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New test for human growth hormone nabs first athlete
British rugby league player's positive a landmark in anti-doping
Almost 12 years after Willy Voet was caught with a car full of performance enhancing drugs at the Belgian border heading to the Tour de France, anti-doping authorities have successfully banned an athlete for one of the drugs found in Voet's possession: human growth hormone (HGH).
In a landmark case, UK Anti-Doping announced that rugby league player Terry Newton has accepted a two-year suspension after testing positive for hGH in an out-of-competition control carried out on 24th November 2009 . This is the first time an athlete has been sanctioned for HGH use.
HGH has long been used by athletes to help in recovery and to aide in muscle growth. It has been on the World anti-doping Agency's (WADA) list of banned substances but tests for the hormone have proven difficult because it is produced by the human body naturally, and the drug does not remain in the system for long.
"This is an exciting major breakthrough that has been the result of many years of careful research with WADA," said King's College London Drug Control Centre Director, Professor David Cowan.
"The detection of substances that are virtually identical to our natural hormones has always represented a challenge. This shows how science has closed an important gap and further enhances our ability to deter the cheating athlete to ensure the integrity of sport and promote healthy competition."
The WADA General Director, David Howman, had strong words of warning to athletes, reminding them that rules now allow for samples to be stored for up to eight years and re-analysed with new tests as they are developed.
"This first completed case involving an analytical finding for human growth hormone (hGH) is a positive step in the global fight against doping in sport," said Howman.
"It sends a strong message to those athletes who take the risk to misuse hGH that we will ultimately catch them. WADA and the anti-doping community have committed significant resources to the development of detection means for hGH.
"I suggest to cheaters to keep in mind that the World Anti-Doping Code makes it possible to open a disciplinary proceeding within eight years from the date an anti-doping rule violation occurred, and that stored samples can be re-analysed."
While the possibility of sanction may prove to be a powerful deterrent for the use of hGH, recent scientific studies have also suggested the expensive drug is worthless in increasing athletic performance.
One more option off the list for dopers, bring on the next PED.
While there's so much money in pro sports we're just painting the harbour bridge.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
They have been able to test in the blood since 2008...new test is urine.But from what I understand HGH is already a bit old hat...but if they retro active test they will catch a few.
Under-23 world cyclo-cross silver medalist Kacper Szczepaniak is reported to have attempted suicide after failing a dope test last week.
Kacperâ€™s brother, Pawel â€“ gold medalist in the January world championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, who also tested positive â€“ confirmed to the Belgian Sportwereld cycling magazine that the 19 year-old had attempted suicide.
Hans Van Kasteren, manager of the brothersâ€™ team, Telenet-Fidea, says he believes that the young cyclists were told to dope by a â€œPolish coachâ€. "They took drugs at the invitation of a Polish coach. I am currently finding out who the man is,â€ he told Sportwereld.
No details more details of the reported suicide attempt have been released though it is thought that Kacperâ€™s father stopped him in the act of trying to take his life.
It was also revealed last week that Polish cross country skier Cornelia Marek tested positive in a dope test following the Ladies 4x5 km Relay Classic at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver
Valverde has his problems....
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/cas-con ... talian-ban
Cyclist Mark French wins $200k defamation payout
THE Herald and Weekly Times has been ordered to pay almost $200,000 in damages and interest to cyclist Mark French after the Supreme Court found reports labelling him as a disgraced drug cheat were defamatory.
The former junior world cycling champion was banned from cycling for two years in 2004 and suffered a lifetime Olympic ban after the Court for Arbitration of Sport found him guilty of using and importing banned substances.
All charges were thrown out on appeal a year later.
French sued the newspaper over two articles published in the Herald Sun in August 2004 that he claims tarnished his reputation.
Justice David Beach awarded him $175,000 in damages and ordered the Herald Sun and Weekly Times to pay $18,500 in interest.
French also successfully sued radio station Triple M in 2008 for wrongly painting him as a drugs cheat and labelling him as un-Australian for naming other cyclists involved in injecting vitamins, which led to $350,000 damages and $57,000 in legal costs.
Outside court this morning French said he was glad it was over.
"It's been a long road over the last five years to vindicate my name," he said.
"Now I'm just happy it's all over, it's finished on a positive note and I can move on with my life."
French said he felt he had now cleared his name and had undone "all the wrong that was done to me".
He said while he no longer cycled, he still had a hunger for the sport. But now he filled in his days running his personal training business in Brighton.
After spending countless hours over the past five years in the Supreme Court, French said before leaving for the last time: "I'm not going to miss it".
From Cycling Central ...
Proudly "a bleeding heart with too much spare time on his hands"
so Vino was booed taking the chequered flag at L-B-L. the Cobra has also triggered dismay amongst fans with his recent win at the Giro del Trentino.
top riders Bertie Contador, Valverde and even Lance will always compete under a cloud of suspicion.
it's a sorry sight out there.
