Elliott defends IAAF against doping allegations

first_imgDR Herb Elliott, a Jamaican former member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Anti-doping Panel, has come out in staunch defence of the beleaguered organisation following the latest series of allegations of mishandling of doping matters. The IAAF announced yesterday that it had started disciplinary proceedings against 28 athletes who had returned adverse findings stemming from reanalysis of samples taken during the 2005 Helsinki and 2007 Osaka World Championships. The announcement came just over a week after British newspaper, The Sunday Times, and German broadcaster, ARD/WDR, published a report saying it had gained access to 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes with the results showing “the extraordinary extent of cheating by athletes at the world’s most prestigious events”. However, Elliott, who sat on the IAAF’s doping panel for 16 years, including during the period in question, suggested that many of the findings would be from African athletes and that the retests would prove nothing. “They will find nothing,” said Elliott. “They will find unusual blood types, but this doesn’t indicate that anybody was doping. They have been after the Kenyans for a while. They will try to go after the Ethiopians, too.” Elliott said that like many Caribbean people of African descent, many Africans carried sickle-cell trait, which could account for some of the unusual findings. “There are some technical details that came up, and we went to a lot of people who are haematologists. Many Africans, like Jamaicans, have sickle-cell trait. The blood pool in Africa is not as straight as the European one. You will find that there are problems. It doesn’t mean that they are doping it means you have haemoglobin that looks funny. You can say it looks funny, but to say they are doping, you have to prove that it’s doping.” Elliott added that the panel did not conduct tests themselves, but they agreed with the findings of the lab. “We agreed with it because of what we knew,” said Elliott. “The IAAF has been one of the most vigilant people in regards to doping and for dope-testing it has led the fight more than any other organisation,” he added. He also noted that Italians, a people of southern Europe, also had a blood condition which caused some of their blood tests to also show up unusual findings. The condition – thalassemia – is defined by the United States National Library of Medicine as “a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form of haemoglobin.” It added that haemoglobin carries oxygen in the blood, while the “disorder results in large numbers of red blood cells being destroyed, which leads to anaemia”. “These things were released five years ago,” Elliott argued. “I don’t know why now they go and resurrect them.” On Monday, a group of athletes, led by German Olympic discus champ, Robert Harting, criticised the IAAF and accused it of betraying and damaging the sport. “Dear IAAF, we cannot trust you any more, you damaged our sport, we have to act now,” Harting said in a video. “The IAAF was surprised and extremely saddened by statements made by representatives of the London Marathon,” the IAAF said in response. “This statement manages to be both outrageous and insulting at the same time.” Incidentally, Harting withdrew from this month’s World Championships in Beijing yesterday, citing a knee ligament injury from which he had failed to fully recover. blood conditionlast_img read more

NITAU familiarizes Special Forces Command with Egovernment Services Roadmap

first_imgNITA-U and SFC officials pose for a picture Advertisement The National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) was this afternoon hosted by the Special Forces Command (SFC) in Entebbe to sensitize the forces on the Authority’s ongoing work to make access to Government services easier by taking them online. SFC is a specialized component of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) tasked with carrying out specialized missions or operations at a moment’s notice and therefore, digitization is a key component to enhance their work.For 5 years now, NITA-U has been collaborating with SFC to enable the implementation of The Special Forces Command Information Security Program.Speaking during the presentation, NITA-U’s Executive Director James Saaka applauded the Special Forces for their continued effort to operate a powerful and versatile special operations force that is responsive to the requirements of Uganda. He further highlighted NITA-U’s plans to integrate all Government systems. – Advertisement – “We are going to undertake an initiative to integrate all government systems. This Integration will ensure simplicity, the efficiency of access to Government services in a secure environment. Using a single User ID (National Identification Number), citizens will have easy access to Government services. Additionally, this will promote transparency for Government as data sharing across agencies will be seamless and digitized” Saaka explained.The Special Forces team led by Col. Gerald Ahimbisibwe, Director, Personnel & Administration, was also briefed on the various eGovernment services that are available at www.ecitizen.go.ug.NITA-U’s James Saaka hands over one of the laptops to Col. AhimbisibweThe NITA-U team shared the eGovernment services roadmap that included the following services that will be soon be launched, namely:Electronic Government Procurement: This is a web-based system that covers the full procurement lifecycle, all procurement modalities, and keeps a record and audit trail of all procurement activities. This will ease & automate the government procurement processGovernment ePayment Gateway: This a Government e-Payment gateway that will facilitate electronic payments for Government services in a bid to make service delivery more efficient and responsive to the needs of the citizens and as well promote online business.Unified Messaging and Collaboration System: This system will provide Email, Voice, Video, Social and Instant Messaging services to government offices. This will promote collaboration among Government Departments and Local Governments.Government SMS Gateway: The Government SMS Gateway will allow government entities to push SMS notifications to citizens through its various eservices and applications. This will allow for a rich online experience.Electronic Voucher (eVoucher): To implemented in 42 Districts reaching 450,000 farmers over a period of 3 years. The eVoucher provides a mechanism for tracking the delivery of subsidized farm inputs, improved agricultural infrastructure, post-harvest handling technologies and competitive price for inputs and outputs.During the meeting, NITA-U, committed to continue offering specialized technical support to the SFC. NITA-U also handed over laptops and other solutions to SFC which will be used to enhance the operational capacity of the SFC. This is in addition to the already existing ICT training programs that’ NITA-U extends to SFC.[related-posts]‘We thank the team at NITA-U for the insightful presentation on the different initiatives they are undertaking to digitize the nation. The laptops and associated solutions are much appreciated, as a Command, we pledge to leverage this collaboration to enhance our operational efficiency’, said Col. Gerald Ahimbisibwe.This visit was among the many NITA-U is conducting to educate various Government entities on e-services. Last year, the Authority was hosted by the UPDF’s Military Police leadership to educate them on the initiatives being undertaken to take government services online. Additionally, NITA-U handed over an assortment of ICT equipment and connectivity solutions to the Military Police Commandant.last_img read more