Athletes warned over updated drugs list for 2017

Maria Sharapova

Sharapova has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against her two-year ban

Athletes have been warned to prepare for an updated list of banned substances coming into force in 2017.

Last year meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited substance list and several athletes later tested positive for the drug.

Tennis player Maria Sharapova is now serving a two-year ban.

“Athletes and their entourage have ample time to familiarise themselves with the list,” Wada president Craig Reedie said.

“There can be no tolerance for people who intentionally break the rules.”

The updated list comes into force on 1 January 2017.

It covers substances and methods banned in and out of competition, and which substances are banned in different sports.

Wada said in April that scientists were unsure how long meldonium stayed in an athlete’s system.

It also suggested athletes who tested positive before 1 March could avoid bans, provided they had stopped taking it before 1 January.

Sharapova, 29, tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January 2016 and an out-of-competition test on 2 February.

The Russian said she had been taking meldonium since 2006 for health reasons and was unaware it had been added to the banned list as she knew it only by the name mildronate.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/37518866

Brailsford defends Wiggins’ use of drug

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Sir Dave Brailsford defends Sir Bradley Wiggins’ use of drug

Sir Bradley Wiggins’ use of a banned steroid before races has been defended by Sir Dave Brailsford, with the Team Sky boss saying they “do not cross the line” over performance-enhancing drugs.

Britain’s most decorated Olympian took anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone for allergies and respiratory issues.

The cyclist said he sought therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to “put himself back on a level playing field”.

TUEs allow the use of banned substances if athletes have genuine medical need.

Brailsford, 52, said Team Sky are reviewing their policies about the disclosure of a rider’s use of TUEs.

Wiggins took triamcinolone shortly before the 2012 Tour de France, which he won, as well as the previous year’s event and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

His use of the substance has come under scrutiny following revelations made by Russian computer hackers known as Fancy Bears last week.

The details were revealed after the group accessed the private medical data of some of the world’s leading athletes, from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

“It was not being used to enhance performance,” Brailsford told BBC sports editor Dan Roan.

“I have known Bradley a long time and he is an asthma sufferer and he has struggled with allergies for as long as I have known him.

“I know that at the time there was a recommendation to see a specialist, he went to see a specialist and was then given permission by the authorities.

“I trust and believe in the integrity of that process.”

Media playback is not supported on this device

Bradley Wiggins: ‘This was about putting myself back on a level playing field’

Brailsford also said:

  • He was aware at the time of what Wiggins was taking;
  • He has complete trust in Team Sky’s doctors;
  • Given the information he had at that time, he would make the same decision now;
  • He does not believe Wiggins’ or Team Sky’s reputations have been tainted.

Wiggins’ TUEs were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body the UCI.

There is no suggestion either the 36-year-old or Team Sky, his former team, have broken any rules.

Questions have been raised over why Wiggins apparently did not need the drug before 2011, or after 2013.

Dr Prentice Steffen, team doctor at Wiggins’ former team Garmin Slipstream, told BBC Newsnight he was “surprised” he was prescribed the drug before major races.

Brailsford added: “Lots of TUEs in sport, in general, are for asthma sufferers, pollen and allergic reactions – and the whole nature of that is you don’t wait until you are really suffering from asthma. In this case, I think it is a similar situation.

“If someone has a medical need – and this isn’t to enhance performances – a medical need which is recognised by a specialist, recognised by the doping authorities who grant the permission to use that for that particular need then I think there is integrity in that process and trust in that process.”

In Wiggins’ 2012 autobiography, My Time, there is no mention of asthma or allergies. Referring specifically to 2012, he states he was “only ill once or twice with minor colds” and “barely lost a day’s training from it”.

‘We’ll never pressure riders to break rules’

Team Sky have always had a strong anti-drug stance, and Brailsford said people should continue to have “100% trust” in the team’s riders being clean.

“It is the very essence of why we created this team,” he said.

“I can guarantee no-one in this team has or will be put under pressure to do anything outside of the rules.”

Brailsford said Team Sky – who were formed in 2009 – will look to be more transparent about a rider’s use of TUEs in the future, although will not force them to publicly disclose their medical condition.

