[Cevdopagem] DAILY SPORTS NEWS – JANUARY 26 2006

Ana Teresa Guazzelli Beltrami aninhabeltrami em hotmail.com
Sexta Janeiro 27 17:49:17 BRST 2006


Testing, testing
The Toronto Star
Thu 26 Jan 2006
Page: P3
Section: Planet

Ever since last year's Major League Baseball steroid scandal was exposed at 
U.S. government hearings, people have been questioning the use of drugs in 
professional sports.

Recently, Dick Pound, the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has said 
publicly he believes that at least a third of the NHL uses steroids. As a 
response to that, the NHL now does random drug testing. With the Olympics 
just around the corner, and the world's eyes on banned substances, here's a 
look at some notable cases of athletes using power boosters.

Track Sept. 24, 1988

Ben Johnson had won the 100-metre race! The entire nation of Canada was 
overjoyed that Johnson beat American Carl Lewis. The Olympic drug test was 
to happen and nobody in Canada worried. A true Canadian would never use 
steroids ... would he?

Eventually, the results came out. Johnson's urine sample contained 90 
nanograms of stanozolol, a steroid. The country was in shock. Why would 
Johnson, the fastest man in the world, use steroids? Will anyone ever know?

Baseball 1998

Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire were in an all-out home run race. They were on 
pace to break Roger Maris's record of 61 home runs in a season. Sure enough, 
they shattered it, Sammy fell behind and McGuire never looked back as he 
ended up with a total of 70 home runs. 70! Three years later, the record was 
broken by Barry Bonds with 73 home runs.

When steroids arose and Balco, a steroids manufacturing company, fingered 
Barry Bonds, many pros like McGuire were questioned. Of course, former 
teammate Jose Canseco fingering McGuire in his book Juiced didn't help.

Eventually the players were forced to approach U.S. Congress about the 
matter. McGuire has denied the accusations as have most of the major 
leaguers.

Baseball 2001

As mentioned earlier, Bonds broke McGuire's home run record and was accused 
by Balco about steroids. Bonds later admitted to "accidentally" taking 
steroids. He said that he thought it was skin cream.

Now the NHL is under suspicion of steroid use. And what if a third of the 
NHL does use steroids? What will that do to sports? Will all sports be 
questioned about steroids? Or will the accusations turn to dust by officials 
in high offices? Will records be erased from record books? Will they just be 
there, but with an asterisk? Only time will tell.

Wesley Tin, 12, Grade 6, Thornhill

The Sports GuyWesley tinHockey is the latest sport to fall under a cloud of 
suspicion about players using steroids to make them faster and stronger

____________________________________________________________________________
Suspended prison sentence for cycling cheat Rumsas; ATTENTION -
Agence France Presse English
Thu 26 Jan 2006
Section: Sports
Dateline: BONNEVILLE, France, Jan 26
Time: 11:39 GMT (07:39 Eastern Time)

BONNEVILLE, France, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) - Lithuanian cyclist Raimondas 
Rumsas, who finished third in the 2002 Tour de France, was given a 
four-month suspended prison sentence here on Thursday for the importation of 
prohibited doping substances.

His wife Edita was given the same sentence with a 3,000 euros fine on 
identical charges, while Polish doctor Krzysztof Ficek was handed a 12-month 
suspended sentence for prescribing the drugs.

During the trial on November 23, the state prosecuter had asked that Ficek 
as the main culprit in the case be jailed for his role, with suspended 
sentences of eight months and four months respectively against Rumsas and 
his wife.

None of the three were present at Bonneville on Thursday to hear the 
sentencing.

Rumsas finished third overall on the 2002 Tour de France, on the last day of 
which his wife Edita was caught by customs police with a car boot full of 
growth hormones, EPO (erythropoietin) and other banned substances.

Rumsas, who despite suspicions proclaimed his innocence throughout the 
affair, was suspended by his Lampre team in May 2003 after failing a dope 
test for EPO during the Tour of Italy.

