Testing Olympians HGH Giving Unfair Advantage in Sports Performance
Out-of-competition testing a must: WADA chief
Out-of-competition testing at an accredited lab is rare in India
IOA or NADA may have to take over testing and use accredited labs
New Delhi: Indian authorities will have to conduct out-of-competition testing to be compliant with the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Code.
The assertion came from the WADA President, John Fahey, during a teleconference from Montreal on Monday night in answer to a question from The Hindu.
Asked whether WADA would advise Indian authorities to do even a minimum number of out-of-competition testing at an accredited laboratory, Mr. Fahey replied: Yes, for Code compliance they must. If they havent at this point of time, ultimately to be Code compliant they will have to do out-of-competition testing.
WADA approves of testing only in accredited laboratories. While answering another question later, Mr. Fahey said that a National Anti Doping Organisation (NADO) would not be recognised if it wasnt Code compliant.
At the outset, Mr. Fahey, addressing reporters around the world following meetings of the WADA Executive and Foundation Board, his first as the WADA President, said that an interim report on Code compliance was presented at the meetings and there were several organisations that needed to do work in order to become compliant by November this year, the deadline given for all agencies.
The WADA Chief did not disclose the number of organisations including international federations that were not compliant at this moment and said that he would be in a position to answer that only in November.
Out-of-competition testing at an accredited laboratory is almost unheard of in India. The negligible number that has been done so far since the Code was drafted in 2003, actually comprises a few instances when the Sports Authority of Indias Dope Control Centre (DCC), now renamed National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), was undergoing upgrading and National federations were forced to send samples abroad.
De facto agency
Even in-competition testing, except in the case of major international competitions where such testing is mandatory, has never been done at accredited laboratories either by the IOA or the federations till the last National Games in Guwahati in February last year. SAI had been the de facto anti-doping agency in the country till now and though there has never been an official mandate, the IOA claimed last October that SAI was carrying out that role.
Any testing, in-competition or out-of-competition in India, has been done only at the NDTL, a facility that is under accreditation process, leading to a situation where transparency was completely lost and positive tests rarely followed up.
Now that the WADA President has stated that in order to become Code compliant India will have to start out-of-competition testing, either the IOA or the newly-constituted National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) will have to take over testing and use accredited laboratories, as required under WADA regulations.
The IOA will also have to do considerable amount of work to become Code compliant by November since it does not have any provision in its constitution or a separate set of rules that has a reference in its constitution to show any anti-doping regulations at least till such time the NADA is in a position to take over.
Asked whether the composition of the Indian NADO with a predominant IOA-Government representation was in order and whether WADA would have wanted a more independent structure, Mr. Fahey said that it was up to the individual countries to determine the structure of their NADOs and boards.
The WADA chief said that India was trying hard to do something positive and constructive and with the Commonwealth Games coming up in 2010 he said the process could well be speeded up.
The more advanced they are in the establishment of a NADO the better they can cope with the problems in their country and of course deal with international events like the Commonwealth Games. Thats not a comment whether thats right or wrong in that country or anywhere else in the world other than to say that we want an effective anti-doping agency, said Mr. Fahey.
He warned growth hormone (hGH) users among the cheats getting ready for the Olympic Games. Refusing to elaborate whether there was to be an improvement in hGH testing in Beijing, Mr. Fahey said if they slip through the net (of testing in their countries), then on this hGH issue they should beware.
Boca Raton trainer sentenced for role in prescription drug scheme
Boca Raton trainer sentenced for role in prescription drug scheme
By LARRY KELLER
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
WEST PALM BEACH â€” Moments before a judge was to sentence him today for participating in a black market prescription drug scheme, Boca Raton personal trainer Patrick Bronder tearfully pleaded for mercy.
"I'm sorry for what I've done," he said. "I'm not the same person today."
U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks then sentenced Bronder, 48, to seven years and three months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. That was the shortest prison term possible under federal sentencing guidelines, which called for a maximum of nine years in prison.
