcha know better.

    The former Yankees and current Mariners star is being suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s joint drug agreement. MLB said he tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic, which Cano noted isn’t a performance-enhancing drug.

    “Furosemide is used to treat various medical conditions in the United States and the Dominican Republic,” Cano said in a statement. “This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment. While I did not realize at the time that I was given a medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful.”

    Cano, a presumed future Hall of Famer, was set to miss an extended period anyway after he broke a bone in his hand Sunday, when he got struck by a pitch. The suspension begins immediately.

    Cano, a staple at second base who has played at least 150 games each season since 2007, was batting .287 with four home runs and 23 RBIs this year.

    Cano is in the fifth year of a 10-year, $240 million deal he signed after the 2013 season when he opted to leave the Yankees for Seattle.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  3. #258

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Sorry, Cano, but the medical conditions for which Lasix is used (that's furosemide) are not likely to occur in a young professional baseball player. I agree with the punishment.


  4. #259

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Swimmer Ryan Lochte suspended until July 2019 for use of IV
    Published: July 23, 2018

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Swimmer Ryan Lochte has been suspended until July 2019 by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

    The 12-time Olympic medalist has been sanctioned for getting an intravenous infusion, a method that broke anti-doping rules.

    U.S. officials say Lochte was not using a banned substance. But under anti-doping rules, athletes typically cannot receive IVs unless related to a hospitalization or through an exemption.

    Lochte posted a photo of himself getting the IV in May and that image prompted the investigation. He was entered in four events at the national championships that start Wednesday in California.

    It's his second suspension since the Rio Olympics. He was banned for 10 months after claiming he and three other U.S. swimmers were robbed at gunpoint at those 2016 Games, a tale that quickly unraveled.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  5. #260
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    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post

    Lochte posted a photo of himself getting the IV in May and that image prompted the investigation. He was entered in four events at the national championships that start Wednesday in California.
    Not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, is he...

  6. #261

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    Not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, is he...
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  7. #262

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    I totally forgot about that fake robbery story!

    Someone on Twitter poster the rule. Even thought they were basic vitamins, the rule is that you can't get an IV in a volume greater than 100 mL in a 12-hour period (without a TUE).

  8. #263
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    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    Not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, is he...
    Are we sure he’s even in the drawer?

  9. #264

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    WADA panel recommends reinstatement of Russian agency

    A key review committee changed directions suddenly this week, and is recommending Russia’s anti-doping agency be reinstated after a nearly three-year suspension resulting from the country’s scheme to circumvent rules and win Olympic medals.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency released a statement Friday saying its compliance review committee was satisfied with Russian promises to fulfill two key criteria for RUSADA’s reinstatement: That authorities provide access to data that could help corroborate positive tests uncovered during the investigation into the doping scandal, and that Russian sports entities publically accept that there was a widespread, government-directed effort to manipulate drug tests in order to win medals.

    The compliance committee’s recommendation came a day after the BBC published a WADA document that was to be distributed at next week’s executive-committee meeting, saying neither of the criteria had been satisfied and that it would not recommend reinstatement.

    That document is marked as an agenda item for next Friday’s meeting of the WADA executive committee, at which RUSADA’s future will be discussed.

    Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov told the Russian state news agency Tass that he was sure “sooner or later, the WADA compliance committee would recognize the huge amount of work which has been done in Russia to fight doping.”

    “We have always strived for cooperation and have done everything required of us, bearing in mind our legal norms. We are open to the maximum because we have nothing to hide,” Kolobkov said.

    In changing its stance Friday, the compliance committee urged the executive committee to set a clear timeline for Russia to deliver the data and urine samples that investigators say are key to piecing together cases against drug cheats.

    The committee was less specific about Russia’s acceptance of responsibility, only saying it was satisfied that a recent letter sent from the sports ministry “sufficiently acknowledged the issues identified in Russia.” WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald said the reference to the “issues” was about accepting responsibility. Fitzgerald said WADA would not publically release the letter until after next week’s meeting.

    The document obtained by the BBC said WADA would accept Russia admitting to conclusions in an IOC investigation instead of a more critical report by WADA-appointed investigator Richard McLaren.

    But, according to the document, Kolobkov did not agree to the change, instead restating to the committee that the country couldn’t admit wrongdoing until its own investigation and legal process had been resolved.

    Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, called on WADA to release any information it has received from Russia that shows it has met the criteria.

    “Frankly, it stinks to high heaven,” Tygart said. “Today, WADA has unequivocally told the world the type of organization it is: One that supports the desires of a handful of sports administrators over the rights of millions of clean athletes. It is a sad state of affairs for this one-time respected organization.”

    The recommendation goes against the pleas of a number of British athletes, who tweeted Thursday , urging WADA to stand by its roadmap for RUSADA’s reinstatement.

    At this point, the reinstatement could be seen as more symbolic than material. WADA has gradually restored many of RUSADA’s functions, including its ability to coordinate one of the world’s largest testing operations with help of officials from Britain and elsewhere.

    Reinstatement of RUSADA is, however, one of the international track federation’s criteria for allowing Russia’s track team back into compliance; last year, Russia’s track athletes competed as “authorized neutral athletes” at world championships.