While his wife faced repeated interrogation by police and customs officers 
when she was held in custody for over two months here in 2002, Rumsas 
returned to his native Lithuania where the public and the authorities gave 
him the benefit of the doubt and celebrated his third place finish on the 
race.

It was for this reason that the former cyclist - he is now unemployed and 
complained that the affair has ruined his chances of doing otherwise - was 
particularly targeted by the prosecutor Vincent Le Pannerer.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Germany drops three from Turin Olympics team due to secret police ties
CP Wire
Wed 25 Jan 2006
Section: Sports in general

MUNICH, Germany (AP) _ Germany dropped three officials from its biggest ever 
Winter Olympics team on Wednesday because of ties to the former East 
Germany's secret police.

An investigation by the country's Olympic committee found nine of 162 
officials considered for next month's Turin Games had connections to the 
Stasi, the secret police whose elaborate network of informers spied on 
citizens in the former socialist country.

Six were cleared because their ties were considered minor. The three dropped 
officials were coaches, according to German media, but Olympic officials 
refused to confirm it.

``To protect the persons, we won't name any names,'' said Bernhard Schwank, 
general secretary of the German Olympic committee.

The Stasi used coaches and sports functionaries to compile dossiers on 
athletes, prevent defections, and help enforce the systematic doping that 
turned the small country into a sports powerhouse until German unification 
in 1990. Schwank warned investigations would continue.

``As long as the theme is virulent, we will keep asking the question,'' 
Schwank said.

Meanwhile, a record 162 German athletes, two more than at Salt Lake City 
four years ago, were nominated on Wednesday for the Games from Feb. 10-26.

They were headed by triple gold medallists; speed skater Claudia Pechstein, 
biathlete Ricco Gross and luger Georg Hackl.

Klaus Steinbach, president of the Olympic committee, said Germany's aim was 
to send a ``clean'' team to Turin. He reported all doping tests of the 
athletes were negative.

Steinbach predicted Germany will reach its goal of winning the medal count 
again at the Winter Olympics.

``Some world-class athletes can't be nominated because we just don't have 
enough starting places,'' Steinbach said.

Germany topped the medal count at the 1998 Nagano Games and was a close 
second four years ago at Salt Lake City.

Germany may add more athletes to its team if they meet Olympic qualifying 
standards at upcoming World Cup events.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Puerta appeals 8-year ban
The Record (Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo)
Thu 26 Jan 2006
Page: C6
Section: SPORTS
Dateline: LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
Source: Record news services

Mariano Puerta has appealed the eight-year doping ban he received last month 
from tennis' world governing body.

The appeal was made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which said 
yesterday it expects to make a ruling within four months.

Puerta's ban, the longest in tennis history, was announced Dec. 21 by the 
International Tennis Federation following the Argentine's second doping 
offence.

Puerta tested positive for the cardiac stimulant etilefrine after losing to 
Rafael Nadal in last year's French Open final. In 2003, he was banned for 
nine months for using clenbuterol, a steroid.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Play fair
The Ottawa Citizen
Thu 26 Jan 2006
Page: A14
Section: News
Page Name: Editorial
Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs are rightly on notice that 
their careers could end at the Turin Olympics.

The World Anti-Doping Agency's scientists say they have cutting-edge tests 
for "designer" steroids that have previously been difficult to detect. Which 
ones, exactly? The agency isn't telling -- doping Olympians will have to 
find out the hard way.

The body is headed by the Canadian maverick Richard Pound, who antagonized 
his fellow IOC members with his merciless criticism of corruption and 
entitlement in the upper reaches of the Olympic "movement." He continues to 
be the scourge of those officials who would pervert the Olympics' 
high-minded purpose for personal enrichment.

Kudos are due not just the tough-talking Mr. Pound but the bureaucrats in 
Italy's health ministry. Italy has some of the toughest anti-doping rules in 
the world, including criminal penalties for athletes caught cheating. The 
IOC believes disqualification is enough, and is scared to death that 
pictures could be beamed around the world of athletes being led away by 
police, but the Italians are holding firm. They are insisting that their 
anti-doping chief be included on the commission that will oversee drug 
testing at the Games that begin Feb. 10, though the IOC has balked.

