News 17 February 2016

Sports Integrity Briefs – 17 Feb. 2016

• The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has opened an investigation into how Denis Pitner, an umpire from Croatia, had breached the terms of a 1 August 2015 suspension. ‘The ITF was made aware last Friday, 12 February 2016, that Denis Pitner, an official from Croatia, previously suspended for one year by the ITF commencing 1 August 2015 under the Officiating Code of Conduct, had apparently breached terms of his suspension’, read a statement. ‘The ITF immediately opened an investigation into these potential breaches and a notice of investigation has been issued to Mr. Pitner. Following this investigation, any additional sanction will be announced.’ Pitner was identified as one of two ‘corrupt’ umpires suspended by tennis authorities during the past year.

• The International Biathlon Union (IBU) yesterday confirmed that Olga Abramova has waived her right to have her B sample analysed. Abramova was suspended by the Ukrainian Biathlon Federation last week after testing positive for meldonium. In its statement, the IBU confirmed that it has also provisionally suspended ‘another athlete’ after they tested positive for a hormonal and metabolic modulator at the IBU Cup in January. The IBU said that the national federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had been notified.

• The Chief Executive of Athletics Kenya, Isaac Mwangi, has reportedly asked to temporarily step down from his position while an investigation is carried out into bribery claims. According to Reuters, Mwangi denies any wrongdoing after two Kenyan athletes who had failed drugs tests last year alleged that he had asked for bribes in exchange for ‘more lenient punishments’. WADA said last week that it was ‘extremely troubled’ by the media reports.

• Lawyers for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) have reportedly told the governing body’s members that it faces being disbanded if it fails to enact ‘comprehensive reform’. Reuters reported that CONCACAF ‘s lawyers had warned that it would risk losing its status as a ‘victim’ in the US Department of Justice’s investigation into corruption by FIFA officials, unless a reform package is voted through. Three past CONCACAF Presidents are among those officials indicted by the investigation.

Nikita Kamaev (pictured), a former Executive Director of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) who died after suffering a heart attack on Valentine’s Day, was writing a book about his time at RUSADA, reports The Times. In a statement, RUSADA confirmed that Kamaev’s death was due to a ‘massive heart attack’, adding that the organisation would remember him as ‘an experienced, intelligent and highly professional leader’. RUSADA was suspended in November by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) over allegations of ‘systemic’ doping. Kamaev was suspended from his role as a member of its Anti-Doping Commission (CAD) by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

• The BBC has reported that swimming’s world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) will be partnering with ‘independent national anti-doing organisations’ to implement rigorous anti-doping testing in the lead up to the Rio Olympics this year. According to United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Chief Executive Travis Tygart, who met with FINA and USA Swimming in January, ‘FINA deserves a lot of credit for embracing the voice of clean athletes’. However the BBC has also reported that ‘the anti-doping agencies of Brazil, China and Russia’, currently among the most-tested nations by FINA, have not yet agreed to the partnership.

• The Russian Biathlon Union President Alexander Kravtsov has reportedly said that biathlon in Russia is ‘free of doping’ in Russia. According to Reuters, Kravstov told Russian news agency R-Sport news that ‘Russian athletes are checked for doping and there are no problems. Our biathlon is clean’. Kravtsov’s statements come after the IBU’s Vice President, James Carrabre, reportedly told Norwegian NRK television he was ‘concerned about doping in general at the 2014 Games in Sochi’.

• The Korean Anti-Doping Agency (KADA) will take responsibility for testing in all professional sports, reports news agency Yonhap. It is understood that the governing bodies for professional baseball, football, golf, volleyball and basketball had been conducting their own anti-doping programmes until the start of this year.

• A Bill on the regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports was passed by the Senate of Virginia on 8 February, and was referred to the Committee on General Laws on 12 February. The Bill requires Daily Fantasy Sports operators to pay a registration fee of US$50,000.

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