    WADA has also made a rule that doesn’t allow sports federations to accept bids to host international events from countries whose anti-doping agencies aren’t compliant. FIFA staged the World Cup in Russia this summer.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  10. #265

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    21 December 2018

    Update on WADA mission to extract Moscow Laboratory data

    A five-person World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) expert team, led by independent expert Dr. José Antonio (Toni) Pascual, is returning from its mission to Russia to access data from the former Moscow Laboratory.

    The team had arrived in Moscow on 17 December and was tasked with accessing the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying data from the former Moscow Laboratory as per the conditions of WADA’s 20 September Executive Committee (ExCo) decision, which reinstated the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to the list of World Anti-Doping Code-compliant Signatories.

    The team accessed the laboratory and progress was made with the Russian authorities regarding extraction and export of the data outside Russia. However, the team was unable to complete its mission within the prescribed time due to an issue raised by the Russian authorities that the team’s equipment to be used for the data extraction was required to be certified under Russian law.

    This issue had not been raised during an initial meeting on 28 November in Moscow, after which WADA sent its expert team back to Moscow to retrieve the data.

    In keeping with the process that was outlined by the WADA ExCo in September, Dr. Pascual will now prepare his formal report on the mission and, as planned, the report will be sent to the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC). The CRC will meet on 14-15 January 2019 when RUSADA’s Code compliance status will again be considered and the CRC’s recommendation will then be considered by the ExCo.

    In parallel, in light of the progress that has been made – and the importance of obtaining this data in order to implicate or exonerate athletes – WADA’s expert team stands ready to proceed with the full data extraction should the matter be resolved by Russia expeditiously.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  11. #266

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    T.J. Quinn
    ‏Verified account

    To many in the international sports world, WADA failed when it needed to hold Russia accountable. And now they’re at another crossroads. Will Russia really let WADA access data that is expected to out Russian dopers? And will WADA really suspend RUSADA again if they don’t?
    I was watching speed skating last month and the anger in the comms voices about the ISU (?) allowing Russia to compete was palpable.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  12. #267

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Ti.....I think you were questioning whether the correct organization was the ISU in your note just above. It is. The ISU controls figure skating, speed skating (long and short-track), and synchronized skating. To me, the marriage of figure skating and speed skating into one organization never made sense, and it has caused countless problems over the years. (and mind you, this is "countless" problems for sports that have done just fine causing "countless" other problems for themselves).

    And I agree with the sentiment in T. J. Quinn's note that you quoted.


  13. #268

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Rob Harris
    ‏Verified account

    Ex-Moscow lab director Rodchenkov's lawyer: "Craig Reedie is Nero, playing his fiddle while Russia burns clean sports to the ground. The time for 1/2 measures & appeasement must finally come to an end. If RUSADA is not now banned, the last measure of WADA’s integrity will vanish"
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  14. #269

    Re: The Sports Doping Thread

    Americans Kynard, Barrett In Line For Gold After Russian High Jumpers' DQs
    Feb 1, 2019
    Lincoln Shryack

    American high jumpers Erik Kynard and Brigetta Barrett could soon see their medals upgraded to gold as a result of the Russian doping scandal.

    Kynard, who earned the silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, and Barrett, who took silver at the the 2013 World Championships, are each in line to be upgraded as a pair of Russians, Ivan Ukhov and Svetlana Shkolina, have had their winning performances at those championships invalidated.

    The Court of Arbitration of Sport announced on Friday that Ukhov and Shkolina were among 12 athletes banned for their participation in the country’s state-sponsored doping program. Ukhov won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, while Shkolina was the 2013 World champion in Moscow.

    The investigations into Ukhov, Shkolina and others were prompted by evidence in the 2016 McLaren report, which detailed the extent of Russia's widespread doping conspiracy.

    Ukhov and Shkolina's gold medals have been disqualified as have three years of their results. Ukhov's performances from July 2012 to December 2015 have been wiped out, while Shkolina's results from July 2012 to July 2015 have been removed.

    The court said that the banned athletes “participated in and/or benefitted from anabolic steroid doping programs and benefitted from specific protective methods.” As part of the ruling, Ukhov and Shkolina have been banned for four years, effectively ending both of their careers.

    BREAKING: Russian high jump champion #IvanUkhov among 12 athletes suspended by CAS based on McLaren Report evidence. He will lose London 2012 #Olympic title, which means American Erik Kynard should get gold and 3 athletes upgraded to silver

    — Nick Butler (@NickJMButler) February 1, 2019
    The two 32-year-old Russians will now have 21 days to appeal CAS’ ruling.

    The impact of Ukhov’s disqualification extends beyond just the London podium for Kynard. The American should also be in line to receive the bronze medal from the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships where he originally placed fourth, as Ukhov finished second at that championship.

    Shkolina has also been disqualified from her third-place finish at the 2012 Olympics. Spain's Ruth Beitia, who finished fourth in London, would be next in line to earn bronze as a result.

    If Kynard is upgraded to the Olympic gold medal as expected, he would become the first American since 1996 to win gold in the high jump. Barrett would become the first American woman ever to win the high jump outdoor world title.

    Neither Ukhov or Shkolina have competed outside of Russia since the IAAF implemented its Russian track and field ban in late 2015.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

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