News 21 April 2016

Sports Integrity Briefs – 21 April 2016

• The President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has told a press briefing that although no date has been set for the disciplinary hearing in Maria Sharapova’s doping case, the process typically takes ‘two to three months’, meaning it could be concluded by June. David Haggerty is also reported to have said that the international sports governing body hadn’t got things ‘100%’ right in the handling of the case, but that it would ‘be more transparent in communicating about cases’ in the future.

• The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has reportedly arrested four former footballers ‘in connection with an ongoing match-fixing court case’. According to Malaysian news site The Star, those arrested participated in the 2010 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President’s Cup, the region’s premier international club tournament. The suspects, named by Malaysian news agency Bernama as former players for domestic side Terengganu Football Club, were detained after giving contradictory statements in court to their statements given to the MACC two years ago.

• Kenya’s National Assembly has approved a new anti-doping Bill which it hopes will be enough to be to be found compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has given Kenya until 2 May to bring itself into compliance with the Code. WADA has already found that a previous draft Kenyan Bill, proposed in February this year after Kenya failed to meet a previous WADA deadline, did not meet the Code’s requirements. Last week WADA said that unless a ‘Bill, policy and ADAK rules are formally adopted’ by the deadline the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) will be declared non-compliant and could face sanctions including a ban from this year’s Olympic Games. The reigning London marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge told The Guardian that Kenyan athletes hoping to compete at the Olympics would now be ‘safe’ to do so.

• The former President of WADA, Dick Pound, has reportedly said that there is a ‘huge amount of self-denial’ in football with regard to its anti-doping efforts. According to The Scottish Daily Mail, Pound, speaking at the University of Stirling, described FIFA’s testing protocols as not giving a ‘serious indication’ of the number of players suspected of doping. He also highlighted the ‘double standard’ in doping violation consequences between individual sports, where there are ‘immediate consequences’, and team sports, ‘where there are not’.

• The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said that the ‘Organising Committee for the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations has disqualified Kenya from the 2017 edition for fielding five ineligible players’ in a 2016 match. In a statement the CAF said that in using overage players, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) had ‘clearly violated’ the competition regulations. The U-20 Sudan National team will take its place.

• Kristen Worley’s case arguing that sport’s rules on gender are not based on science and have infringed her human rights by medically harming her and other athletes will begin today in the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The HRTO will decide if it has jurisdiction to hear the case in preliminary hearings today and tomorrow. Worley’s case is explained in detail here, and the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) apparent attempt to deflect attention away from the scientific issues it will raise is discussed here.

Team Sky has withdrawn Sergio Henao from racing, after the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) contacted him this week about readings from his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) between August 2011 and June 2015. Team Sky said the CADF’s decision was prompted by the same readings that prompted them to withdraw Henao from racing for three months in March 2014. Henao returns to Colombia in the winter, where he ‘lives and trains at different altitude levels’, read a statement. Team Sky said it had commissioned research into the effect of returning to altitude on Henao, and had shared its research with the CADF and its parent body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). ‘After completing their research, the experts had the highest level of confidence that the readings which prompted us to undertake further testing were the athlete’s normal response to altitude’, read the statement. ‘As a result, Sergio returned to racing with Team Sky in June 2014’.

• Former head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission, Patrick Schamasch, has appeared on a list of Russian speed skating personnel in 2015/16 published by the Russian Ministry of Sport. Schamasch (Russian: патрик Шамаш) appears 34th on the list, as highlighted by Sergei Iljukov of the Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Finland. Schamasch was a candidate to take over from John Fahey as President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and is understood to have also been part of a International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Task Force set up to tackle doping in Russia in 2014. He is also a member of the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) Anti-Doping Commission. It appears that he advertised for somebody to cover his role at the Cabinet Medical du Park Olympique for five months from December 2015 to April 2016.

• The Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) has sanctioned Mauricio Garcia Sierra with a four-year ban, after he tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) at the 2015 World Inline Speed Skating Championships in Chinese Taipei. ‘Mauricio Garcia Sierra is sanctioned for four (4) years from 25 March 2016 to 24 March 2020 with a credit for time already served in provisional sanction from 31 December 2015 to 25 March 2016’, read a 14 April FIRS statement. ‘The sanction imposed on Mauricio Garcia Sierra is complete on 31 December 2019’.

• The Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC) has called for the bikes of all riders selected for doping controls to be systematically tested for signs of mechanical doping. The MPCC’s call was prompted by an investigative report by France Télévisions and Corriere della Sera, which claimed that seven riders had used motors during two recent races, following use of thermal cameras.

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