That would explain why Lance A. takes twenty minutes to have a shower before being tested
More seriously "le monde" reported last week That scientists working on EPO detection, now think it can be made undetectable if you follow a certain protocol. This follow the busting of the Ukrainian team at last year tour de l'avenir, when they all tested ok but were caught with it in their room and admitted later that they took it. So there is a way to go through the net and some people know how.
A few more get caught in the Biological Passport net.
A couple of smaller names, but also a high profile Italian - Pellezotti no less. No Giro for him now He was the winner of the Plan de Corones stage in 2008 last time it was there.
Will make the high mountains even more interesting now.
More data over at Cyclingnews.com
Top Italian rider Franco Pellizotti gets Giro ban
ROME â€” Top Italian cyclist Franco Pellizotti was banned from the Giro d'Italia on Monday because his irregular blood levels suggested he resorted to doping.
Pellizotti, the best climber at last year's Tour de France, was expected to be a strong contender in the Giro, which starts Saturday in Amsterdam.
He failed the International Cycling Union's biological passport program and was one of three riders identified by cycling's governing body Monday as having suspicious blood profiles.
Pellizotti is the biggest name to be identified in a second wave of cases based solely on evidence from the pioneering program to catch drug cheats. The program started in 2008 in a partnership between the cycling body and World Anti-Doping Agency.
"Now Franco will have to justify these irregularities in his passport and he won't be able to participate in the Giro," Italian cycling federation president Renato Di Rocco said without providing more details.
The other riders are Slovenia's Tadej Valjavec and Spain's Jesus Rosendo. Each rider's national federation must now investigate to determine if he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Pellizotti scheduled a news conference for Tuesday in Milan with his Liquigas team physician, his lawyer and a biochemistry professor.
The Gazzetta dello Sport reported earlier that the 32-year-old rider's case related to a drug test just before the 2009 Tour de France. Pellizotti finished third in the Giro, behind Denis Menchov of Russia and fellow Italian Danilo Di Luca.
In February, Di Luca was hit with a two-year ban after testing positive for the advanced blood-booster CERA following two Giro stages last year.
The 33-year-old Valjavec rides for the Ag2r-La Mondiale team and 28-year-old Rosendo races for the second-tier Andalucia-Cajasur squad.
Last June, the cycling body named five riders whose blood profiles suggested doping. They were Spaniards Igor Astarloa â€” the world road race champion in 2003 â€” Ruben Lobato and Ricardo Serrano, and Italians Pietro Caucchioli and Francesco De Bonis.
Many more cases have been brought against riders who tested positive for banned drugs after being targeted based on their biological passport readings.
More than 850 riders across cycling's disciplines have given a series of blood and urine samples allowing WADA laboratories to create individual body chemistry profiles. Researchers can then detect the effects of doping rather than test for each banned drug.
Suspicious profiles are presented to a panel of nine independent experts from around the world. They advise if evidence is strong enough to pursue a case.
i think it's great that they've picked him up, but it seems like a strange process whereby Pelizotti must now justify his abnormal blood values. presumably he can't, will protest his innocence nonetheless and will be suspended?
Today, Pellizotti hosted a press conference with Liquigas team doctor Rocco Taminelli and his lawyer Rocco Banfi.
"This is a difficult moment for me, I feel cheated and I am angry, this is the most important Giro of my career and I've been stopped so close to the start and not because of a positive test, I cannot even ask for a counter analysis. The variations from last year have stabilised, and the discrepancies the UCI are claiming are within the limits they themselves set! I would like to come out of this clean like i know i am.
The test variations referred to are from the average concentration of haemoglobin and reticulocytes between two tests conducted before and during the 2009 Tour de France.
Rocco Taminelli, liquigas's team doctor then spoke of how the evidence presented does not show any positive signs of doping. "We are firm believers in the biological passport itself, but in this case it is an incorrect application of the right tool. Even more disconcerting for the UCI is that they only published three of the nine experts opinions. Other opinions of his values ranged from 'a remarkable stability of reticulocytes', and another 'the slight deviation from the parameters could be due to dehydration'.
Pellizotti concluded the interview with these words, " I'd like to do another press conference in Amsterdam...."
And lo & behold, all three are innocent .....
I love the new (I haven't heard of it before anyway) excuse of heamorrhoids (spelling ??) - the bleeding from this caused the dodgy blood levels....
Hate to be behind that in a race ....
i don't want to be an apologist for dopers, but as a non-expert on doping, it's difficult to understand the significance of abnormal blood passports. it seems a different matter to catching someone doping, red handed. how certain are they that these readings are proof of doping?
That's where the good lawyers come in (see Valverde), and I think the reason that it takes (has taken) so long to get to the point to name people, as it is not that simple.
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