News 3rd July 2021

Sports Integrity Briefs – 3 July 2021

Brianna McNeal, who was sanctioned with a five year ban earlier this month for tampering with the doping control process, has told the New York Times that she didn’t hear a Doping Control Officer (DCO) call as she was in bed recovering from an abortion. It is understood that flaws in the documentation submitted in order to prove that she had an abortion are the reason for the tampering charge. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics imposed a five year ban as it was the Rio 2016 100m hurdles champion’s second offence. She was sanctioned with a one year ban four years ago for ‘whereabouts’ failures. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is due to render a decision on her appeal against the five year ban.

• New South Wales’ Minister for Sport, Natalie Ward, has authorised an Australian Parliamentary inquiry into a A$1 million (€630,000) upgrade of the Sydney International Equestrian Centre, reports The Australian. The newspaper alleges that NSW Equestrian appealed to the NSW Office of Sport for funding, but failed to declare a conflict of interest regarding the selected contractor to carry out the work. Stephen Dingwall, the son of former NSW Equestrian President Peter Dingwall, is married to the daughter of Barrie Smith who runs BSM Sport Equestrian, the Australian distributor of German sports surfaces company Otto Sport. BSM Sport Equestrian was appointed to carry out the work on the Sydney International Equestrian Centre.

• Bodybuilder Mattia Angelo Orrù has been sanctioned with a 14 year ban, Italy’s national anti-doping agency (NADO Italia) announced. Orrù was sanctioned for use or attempted use of a prohibited substance; possession of a prohibited substance; and trafficking.

• The European Commission has approved just under €400,000 in funding for the Forum for Anti-Doping in Recreational Sport (FAIR+) to conduct a Europe-wide Study on the prevalence of doping in recreational sport. The project, which was launched in January 2020, involves an online survey and aims to also discover the societal and psychological reasons behind use of doping substances in recreational sport in eight countries. Recreational athletes in Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom are urged to participate.

Chris Boardman MBE has been appointed as the new Chair of Sport England, replacing lawyer Nick Bitel who has held the post since 2013. Boardman won a Gold medal in the individual pursuit at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, and has worn the Yellow Jersey on three separate occasions at the Tour de France. He was Head of Research and Development for the Great Britain Cycling Team from 2004 until 2012, including the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where the team won eight Gold medals.

• World Athletics is to relocate the 2022 World Race Walking Team Championships from Minsk, Belarus, and will announce a new host at its Council meeting on 28/29 July. ‘The Council decision comes as a result of a report prepared by the World Athletics Risk Committee, which concluded that uncertainties around diplomatic relations and international travel restrictions with regard to Belarus would impact significantly on the staging of the championships in Minsk next year’, read a statement. ‘World Athletics remains confident in the local organising committee and the Belarus Athletics Federation which have worked hard and well to deliver this event, despite the challenges created by the pandemic, and regrets that circumstances beyond their control have led to this decision’.

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