Mr. Pound and the Italians should keep up the good fight. The hundreds of 
millions of people who invest sweat and souls in their national Olympic 
teams deserve to know the competition is clean and fair.

_______________________________________________________________________________
Twelve names to watch at the Turin Olympics
Agence France Presse English
Thu 26 Jan 2006
Section: Sports
Time: 01:34 GMT (21:34 Eastern Time)
ATTENTION - OVERNIGHT

TURIN, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) - Twelve names to watch at the Turin Olympics:

Bode Miller (USA) Defending Alpine World Cup champion Bode Miller of the 
United States has looked smooth descending the finest slopes of the ski 
world, but has swirled up a snowstorm of controversy with his comments on 
skiing while drunk and doping.

The 28-year-old American admitted racing while drunk, having hit the slopes 
after a night of celebrating a World Cup victory, and would not rule out 
doing so again. Under pressure from US and global ski bosses, Miller 
apologized.

Double world champion Miller also raised eyebrows in October when he 
suggested that banned blood-booster erythropoetin (EPO) should be allowed.

And in December, Miller was fined 643 euros for refusing to take a boot test 
during a World Cup event.

Miller won two silver medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics on home snow and is 
touted as one of the top US gold medal hopes at the Turin Games, but said he 
feels no burden of expectations.

Miller is only the second American to capture the overall World Cup crown, 
after Phil Mahre in 1981 and 1982.

Apolo Anton Ohno (USA) American short track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno won 
a 1500-meter Olympic gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games and 
in the process became what one Korean newspaper called "the most hated 
athlete in South Korea".

Ohno, a 23-year-old whose father Yuki is from Japan, crossed the finish line 
behind South Korea's Kim Dong-Sung, but Kim was disqualified and a Korean 
protest was rejected.

Kim's backers said Ohno, who raised his arms in protest as he tried to cut 
past Kim on the inside, fooled Australian referee James Hewish into making a 
bad call.

Ohno received e-mail death threats from South Korea after that, prompting 
the US team to skip a 2003 World Cup event in Seoul.

But Ohno competed at a World Cup event in Seoul last October and received 
cheers after winning the 1,000m and 3,000m finals.

With the bumping and grinding of short track speedskating and judges' calls 
or non-calls of disqualification so crucial, the sport itself is a 
controversy just waiting to happen and one likely will again at Turin.

Ohno could be hero, villian or victim - maybe even all three.

Janne Ahonen (FIN) Finnish ski-jumper who is currently second in the World 
Cup standings behind great Czech rival Jakub Janda aiming to improve on a 
fourth place on the nornal hill and ninth on the large hill at Salt Lake 
City in 2002.

Had the consolation of taking silver in the team event.

The 28-year-old shared the Four Hills tournament with Janda this winter 
making them the major forces in the sport.

Ahonen is a three-time world champion having claimed normal hill victory in 
1997, a team gold in 1995 and large hill glory in 2005.

The Finn came within a whisker of a gold medal at Salt Lake when Finland 
just failed to better a determined Germany quartet in the team event.

The last Finnish jumper, Ahonen carded a stylish 125.5m jump and the battle 
for first place honours went down to the wire as Martin Schmitt just did 
enough to snatch the gold with the final jump.

Jaromir Jagr (CZE) Czech Republic superstar of the NHL with the New York 
Rangers will be key to taking gold off the holders Canada and give his 
country the win he inspired in Nagano in 1998.

If he succeeds, the two-time Stanley Cup winner will add the Olympic gold to 
his world championship win last year.

In Nagano, dubbed the "tournament of the century" Jagr and his colleagues 
beat rivals Russia 1-0 and their first ever hockey gold medal.

With a precocious natural talent for ice hockey, he joined the 
Czechoslovakian first division at the age of 16 in the colours of Poldi 
Kladno, a team which once featured legendary goaltender Dominik Hasek.