“In our total existence we have had 13 TUEs,” he said. “This is not a systematic abuse of TUEs, we have raced many, many races and there’s a very small number.”

Brailsford added: “We run a tight ship.

“People can have an opinion about that but I can look at our processes and be confident that not only we refine them but keep on moving forwards, which is what we will do now and review this in light of the hack and amend our processes and be as transparent as possible.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37472728

Callum Skinner responds over leaked medical records

Scottish cyclist Callum Skinner

Edinburgh’s Callum Skinner won gold and silver medals in the Rio velodrome

Olympic gold medallist Callum Skinner has described his frustration after his stolen medical files were made public by hackers.

The 24-year-old cyclist was among 26 individuals whose records were posted on the Fancy Bears website last week.

“If I were to release the documents on my terms then it’d be very different,” Skinner told BBC Scotland.

“I’m not averse to having these things public, but I’d have preferred to have done it on my terms.”

Skinner added: “This was an invasion of my privacy and it was just put out there with people willing to interpret it as they wish.”

Double medallist in Rio

The document suggests that Skinner was granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the banned substance prednisolone in 2014 and for salbutamol in January of this year.

There is no suggestion Skinner has been involved in any wrongdoing.

Skinner won gold in the team sprint at the Rio Olympics – along with Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes – as well as taking silver in the individual sprint when he was beaten in the final by team-mate Kenny.

The document posted on the Fancy Bears website suggests that Skinner, who has suffered from asthma since childhood, was allowed a TUE for prednisolone – an anti-inflammatory drug that is regularly prescribed for asthma – for a one-off, five-day oral course of treatment in November 2014, while he was competing at the Track World Cup in London.

Desire to point out asthma history

Skinner said he could “understand where the sceptics are coming from”.

“So what I’m doing now is having an opportunity to present it in the way I want to present it and, hopefully, people will see that this medication was required and was reasonable; and there’s a history of it in my past with the National Health Service,” he insisted.

“It’s a bit disappointing because these documents are thrown out into the public without any kind of explanation or any chance for me to give my side of the story.

“Over the past weeks, I’ve been contacting the NHS to try to scramble together some of my own medical records, which ideally, if I’d chosen to release them, I would’ve released my medical records with my TUEs so that people had a better understanding of my asthma history and why this medication was necessary.

“These TUE certificates aren’t just signed off by your team doctor. It’s a bit of a collaboration by your team doctor and the governing bodies.”

Scrutiny from governing body

Skinner said the UCI, cycling’s governing body, closely examined his condition and medical requirements.

“So your team doctor recommends the medication and then it’s signed off by another two independent doctors: the UCI and UK Anti-doping – and UCI is our governing body,” he added.

“It does go through a few checks and it’s certainly not easy to get them.

“The second one I had, which was for salbutamol, they did actually request a bit of my own medical history.

“So, as far as I’m aware, my TUEs went under a good level of scrutiny.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/37486038

Athletes must not push boundaries of rules

Chris Froome celebrates winning the 2016 Tour de France

Froome won the Tour de France in 2013, 2015 and 2016

Tour de France winner Chris Froome says athletes must “take responsibility” and not “push the boundaries of the rules” following criticism of the therapeutic use exemption system.

Several athletes have come under scrutiny after stolen medical records showed they used banned substances for medical reasons under TUE rules.

Briton Froome, 31, said the system is “open to abuse” and must be addressed “urgently” by cycling’s governing body, the UCI, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

“I have never had a ‘win at all costs’ approach in this regard,” the Team Sky rider said in a statement.

“I am not looking to push the boundaries of the rules.

“I believe that this is something that athletes need to take responsibility for themselves, until more stringent protocols can be put in place.”

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Froome issued a statement on Twitter

Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins, a former team-mate at Team Sky, were among the athletes whose medical records were made public by hacking group Fancy Bears.

There is no suggestion any of the athletes named have broken anti-doping rules.

Froome, whose TUEs for prednisolone in May 2013 and April 2014 were revealed, said: “There are athletes who not only abide by the rules that are in place, but also those of fair play.

“I take my position in the sport very seriously and I know that I have to not only abide by the rules but also go above and beyond that to set a good example both morally and ethically.”

