16th April 2018

Sports Integrity Briefs – 16 April 2018

USA Gymnastics has launched legal action against seven of its insurers, seeking to maximise the funds it can claim to defend itself against ‘at least nine’ lawsuits connected to the actions of Dr. Larry Nassar. The former USA Gymnastics doctor was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison earlier this year, after pleading guilty of seven counts of sexual misconduct. ‘USAG has been damaged by Defendant Insurers’ refusal to confirm coverage and satisfy their duty to defend’, reads the lawsuit (PDF below). ‘The policies obligate Defendant Insurers to defend and indemnify USAG for the Underlying Lawsuits and related claims. Defendant Insurers have breached their duties to defend by not providing a full defense, and/or by not timely and fully reimbursing defense costs.’

• An Eldoret chemist has been arrested on suspicion of dealing in performance enhancing substances, as well as injecting athletes with erythropoietin (EPO), reports KTN (video below). The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) said that following information provided by an athlete, an investigation had been launched in partnership with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. The Eldoret/Kapsabet region, at 2,100 metres above sea level, is the gateway city to high-altitude training in surrounding Kenyan villages. Over a sustained period, altitude training is thought to benefit athletes as lower oxygen levels mean that the body increases red blood cell and haemoglobin production. This aids the blood in carrying oxygen to the muscles, a benefit that remains for 10-14 days when the athlete returns to lower altitude. A number of endurance athletes have trained in this area – including Britain’s Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

• The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) has rejected appeals from four Maltese U21 players sanctioned for match-fixing offences. UEFA said that it had rejected appeals from Samir Arab (two year ban); Ryan Camenzuli (18 month ban), Llewelyn Cremona, and Luke Montebello (both one year bans) against their sanctions. It added that the appeals involving Emanuel Briffa and Kyle Cesare, both of which were banned for life, are pending and a hearing date has yet to be set.

• Quarterback Mark Sanchez has tested positive for a prohibited substance, the free agent revealed in an Instagram post (below). Sanchez blamed the positive test on contaminated supplements.

A post shared by Mark Sanchez (@mark_sanchez) on

Krisztián Pars, who won a Gold medal in the hammer throw at the London 2012 Olympics, has been banned until July 2019 after returning an adverse analytical finding (AAF). The Hungarian athletics association (MASZ) accepted his explanation that the prohibited substance was not ingested in order to enhance his performance, and was not capable of enhancing his performance, it said in a statement.

• Russian Paralympian Mikhalina Lysova has won a libel case against German newspaper Bild, after it suggested she may have doped, reports Russian state news agency Tass.

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