A revelation at the 1990 world championships, he joined the Pittsburgh 
Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL) in the same year when still 
only 18 and played alongside his childhood idol, Mario Lemieux.

The two were instrumental in the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup wins.

Irina Slutskaya (RUS) The Russian figure skater recently secured her seventh 
European title to add to her two world championships but an Olympic gold 
still eludes her.

Two years ago, it seemed that the 26-year-old's career was over and she 
looked as if she would never compete again at the end of 2002 as she went 
from doctor to doctor trying to find out the cause of a serious illness, 
which turned out to be the heart condition vasculitis.

She competed in just one event in 2004, the world championships, where she 
placed ninth, but the next season has been her most successful ever, winning 
every event she entered including a sixth European title.

And she capped that by leading all the way to reclaim the world title she 
previously won in 2002.

"My feelings are indescribable," she said. "My hands are shaking and the 
tears are running down my cheeks."

Slutskaya was surprisingly the first woman from her country to win a major 
individual title, the European crown in 1996 ending a barren run that went 
back to the 1930s and all eyes were on her for her first Olympic campaign in 
2002 at Salt Lake.

It was not to be.

She was surprised by American teenage sensation Sarah Hughes and had to 
settle for silver. A month later, however, it all came together and she won 
her first world title in Nagano, Japan.

Janica Kostelic (CRO) Three golds at Salt Lake City, the Snow Queen missed 
out on the clean sweep by finishing second in the Super-G.

Kostelic reigned supreme at the 2002 Olympics, a blistering performance 
which gave Croatia their first Winter Games medal of any colour but also put 
her in the company of such skiing legends as Tony Sailer and Jean-Claude 
Killy, the only other Alpine skiers to win three golds at an Olympic 
competition.

She nearly added a fourth Olympic title finishing just 5 1/100ths of a 
second behind surprise super-G winner Daniela Ceccarelli of Italy.

In 2003 she easily won her second overall World Cup title (after 2001) and 
she was also top of the tree in the slalom standings.

At the 2003 world championships in St. Moritz she won her first titles in 
the biennial event winning both the slalom and combined races.

A series of five knee operations were a major setback for the 2004 season 
and it got even worse when doctors were forced to remove her thyroid meaning 
her campaign was a complete write-off.

Incredibly, she dominated the 2005 world championships winning three gold 
medals (slalom, combined and downhill - her first ever) and finished second 
in the race for the overall World Cup crown.

Main rival expected once again to be Swede Anja Paerson.

Ole Einar Bjorndalen (NOR) Four gold medals for the Norwegian biathlon king 
in his Olympic career as well as three World Cup titles.

Thanks to his performances and the inception of the combined pursuit in 2002 
the Norwegian became the first man to win three individual biathlon gold 
medals at the same Games. His feat of four individual Olympic golds is also 
a record.

After doing all the hard work in the biathlon at the Nagano Games in 1998, 
bad weather causing poor visibility forced the judges to stop the race and 
left Bjorndalen shaking his head in disbelief.

The event was held again the following day and this time not even the 
elements could stop the Norwegian from hitting all his targets and skiing to 
the gold medal with more than a minute in hand over his nearest rival.

Things got even better for him when he also collected a silver medal in a 
team that included his elder brother, Dag, in the relay race.

The showdown in Salt Lake was won comfortably by the Norwegian, but France's 
Raphael Poiree pushed him into second for the fifth time in the 2004 World 
Cup standings.

He was back on top of the pile in 2005 winning four world titles and the 
World Cup overall crown in another dominating display.

Anni Friesinger (GER) German glamour girl of speed skating picked up gold in 
the 1500m in Salt Lake City to add to her bronze in the 3000m in Nagano four 
years earlier.

She has enjoyed better luck in the world championships with three all-round 
titles in 2001, 2002 and 2005 as well as eight individual wins.

Friesinger, known for her risque remarks and fashion, was disappointed she 
did not win more medals at Salt Lake but she may be preparing for her final 
Olympic campaign and it would be a fitting finale to bow out with more 
medals to go with her 3000m bronze from Nagano in 1998 and the gold at Salt 
Lake.