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Bradley Wiggins: ‘This was about putting myself back on a level playing field’

Wiggins, Britain’s most decorated Olympian and the first British winner of the Tour de France in 2012, has been criticised for the timing of his TUEs, shortly before major races in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

He said he took the anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone for allergies and respiratory issues, telling the BBC on Sunday that he was not trying to gain an “unfair advantage” from being allowed to use an otherwise banned steroid.

Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford on Monday said the team did not “do not cross the line” over performance-enhancing drugs and that he had complete trust in their doctors.

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Sir Dave Brailsford defends Sir Bradley Wiggins’ use of drug

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37482568

Team Sky boss defends Wiggins’ use of drug

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Team Sky have not crossed a line – Sir Dave Brailsford

Sir Bradley Wiggins’ use of a banned steroid before races has been defended by Sir Dave Brailsford, with the Team Sky boss saying they “do not cross the line” over performance-enhancing drugs.

Britain’s most decorated Olympian took anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone for allergies and respiratory issues.

The cyclist said he sought therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to “put himself back on a level playing field”.

TUEs allow the use of banned substances if athletes have genuine medical need.

Brailsford, 52, said Team Sky are reviewing their policies about the disclosure of a rider’s use of TUEs.

Wiggins took triamcinolone shortly before the 2012 Tour de France, which he won, as well as the previous year’s event and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

His use of the substance has come under scrutiny following revelations made by Russian computer hackers known as Fancy Bears last week.

The details were revealed after the group accessed the private medical data of some of the world’s leading athletes, from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

“It was not being used to enhance performance,” Brailsford told BBC sports editor Dan Roan.

“I have known Bradley a long time and he is an asthma sufferer and he has struggled with allergies for as long as I have known him.

“I know that at the time there was a recommendation to see a specialist, he went to see a specialist and was then given permission by the authorities.

“I trust and believe in the integrity of that process.”

Media playback is not supported on this device

Bradley Wiggins: ‘This was about putting myself back on a level playing field’

Brailsford also said:

  • He was aware at the time of what Wiggins was taking;
  • He has complete trust in Team Sky’s doctors;
  • Given the information he had at that time, he would make the same decision now;
  • He does not believe Wiggins’ or Team Sky’s reputations have been tainted.

Wiggins’ TUEs were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body the UCI.

There is no suggestion either the 36-year-old or Team Sky, his former team, have broken any rules.

Questions have been raised over why Wiggins apparently did not need the drug before 2011, or after 2013.

Dr Prentice Steffen, team doctor at Wiggins’ former team Garmin Slipstream, told BBC Newsnight he was “surprised” he was prescribed the drug before major races.

Brailsford added: “Lots of TUEs in sport, in general, are for asthma sufferers, pollen and allergic reactions – and the whole nature of that is you don’t wait until you are really suffering from asthma. In this case, I think it is a similar situation.

“If someone has a medical need – and this isn’t to enhance performances – a medical need which is recognised by a specialist, recognised by the doping authorities who grant the permission to use that for that particular need then I think there is integrity in that process and trust in that process.”

In Wiggins’ 2012 autobiography, My Time, there is no mention of asthma or allergies. Referring specifically to 2012, he states he was “only ill once or twice with minor colds” and “barely lost a day’s training from it”.

‘We’ll never pressure riders to break rules’

Team Sky have always had a strong anti-drug stance, and Brailsford said people should continue to have “100% trust” in the team’s riders being clean.

“It is the very essence of why we created this team,” he said.

“I can guarantee no-one in this team has or will be put under pressure to do anything outside of the rules.”

Brailsford said Team Sky – who were formed in 2009 – will look to be more transparent about a rider’s use of TUEs in the future, although will not force them to publicly disclose their medical condition.

“In our total existence we have had 13 TUEs,” he said. “This is not a systematic abuse of TUEs, we have raced many, many races and there’s a very small number.”

Brailsford added: “We run a tight ship.

“People can have an opinion about that but I can look at our processes and be confident that not only we refine them but keep on moving forwards, which is what we will do now and review this in light of the hack and amend our processes and be as transparent as possible.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37472728

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