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  • Fight Against Doping: More Drugs Trouble for Montgomery, Relay Team Appeal, HGH Test is Coming


    Tim Montgomery faces new drugs charges: heroin distribution. (Getty)  
    Montgomery Jailed for Heroin

    Disgraced sprinter Tim Montgomery is in jail for dealing heroin. He was arrested by US Marshals the night of April 30 and charged with distributing more than 100 grams of heroin in the past year.

    Later this month Montgomery faces sentencing for a check-kiting scheme on and could receive 46 months in prison.

    Montgomery, 33, is the former partner of Marion Jones, herself in jail for perjury in connection with the check fraud case. He and Jones have a four year-old son.

    Montgomery retired from athletics in 2005 after a two-year ban for doping violations. His records and titles were stripped from the books, including a world record in the 100m.

    U.S. Relay Team Appeals to Keep Jones-Tainted Medals

    The teammates of Marion Jones are appealing the loss of their medals to the Court of Arbit
    Members of the U.S. relay team in Sydney say they should keep their medals, even though team mate Marion Jones has admitted to doping. (Getty)  
    ration for Sport.

    The IOC stripped Jones of her medals in the 4x400m and 4x100m for using banned substances and then last month stripped the medals from the rest of the team.

    Jones ran with Jearl-Miles Clark, Monique Hennagan, LaTasha Colander-Richardson and Andrea Anderson in the 4x400m squad, and with Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Passion Richardson in the 4x100m. Perry is the only one not appealing.

    They filed the paperwork to begin the court process on Friday. The women are seeking donations to pay for their appeal.

    The U.S. Olympic Committee, which has said the relay medal team medals should be returned, is not supporting the appeal.

    HGH Tests Available Ahead of Beijing

    Countries with an accredited laboratory will be the first to receive the HGH-testing kits between now and the Beijing Games, according to WADA director general David Howman.

    He has declined to specify exactly when testing will begin, to avoid informing drug cheats.

    "Growth hormone is a big issue. It’s being taken with impunity in some countries." Howman told reporters this week.

    He is in Australia with new WADA president, John Fahey, for a symposium to foster closer work with law enforcement agencies.

    Fahey, a former Australian finance minister, says the new technology is more effective than previous tests, which were only able to detect HGH within 24 hours of its use.

    "There is certain news about certain drugs that allowed athletes to believe that if they cut it out in the days or the weeks leading up to the Games they could get away with it," Fahey says.

    "They shouldn't be sure of that any more.

    "We are better now at detecting over longer periods and those that believed in certain things there, if they wish to continue to believe in that, they will do so at their peril," he said.

    Fahey says several hundred blood tests for HGH are expected at the Beijing Games and laboratories can now detect growth hormone taken "many days before".

    WADA Symposium in Sydney

    The WADA Symposium on Investigatory Powers of Anti-Doping Organizations in Sydney follows up issues from earlier meetings in Colorado Springs in 2006 and in London last year.

    The May 1-2 meeting will review drafts of information-sharing protocols with a view to finalizing them as a crucial part of the fight against drugs in sport.

    Launched two years ago, the WADA investigation strategy recognizes that doping controls do not catch all cheats and that law enforcement can help uncover potential doping violations.

    On sharing of intelligence, WADA says it is close to signing an memorandum of understanding with Interpol, the global police organization with 186 member nations.

    "We believe that we've got some commonalities, some common purpose," Fahey says.

    "Sometimes there's a belief that those performance-enhancing drugs may emanate from the same places as other illegal drugs."

    Chinese Ready for Testing

    John Fahey (L) said the means to catch more drug cheats will be in place for the Beijing Games. (ATR)  
    in the week, Fahey said he had confidence in Beijing’s anti-doping work.

    Fahey, said that with the 1000 people on the anti-doping crew for Beijing, plus a tough regimen to find performance enhancing drug users, means that cheats are more likely to get caught than ever before.

    "If cheats get there because they've got through the barrier of their own country, they're more likely to be caught in Beijing than at any other Olympics" he said on Wednesday.

    "[The Chinese] are at an advanced state of readiness, there is a world-class laboratory there, there are numerous people who have been trained on the ground," he said.

    The IOC has committed to conducting 4500 drug tests during the Games, up from 3600 in Athens four years ago.

    France Passes Doping Laws

    New laws in France make possession and trafficking of performance enhancing drugs punishable by jail time. The laws were passed this week, only a few months before the start of the 2008 Tour de France.

    Under the new laws, those found guilty of doping or trafficking could be punished by five years in jail and more than $100,000 in fines. If the offense is done as a group or against a minor, the punishment is increased to seven years and $235,000.

    Great Britain Doubles Doping Budget

    A doubling of the budget will mean 30 new employees for the U.K. anti-doping program says Minster of Sport Gary Sutcliffe. The proposed budget for the coming year is more than $18 million.

    The ramp-up is intended to strengthen the country’s fight against doping ahead of the 2012 Olympics in London. The UK will establish an independent National Anti Doping Organization next year.

    The budget still needs governmental approval and reports say that the discussions between Sutcliffe and UK Sport went well, although a ministry spokesman said "we will consider the proposal thoroughly".

    Finland Denies Doping Allegations

    Finland’s skiing brass told the government in a written report that widespread allegations of doping in the 1990s were false.

    Allegations had emerged that the Scandinavian country’s Nordic skiers were using performance enhancing drugs in that time period.

    Jari Piirainen, the Finnish Ski Association's Secretary General who was the head coach of the team at that time said he could refute the claims with a "clean heart".

    A report on Finish TV on April 22 said that the FSA had systematically covered up the use of performance enhancing drugs by its skiers.

    Sports minister Stefan Wallin said that the sources for the TV report need to come forward.

    "It would be desirable that the media sources would reveal themselves honestly so that the charges about the claimed use of doping could be verified or disproved," Wallin said.

    On Wednesday, FSA officials did say they had a substance at the 1992 Olympics that was their secret weapon: baking soda. Officials said the soda was used to block the formation of lactic acid in cross-country skiers.

    "Someone may have been misinterpreted these conversations and mistaken the discussed method as forbidden", the Ski Association wrote.

    ...FAD Briefs

    Alexandre Vinokourov hopes to return to cycling in Beijing. (Getty Images)  
    ...The New York Times reports that some athletes have genes that prevent them from failing drug tests.

    ...Tests on backup samples of the Greek weightlifters accused of using performance enhancing drugs were positive for banned substances. The positive "B" sample tests would appear to end the chances of Greece to field a full team in weightlifting for Beijing.

    ...Two of Trevor Graham’s former pupils will testify against him when he goes on trial this month. Michelle Collins and Calvin Harrison were both coached by Graham and will tell prosecutors that Graham "set up many of his athletes with drugs". Both athletes were stripped of titles they won after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Graham pleaded not guilty to lying to federal investigators when he told them he never obtained performance-enhancing drugs.

    ...Alexandre Vinokourov, the Kazakh cyclist who was kicked out of the 2007 Tour de France for a blood transfusion and then retired from cycling, is planning a return to the sport in the Beijing Olympics. Cycling Weekly reported that the 34 year old cyclist began training near his home and has plans to compete in the August 9 road race. Vinokourov was handed a one year ban from the national federation for his test results, even though UCI said a two-year ban was the correct choice.

    With reporting from Anthony Stavrinos in Sydney and Ed Hula III.

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