Following the Nagano Games, she won her first world title by skating to the 
1500m crown in Calgary.

Born in Inzell, in Bavaria, close to the border with Austria, Friesinger 
grew up in a region famed for nurturing young speed skating talent.

The great Dutch skater Ard Schenk smashed world record after world record on 
the Inzell rink, and Friesinger was soon drawing inspiration from his 
example.

Georg Hackl (GER) German luge star, approaching his 40th birthday, won three 
consecutive golds medals in 1992, 1994 and 1998 but was pipped and had to 
settle for silver in Salt Lake City.

Also a three-time world champion in singles, six in the team event and 
collecting two overall World Cup titles.

By winning the singles luge event at the Winter Olympics in 1992, 1994 and 
1998, Hackl became the first luge competitor and only the sixth athlete ever 
to win the gold medal in the same discipline at three consecutive Games.

However his fourth straight Olympic triumph escaped him in Salt Lake City as 
his great rival Armin Zoggeler of Italy won a tense duel with Hackl settling 
for silver.

He hurtled down a track for the first time as a fearless 9-year-old, and by 
the time he was 22 had his first major win under his belt, the 1988 European 
championship.

Without the lightning-fast start that other competitors can achieve he has 
closed the gap by keeping himself at the peak of fitness and relying on his 
muscular physique to maintain an aerodynamic position on his sled at all 
times.

Anja Paerson (SWE) Four world championships and four World Cup titles, but 
an Olympic gold has eluded the Swede.

Last year, the 24-year-old blew apart the field by clinching two world 
titles in Santa Caterina in the downhill and super-G disciplines in the 
worlds.

Paerson has stunned her rivals after switching from being a specialised 
slalom skier to the perfect all rounder. Her super-G World Cup title is 
proof she is major threat to Kostelic, who had to settle for second best in 
the overall World Cup standings after missing out by three points in 2005.

Coached by her father, Anders, she remained extremely consistent in the 
slalom, producing several top ten results, and ended the 1998-99 season in 
overall third place, despite failing to win a race.

She pulled off a major breakthrough at the 2001 world championships at St 
Anton when after an excellent first run, she held on to win the slalom gold.

Originally a slalom specialist, she has adapted her game to speed events and 
it this new all-around ability that proved the difference in her 2005 World 
Cup overall title.

A formidable foe to the all-conquering Kostelic, the 2006 Games in Turin 
promises plenty of suspense.

Yevgeny Plushenko (RUS) Six-time European champion and three-time world 
champion, the Russian ice skater's first Olympics outing two years ago saw 
him settle for silver when he was outskated by compatriot and great rival 
Alexei Yagudin.

The Russian's form at the 2000 European and 2001 world championships, both 
of which he won, had suggested he was worth Olympic gold too, and ample 
proof of his credentials.

He went on to win further world titles in 2003 and 2004 but at the 2005 
edition in Moscow, he appeared beaten and bruised and was forced to retire 
with numerous ailments.

His health was so poor, he underwent operations on both groins following his 
withdrawal in 2005 and his form was a great worry with the Turin Games 
looming.

However, with new European golds in 2005 and 2006, victory in the Russian 
national cup as well as a Grand Prix win in November 2005 there is suddenly 
new hopes.

Plushenko has pushed the sport to new limits - a move in his reportoire is 
the Biellmann spin (grabbing the blade of the right skate from behind while 
spinning), and for a long time he was the only man who could perform it.

Hermann Maier (AUT) Two golds in Nagano, two world championships and an 
incredible 14 World Cup triumphs but the figures only tell half the story of 
the Austrian's amazing career.

Maier broke his leg in a motorbike accident in Austria in 2001 and with it 
went his hopes of gold at the 2002 Winter Games.

The accident nearly ended his career and he was out of action for 18 months 
before making his comeback in January, 2003 in Switzerland.

But two weeks after his return, Maier recorded his 42nd World Cup win in the 
Super-G on home snow in Kitzbuhel.

