Athletics roiled by mass doping allegations after Athletics roiled by mass doping allegations after

Athletics roiled by mass doping allegations after Athletics roiled by mass doping allegations after

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  • ARAB TIMES, MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 2015

    44SPORTS

    More than 800 highly ‘suggestive or abnormal’ test results

    Athletics roiled by mass doping allegations after leak KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2, (Agencies): Leaks of confidential doping data threw global athletics into chaos on Sunday, after a newspaper and a broadcaster said a third of medals in Olympic and world championship endurance races from 2001-2012 were won by runners with suspicious blood.

    Britain’s Sunday Times and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster said they had obtained the secret data from the vaults of the global athletics governing body, the IAAF, supplied by a whistleblower “dis- gusted” by the extent of doping.

    The news organisations said they had shown the data to two experts, who conclud- ed that track and field endurance events were in the same dire state as cycling had been at the peak of a doping scandal that nearly destroyed that sport, when American Lance Armstrong was stripped of seven Tour de France victories.

    “Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values,” the Sunday Times quoted Australian doping expert Robin Parisotto, one of the two scientists that reviewed the data on behalf of the two news organisations, as saying.

    “So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have sat idly by and let this happen.”

    The IAAF did not immediately address the substance of the reports but said it was preparing a response and noted they were based on confidential information obtained without permission.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency, a sep- arate body set up in 1999 to coordinate doping investigations across global sport, said it was “very disturbed”.

    The allegations “will, once again, shake the foundations of clean athletes worldwide,” WADA’s president Craig Reedie said at a session meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    “These are wild allegations, wide alle- gations and we will check them out and have that done with the commission as quickly as possible,” Reedie said.

    The International Olympic Committee expressed confidence that WADA would get to the bottom of the allegations.

    The allegations concern techniques used to improve the ability of blood to carry oxygen to cells, which can give an advantage to competitors in events where endurance is critical, like long distance cycling, or, in the case of athletics, run- ning over medium and long distances.

    The Sunday Times and ARD said they were given access to the results of over 12,000 blood tests provided by more than 5,000 athletes between 2001 and 2012. More than 800 of the athletes had record- ed one or more “abnormal” results, defined as a result that had less than one chance in 100 of being natural.

    Between them, those athletes account- ed for 146 medals at top events, including 55 golds, according to the data. Russia accounted for by far the most suspicious results, with 415 abnormal tests, followed distantly by Ukraine, Morocco, Spain, Kenya, Turkey and others.

    “A remarkable 80 percent of Russia’s medal winners had recorded suspicious scores at some point in their careers,” the Sunday Times said. It said results were clean for a number of top athletes, includ- ing Britain’s 2012 Olympic double gold medallist Mo Farah, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and British heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.

    The allegations are likely to overshad- ow the biennial world athletics champi- onships, which begin in 20 days in Beijing.

    The IAAF said in a statement the alle- gations were largely based on analysis of its database of private and confidential medical data, “which has been obtained without consent.”

    ‘We must come out together and forget our differences’

    Kenyan marathon stars march for ‘peace’ KAINUK, Kenya, Aug 2, (AFP): John Kelai became a runner to escape a hard and dangerous life in northern Kenya, where three of his uncles were killed in armed cattle raids when he was a teenag- er.

    Now the 38-year old top marathon run- ner has returned to lead a peace march, hoping to end cattle rustling and revenge killings in Kenya’s remote and impover- ished north.

    “We must come out together and forget our differences, our tribal lines, and speak out in one voice: enough is enough,” said Kelai, the 2010 Commonwealth champion.

    Rivalries between pastoralist commu- nities competing for scarce resources, such as livestock and water, are worsened by easy access to automatic weapons and the absence of state security officers.

    Kelai is organising the 836-kms (520- mile) peace march, with Ethiopian run- ning legend Haile Gebrselassie expected to join for the final stages of the walk, due to end on Aug 6.

    Shouting “Amani! Amani!” — “peace” in Kenya’s Swahili language — Kelai and 30 of his travelling companions arrived at the small dusty town of Kainuk, on the border of Turkana and West Pokot districts, where deadly skir- mishes over livestock have taken hun- dreds of lives in recent years.

