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

Another Games cycle for the Phinney name?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityHe might want to consider long sleeves. There could be a lot of Olympics talk in the Phinney household over the next few months because one of the most-storied families in American cycling has a budding star quickly making a name for himself. Taylor Phinney is proving the power of genetics. His father is Davis Phinney, the first American to win a stage of the Tour de France and an elite pro rider for two decades. His mother is Connie Carpenter-Phinney, a four-time national champion and the gold medalist in the inaugural women’s Olympic road race 23 years ago. So it can hardly be surprising that their 17-year-old son is already a junior world cycling champion – and now is a USA Cycling elite track nationals gold medalist as well. Phinney beat Brad Huff by a little less than two seconds in the 4-kilometer final Thursday night at the ADT Event Center in Carson. Not bad, considering the kid never raced on a velodrome before Thursday. CYCLING: Junior world champ has an Olympic pedigree – and talent. From staff and wire reports Davis Phinney held out his right arm to illustrate his point. “See? Talking about the Olympics still gives me goose bumps,” he said. “It’s a really nice end to a really good season,” he said. “I’m glad I was able to cap it off.” He won’t turn 18 until a month before those Olympics. Results like Thursday’s certainly suggest he’ll be ready. “My whole motivation to get into doing the pursuit is to see if maybe I can qualify for the Olympics in ’08,” Taylor Phinney said. “So we decided to come out here, and it’s exciting. My first pursuit. I like it.” It’s easy to see why Phinney is considered one of USA Cycling’s brightest hopes for the future, with eyes of trying to find a spot on the Olympic team destined for Beijing next summer. “When you walk around as an Olympian, that’s pretty good,” said Davis Phinney, a 1984 bronze medalist. “When you walk around as an Olympic gold medalist, that’s even better. “So we wanted to instill that spirit, that honor and what it’s like being an ambassador for your country in him.” With parents like his, some might think Taylor Phinney was raised on a bike. They’d be wrong. He didn’t begin riding competitively until 18 months ago, then won 23 races in his first year. He never pedaled on a velodrome until four weeks ago, and wound up stunning a field filled with seasoned pros. The pursuit is a 16-lap event on the 250-meter track, with two riders starting on opposite sides. It’s a race against the clock, not the other rider, but that didn’t stop Taylor from catching his opponent during Thursday’s heats – while he clocked the fastest final-kilometer time among qualifiers for the final. “I know what I’m capable of,” Taylor Phinney said. “I just haven’t proven it on the track to myself.” That is, until Thursday. Four elite titles and two U23 stars-and-stripes jerseys were claimed late Wednesday night at the venue. Michael Blatchford (Cypress/Cody Racing) won the elite men’s 250-meter time trial and Liz Reap (Jim Thorpe, Pa./T-Town Express) won the women’s 500-meter time trial. Stephen Hill (Winston, Ga./East Point Track Club) earned a national title with a 1:06.011 in the men’s kilometer time trial. Reseda’s Matthew Post placed 12th overall, but his time of 1:10.842 as a 22-year-old earned him the U23 national title in the event. In the only national championship category team event on Wednesday, the Slipstream foursome of Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.), Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.), Michael Friedman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Mike Creed (Colorado Springs, Colo.) clocked 4:20.220 in the men’s 4-kilometer team pursuit.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more