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  • Fight Against Doping: New Agency for Britain, Supplements Tainted


    Allegations of drug use made Barry Bonds a pariah in American sports. (Getty Images)  
    Independent British Drug Agency for 2012

    A new, comprehensive independent anti-doping agency will be established in England, well before the 2012 Olympics.

    The announcement came on Wednesday from sports minister Gary Sutcliffe who said “a new, independent anti-doping organization is a natural evolution in the fight against drugs in sport. In the same way drug cheats are constantly finding new ways to beat the system, we have to constantly look at what we do to catch them. By 2012 drug cheats will never have had it so bad.”
    The new body will be responsible not only for testing athletes but will be able to monitor drug trafficking and will serve as the main contact for law enforcement in their efforts to crack down on performance enhancing drugs.

    Additionally, the new body will be able to present cases in front of disciplinary panels. Only national sport bodies can present arguments against athletes in disciplinary hearings.
    UK Sport currently handles anti doping efforts in Britain, and can only perform drug tests. UK Sport is also responsible for developing athletes, which some have said could lead to a conflict of interest .

    Barry Bonds to Appear in U.S. Court on Doping Charges

    Baseball homerun leader Barry Bonds makes his first court appearance Friday on perjury charges over use of performance enhancing drugs.

    Barry Bonds could spend as much as 30 years in prison if he is found guilty of four counts of perjury and one charge of obstruction of justice.

    Bonds told a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative that he did not use performance enhancing drugs. Prosecutors say Bonds lied to the grand jury, the same one which heard testimony from Marion Jones.

    A trial date is expected to be set in early 2008.

    Study Finds Supplements Tainted with Steroids

    A study by a non-profit organization created by some nutritional supplement companies found that 25% of supplements could be contaminated with banned substances.

    The group, called Informed Choice, sponsored the study of nutritional supplements at a British lab and found 13 of the 52 supplements tested had substances banned by WADA.

    Gary Wadler, a member of WADA's Prohibited List and Methods Sub-Committee was quoted in USA Today as saying the results were “eye opening.” He added “clearly, the data suggests things aren't fine. Either the laws are not there or they're not being enforced.”

    U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said, “I think it's surprising, and hopefully they'll provide names so this illegal activity can be shut down.”

    Thermo Fisher to Supply Beijing Doping Center

    Thermo Fisher was announced as a major supplier to the China Doping Control Center for the Beijing Olympics.

    Thermo Fisher will provide the CDCC with mass spectrometers and the necessary technology, as well as providing training in operating the equipment.


    Brazilian football legend Romario tested positive for finasteride. The thick haired Brazilian said he was taking the drug for baldness. “I am losing my hair so I have been using this product for a long time,” he said. “It is not really doping. As far as I’m concerned, it never affected my performances. I would never have used it if I knew it was forbidden”...
    Romario said his use of performance enhancing drugs “is not really doping.” (Getty Images)  

    At the unveiling of the 2008 Vuelta de Espana, race organizers promised a clean tour. "This will be the Vuelta of hope, a chance for a new cycling," said race director Victor Cordero. He added “a clean race is fundamental. We trust [the cyclists] to make this Vuelta spectacular, to attract new supporters"...

    Olympic champion Agnes Kovacs of Hungary was cleared of doping charges by the International Swimming Federation on Wednesday. FINA informed the Hungarian Swimming Association that it would not contest a partial sample that Kovacs provided during an October meet.

    Canadian sledge hockey player Gregory Westlake has been suspended from competition for three months after violating Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport rules. Westlake was in the CCES’s pool of athletes to be tested for performance enhancing drugs. All athletes in the pool must report there whereabouts on a quarterly basis, which Westlake failed to do...

    Gold medalist Mark Lewis-Francis admitted on Wednesday that he has missed two drug tests. If he misses one more he could be banned for a year. “My two missed tests were for being lazy,” he said. “They both happened when I first moved from Birmingham to train in the south. I have two strikes and am on the final line. Now I would never miss a test. I have told UK Sport that I will be at home between 7am and 8am and if that changes, I have to report every move. It’s a hassle, but it keeps me on the track”...

    Australian cyclist Allan Davis is taking legal action against the International Cycling Union. Davis is filing a restraint of trade against UCI, claiming that after the federation implicated him in the Operacion Puerto investigation, he has been unable to secure a professional contract, despite being a clean rider...

    Luca Ascani, the Italian Time Trial Champion, could be banned from cycling for two years, if the Italian Olympic Committee has its way. CONI recommended the ban on Tuesday after it was revealed he tested positive for EPO at the Italian Cycling Championships in June...

    In an interview with Dutch daily de Telegraaf, cyclist Michael Rasmussen said he missed his drug test in the 2007 Tour de France because of relationship problems. “At the end of March, I faced serious personal problems, in the area of relationships to be exact,” he said. “I wanted to train without disturbances preparing for the Tour and not be confronted with this. That is why it was better that the world thought that I was in Mexico.” He also said the day he was kicked out of the Tour was his lowest moment. “Five hours after I stood on the stage, I was suddenly alone. My whole world had collapsed. I was lucky I could not find a rope in the room. Otherwise I would not have been here now”...

    Danielo di Luca met with anti doping prosecutors within CONI to explain an abnormal test result during this year’s Giro d’Italia, which he won. Di Luca had hormone levels normally found in children...

    The Kazakhstan Cycling Federation has suspended Alexander Vinokourov for one year, ending in July 2008, meaning he will be able to ride in Beijing for the Olympics. Vinokourov tested for a blood transfusion during the Tour de France, prompting his team to withdraw from the event. A spokesman for UCI said he was surprised by the short suspension. “We are very astonished and surprised. We're asking ourselves how the Kazakh federation could come to such a punishment," he said. The spokesman added that UCI was considering appealing the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport...

    Written by Ed Hula III.
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