Bronder pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and engaged in the wholesale distribution of prescription drugs without a valid state license, and to federal income tax evasion.
Bronder and a New Jersey chiropractor bought human growth hormone, cancer medications and other prescription drugs on the black market, then sold them for more than $7 million to a wholesaler during 14 months in 2001 and 2002.
Bronder had more than $3.3 million wired into bank accounts in the Bahamas with the help of his former brother-in-law, authorities said. He paid nearly $326,000 to the government as part of his plea deal. But Middlebrooks imposed no fines on Bronder, saying he doesn't appear to have the ability to pay them.
After sentence was pronounced, Bronder's attorney asked the Middlebrooks if his client could begin serving his prison time later. The judge denied the request. Bronder then removed his coat, blew a kiss to his family and friends and was escorted out of the courtroom.
Braves' Schafer talks about his suspension over HGH
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Braves top prospect Jordan Schafer spoke for the first time Tuesday about his 50-game suspension for the use of human growth hormone (HGH).
There's a lot the center fielder has been advised not to say.
"It's not what it seems," Schafer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an exclusive interview at the team's spring training complex. "It's different, but I really can't comment. I have to just let people think (what they will) and move on, and people will see by the way I play when I come back it was nothing like that. I'm the same player I've always been. It has nothing to do with any of that."
Not only is public perception Schafer's enemy, but so is the fact that he rose from No. 27 to No. 1 in Baseball America's Braves prospect rankings after one standout minor-league season.
Schafer, 21, led the minors with 176 hits in 2007 one year after hitting .240 in Rome. In 136 games at Class A Rome and high-A Myrtle Beach, he batted .312 with 74 extra-base hits.
"I know I have that label right now and people have a lot of questions about me, but hopefully by the way they see I come back and play that it's an unfair label," Schafer said.
When asked if he used HGH, Schafer said: "I can't comment."
He also wouldn't indicate whether he was appealing the suspension or pursuing legal action.
"It might come out one day but as far as right now, it sucks, but I'm stuck in a spot where I have to say no comment and move on," Schafer said.
But if the truth works in his favor, why not reveal it? "It's a lot more complicated than people think," he said.
Schafer was projected as a possible starter for the Braves in center field in 2009. He was sent to Class AA Mississippi with the idea that if Mark Kotsay got hurt, he could be in the major-league mix this year.
But five games into the AA season came the suspension, a result from baseball's new investigative department. And losing nearly one-third of the season could rearrange that timetable.
"It's a big loss," Schafer said. "... but I'm in a position where I'm stuck with this now. I really just have to try to maintain and try to get better, try to move on."
While the Mississippi Braves are off to a 6-19 start, Schafer is playing extended spring training games with young and rehabbing players. He's living at home with his parents in nearby Haines City, Fla.
Schafer said the most difficult time during 20 games he's served so far was going to that first game after the suspension and watching from the press box.
"I feel like I let down my teammates, and I let down the organization," Schafer said. "I don't want the organization to get the wrong impression of me and say 'Well he's a bad kid now, we don't want him' or 'Trade him.' I want to play my whole career in Atlanta. The organization has been great to me. I want people to think the same of me."
During his first big league camp this spring, Schafer became known for his swagger. He drives a Hummer, has a Nike contract, and walks with his chest out. But now, looking back, some of that swagger might have been a defense mechanism.
The investigation started during spring training, including questioning of teammates.
"Truthfully I don't know how I had as good a spring training as I had with that in the back of my mind," said Schafer, who hit .316. "... At some point, it's kind of nice to get it over with, because now I can go back and just play. But at the same time I know when I go to visiting parks, I'm going to get harassed."
Schafer keeps three calendars one in the car, one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen at his parents' home. He checks off the days until May 31, when he can return.
"I know what kind of player I am," Schafer said. "I know my work ethic, how my workouts are in the offseason. I know the truth. But if I go out and I'm 2-for-20, people are going to go 'See, it was that.' I know what I'm going to go through. I'm mentally prepared for that. I just have to go out and take care of business. If I go out and play well, it'll all go away."
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