Then at the 2003 world championships, Maier stormed down the slopes of St. 
Moritz to take the silver medal in a thrilling super-G race won by 
compatriot Stephan Eberharter.

Known as 'The Herminator', his bravery on the slopes has never been in doubt 
and he won rave reviews for shrugging off an horrific crash in the downhill 
at Nagano to win his first gold medal in the Super-G.

A second Olympic title followed in the giant slalom, the perfect response by 
Maier to those critics who had written him off.

Maier had a solid campaign in 2005, finishing third overall and despite a 
sore foot from an August training accident began the 2005-06 season with a 
victory in the giant slalom World Cup opener at Solden and took another on 
home snow three weeks ahead of Turin.

So on winning form and having missed 2002 Maier will be all the more 
determined to do well on the Olympic stage at Turin in 2006.

______________________________________________________________________________

Rope-a-dope: Will a new regimen of stringent drug tests really clean up the 
Games?
Byline: KEN MacQUEEN
Maclean's
Mon 30 Jan 2006
Page: 42
Column: OLYMPICS

It would be flat-out wrong to call Beckie Scott a cynic. What Scott is -- 
besides being Canada's queen of cross-country skiing and the national 
antidote to Ben Johnson -- is a hard-nosed realist, albeit one with an easy 
laugh and an incandescent smile. Ask her what the likelihood is she'll face 
a pristine group of competitors in Turin and not the sort of lowlifes who 
tried to cheat her out of a gold in Salt Lake City four years ago, and she 
heaves a little sigh. "I think the field is cleaner," she says. "I wouldn't 
say much cleaner," she adds. "There's still a long road ahead before we see 
a really clean sport."

There was a time, it seems long ago now, when she actually believed that 
cross-country skiing was as pure as the driven snow. How could you not wish 
that of a sport you love, of a sport that consumed so much of her childhood 
winters in Vermillion, Alta., and has defined her entire adult life? That 
heroic illusion -- a field of fair-minded competitors racing through 
snow-blanketed forest and field -- began to melt away by 1997, when she 
learned of a Russian competitor caught abusing steroids. "It was a surprise 
to me at the time," she admitted years later, with a rueful smile at her own 
navete. Other doping scandals followed -- notably for her, the two Russian 
women who beat her in the five-kilometre pursuit in Utah. Their use of a 
blood booster eventually caused the International Olympic Committee to strip 
them of their Olympic medals. All it took for Scott to win her rightful gold 
as the first clean woman across the finish line were 22 draining months of 
hearings, endless appeals, and a ruling by the court of arbitration for 
sport.

Even before this, Scott was a critic of doping athletes and inadequate 
testing. Her blunt condemnation sparked a feud with perhaps the only 
Canadian in sport more outspoken on the subject than she: Richard Pound, the 
veteran Canadian member of the IOC and chairman of the Montreal-based World 
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). When Scott condemned the rampant cheating at the 
2002 Games, Pound fired back, demanding proof instead of a "rant." A war of 
words followed, but over time they also formed an uneasy alliance. "Beckie 
got a bronze medal," Pound says today. "It was the guys in suits who got her 
to gold. We were working for exactly the same thing that she was, but you 
have to have credible evidence of the doping practice." Scott is now one of 
12 international competitors on WADA's athletes' committee. She's also 
Canada's nominee for a prestigious seat on the IOC, in a vote that will be 
held in Turin. Are she and Pound pals now? "Yeah," Scott says with a 
chuckle, "he's friendly."

Pound is more optimistic than his former sparring partner about the 
prospects of a cleaner Olympics in Turin. Much has changed since Salt Lake 
City, he says. There is now a world anti-doping code in place, and a 
universally agreed-to set of sanctions and governmental responses to 
infractions. In theory, at least. Clouding this is Italy's insistence on 
applying its own anti-doping laws, which call for criminal penalties rather 
than sporting sanctions and suspensions. Here, again, Scott and Pound 
differ. She sees nothing wrong with calling cheating a crime. Pound, a 
lawyer, warns the higher burden of proof is fraught with problems and 
delays. "We have to be able to get people out between the heat and the 
semifinal if there's a positive test."