    Just two months ago, five Kenyan security officers were murdered in a revenge attack after several Pokot herds- men were killed and their animals driven away in an ambush by Turkana raiders.

    Kelai’s peace crusade hopes to draw attention to this kind of violence, and help end it.

    The athletes, who are encouraging peo- ple to join them in their walk, hope to raise over $250,000 (225,000 euros) to fund a peace-building programme, said the Aegis Trust, which has worked to rebuild communities riven by conflict, notably in Rwanda after the 1994 geno- cide.

    Aegis Trust, which is helping organise the walk, said the programme “will engage at least 10,000 young people at risk of being drawn into the ethnic vio- lence, saving lives.”

    The call for peace appeared to resonate well. Local officials have provided secu- rity and the athletes were welcomed by more than 50 elders of the Pokot and Turkana communities when they arrived in Kainuk earlier this month.

    “These merciless killings between our own Kenyan brothers have contin- ued for too long. This is just mere stu- pidity,” said 80-year-old Pokot elder, Matayo Chemala, who travelled a long distance from Kanyarwit town on the Kenya-Uganda border to witness the occasion.

    Chemala said that where he comes from, communities had negotiated peace, “and now we live happily with each other and our animals can graze on both sides of the border”.

    “Why can it not be the same among Kenyan blood brothers?” he said.

    Turkana elder Elim Okapel decided to join the athletes for their entire journey. “It is now 48 years that we have preached peace and we have not got a remedy. We have decided walking was the only solu- tion,” he said.

    A handout photo made and released by Aegis Trust on July 14, shows former New York marathon champion Tegla Loroupe (center), handing out a trophy and ‘Walk-for-Peace’ merchandise to a participant as she and double Olympic gold medallist Ezekiel Kemboi (2nd left) and former marathon record-holder Wilson Kipsang (3rd left) join other top Kenyan athletes in ‘Walk-for-Peace’ initiative in Kenya’s remote and volatile north-western regions notorious for deadly

    inter-communities cattle rustling. (AFP)

    A handout photo made and released by Aegis Trust on July 16, shows Kenyan athletes walking along the Kainuk-Kapenguria road in West-Pokot county, con- sidered a dangerous region, where several people have been killed during

    cattle-rustling raids. (AFP)

    Crew members of the Apache Star powerboat (left to right), French navigator Damien Sauvage, mechanical engineer John Pompi, Apache boats manufac- turer Marc McManus, and owner/driver of Apache Star Roger Kluh, wave upon

    arrival to Havana on Aug 1 from Key West. (AFP)

    German sets speedboat record

    A German businessman and power boating fanatic on Saturday broke a 57-year-old record for the fastest boat crossing between the United States and Cuba.

    Roger Klueh, 50, powered his “Apache Star” powerboat the 160 kilo- meters (90 miles) separating Key West and Havana, shattering a record that had stood since 1958.

    Klueh and his small crew piloted the high-tech speedboat between Key West and Havana in just under two hours. The boat was capable of top speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

    The earlier speed record, set by American Forest Johnson, was a comparatively leisurely six hours 23 minutes.

    Five months after that race, Fidel Castro and his band of rebels seized power from Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, the beginning of the downturn in US-Cuban relations and the end of boat competitions across the Florida Straits.

    Klueh has said his record attempt was made possible by the historic thaw in ties between the former Cold War foes. (AFP)

    ‘Seeking justice for Mitchell’

    Bosses let ‘rules-breaking’ sailor compete in Cup: suit SAN DIEGO, Aug 2, (AP): Top officials with Oracle Team USA knew grinder Matt Mitchell didn’t illegally alter a cata- maran used in warmup regattas and yet let a rules-breaking sailor compete in the 2013 America’s Cup, according to a law- suit filed in federal court in San Francisco.

    Mitchell, of Auckland, New Zealand, is suing Oracle Team USA for $400,000 in damages. Mitchell, one of several Oracle sailors punished in the biggest cheating scandal in the regatta’s history, was suspended for the first four races of the match, effectively ending his America’s Cup career.

    Mitchell contends OTUSA manage- ment knew grinder Simeon Tienpont broke rules yet let him sail. Tienpont operated the complicated hydrofoil sys- tem. H