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  • Fight Against Doping - Thorpe, Beijing, Landis


    09/01/07

    Ian Thorpe’s name is no longer tarnished with doping allegations. (Getty)  

    Thorpe Cleared of Doping Charges

    Olympic Gold Medalist Ian Thorpe was cleared of charges that he had used performance enhancing drugs by the Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority.

    ASADA had been investigating Thorpe, who is now retired, after a May 2006 urine test indicated elevated levels of testosterone.

    In a statement, ASADA said “the evidence available does not indicate the use of performance-enhancing substances by Mr. Thorpe. He has no case to answer”.

    Thorpe, 24, won five gold medals in swimming and holds the world record in the 400 meters freestyle.

    In a statement, Thorpe said “I firmly believe drugs have no place in sport. I took my obligations to comply with the anti-doping codes very seriously and prided myself on this”.

    Beijing Drug Lab Ready

    Beijing’s anti doping lab is complete. The lab will perform more than 4500 tests and cost $9 million to build.

    Despite this, there are concerns within the Chinese Olympic Committee about the efforts to fight doping at a grassroots level.

    Jiang Zhixue, head of the COC’s Anti-Doping Commission said at a press conference Wednesday “At the grass-roots level, there certainly exist problems. We need to strengthen management and education, particularly education for students and young people”.

    There are plans to have an independent body monitor anti doping efforts in China and methods to combat the black market selling of performance enhancing drugs.

    Officials for the Beijing Olympics have vowed to have a drug free games in 2008.

    Merkel to Lead European Fight Against Doping

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken a strong stance in the Fight Against Doping.

    Speaking in Osaka on an official state trip, Merkel said that she has been asked to create a standard for European doping controls.

    “I have been asked to become involved and would be happy to do it” she said.

    Merkel said she would work with the German Interior Minster to develop a policy.

    Merkel made the announcement in front of the German athletics team competing in Osaka at the world championships.

    IAAF Doping Chief Claims Crime Involved with Doping

    Dr. Juan Manuel Alonso, chairman of the International Association of Athletic Federations Medical & Anti Doping Commission, said organized criminals are involved in supplying performance enhancing drugs to athletes.

    Speaking Monday, Alonso said “it's clear today that doping has become a business for the crime industry. People involved in the drug business are investing in doping because it's a very profitable business and the police from several countries are realizing that”.

    Asthma drug issue for Italian cyclist

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport will decide if Italian cyclist Alessandro Petacchi should be banned for using an asthma drug, which is performance enhancing at high

    Angela Merkel has been asked to create a standard for European Doping efforts. (Getty)  
    levels.

    The Italian Olympic committee wants CAS to annul the Italian cycling federation's decision to clear Petacchi of any wrongdoing, and impose a one-year suspension.

    Petacchi, who has won four Tour de France stages, registered a "non-negative" test for salbutamol after winning the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia on May 23. Petacchi has authorization from the International Cycling Union to use a certain amount of salbutamol as part of his regular medication, Ventolin.

    Petacchi has returned to racing for the Milram team and won the first leg of the Regio Tour on Wednesday. Erik Zabel a German who admitted using the blood-booster EPO in the first week of the 1996 Tour de France, is also on Milram's roster.

    German Cycling Official Resigns in Protest

    After admitted cheat Erik Zabel was named to the German Cycling team for the upcoming world championships, vice president of the German Cycling Federation Dieter Kuehnle resigned

    Dieter Kuehnle claims the German Cycling Federation doesn't recognize the problem of doping. (Getty)  
    Wednesday.

    Kuehnle claimed that he could no longer “honestly back the general direction” of the federation, claiming the “leadership of the federation has failed to recognize the seriousness” of doping.

    Zabel admitted to doping in the 1996 Tour de France.

    Landis Verdict to be Announced in September

    In a memo obtained by ESPN.com, chairman of the Floyd Landis hearing said that all parties will have their final meetings September 12 and that a decision would probably come by the end of the month.

    Patrice Brunet, a lawyer from Montreal said in the memo “the panel remains acutely mindful of the timing issues in connection with this case; however, the Panel also needs to verify an important volume of technical information, which is at the very core of this arbitration” but no other explanation for how long it has taken to reach a decision.

    Landis’ lawyer, Maurice Suh, said he was not able to comment on the memo and United States Anti Doping Agency General Counsel Travis Tygart was unavailable for comment, according to ESPN.com.

    The trial took place at Pepperdine Law School in California in May. Landis is appealing the results of a drug test at the 2006 Tour de France that showed elevated testosterone levels. He could lose his 2006 Tour title and face suspension and fines if finally convicted. An appeal of the panel decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is expected, no matter the ruling.

    Armstrong says Cycling will Ride on

    Speaking at a press conference promoting a cycling event, seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong said he thinks cycling will not stop, even after doping scandals have rocked the sport.

    “I think cycling will survive and ultimately thrive. It's been around for a while, it's not the first decade of scandals, and it's still here and still strong”.

    Armstrong had praise for the International Cycling Union’s work to clean up the sport saying “I commend cycling for what they do. I don't think any other world sport can compare to what cycling has done”.

    Armstrong has had to ward off allegations that he doped throughout his career however, tests for banned substances have always come up negative.

    WADA Code Revisions Posted

    The World Anti Doping Agency posted its September update on the World Anti-Doping Code review.

    You can read the update here.