If anyone doubts the IOC's resolve, look at the 2004 Summer Olympics in 
Athens, says Pound. It was, quite literally, a peeing match between cheating 
athletes and the Olympic committee. More than 20 athletes were shown the 
gate or were later stripped of medals for doping, or for elaborately 
unpleasant schemes to substitute urine samples. "We got people there not 
just for testing positive," he says, "but for refusing tests, and for using 
some of these infernal devices that they were stuffing up their butts with 
somebody else's urine." As telling, he says, were those scared off from 
attending the Games, and those who escaped testing by finishing at the back 
of the pack.

While Pound claims at least limited victory, disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben 
Johnson says otherwise. Johnson -- who precipitated an international 
firestorm and a national crisis of conscience when he was stripped of his 
gold medal at the 1988 Games in Seoul for testing positive for an anabolic 
steroid -- made headlines in Britain earlier this year by insisting 40 per 
cent of people in sports are cheating. "It is not only track and field, 
there are soccer players, football players, basketball players, cyclists," 
he said. He offered no evidence, and Pound dismisses his claims as baseless 
rambling. "I don't consider him as a particularly reliable source about 
anything," he says, "including the day of the week."

Still, almost 18 years after Johnson's disgrace, the only certainty is that 
the cheating has grown more elaborate, as have the measures to combat it. 
Today's Olympic athletes can expect to be tested not only if they win 
medals, but also during non-Olympic events and during training. There are 
even surprise visits to athletes' homes -- a violation of privacy that would 
be considered intolerable most anywhere outside the sporting world. In 
Turin, athletes will face half again as many tests as were conducted in 
Utah. And, Pound hints, tests will be unveiled for substances that were 
previously undetectable. "Catching somebody in the act," he says, "has more 
of a deterrent effect than a quiet word going to the community that there is 
a test for this now."

The list of banned substances and practices devised by WADA for 
international events in 2006 stretches 21 pages. It includes tongue-twisting 
groups of anabolic agents, hormones, blood boosters, stimulants, narcotics, 
even such futuristic practices as "gene doping." Coupled with WADA's list is 
a 35-page set of anti-doping rules the IOC devised for Turin. Medallists, 
many top finishers, and all who break Olympic and world records can expect 
to be tested. But any athlete, at any time during the Games, is subject to 
random demands for "biological samples" of urine or blood. As techniques for 
thwarting tests grow, so has the level of mistrust. The rules for urine 
collection stretch more than a page, specifying the kind of bottle, the 
sample size and the discomfiting view of the official observer. "The athlete 
will be required to remove any clothing (at least pants to knees, shirt to 
mid-chest, and sleeves rolled up) preventing the [observer's] direct 
observation of the urine sample leaving the athlete's body." If they're 
caught, in other words, it will be with their pants down.

A funny thing happened in the years since the Salt Lake City doping scandal: 
Canadian cross-country skiers -- notably Scott and her friend and teammate 
Sara Renner -- moved relentlessly up the World Cup rankings. There are 
complex reasons for this. A long apprenticeship is required for Nordic 
skiing -- an endurance sport heavy on tactics and technique. Scott, 31, and 
Renner, 29, have clearly hit their prime. But there may be another element, 
too. Perhaps for the first time in their long careers they are racing 
against a cleaner field.

"I sure hope so," says Pound. Renner and Scott add cautious agreement. "The 
more level the playing field, the better the chances are for people who come 
to the races with equal preparation," says Scott. "I definitely think that 
has played a role in our success." Well, at least the majority are clean, 
says Renner, and the rest are beyond your control. It's your performance 
that matters, she says. "You have to know that dopers can be beaten."

In December, for the first time in more than a decade, nine days of World 
Cup cross-country events were held in Canada, near Vernon, B.C., and in 
Canmore, Alta., Renner's hometown. Excitement built over the course of the 
event, and the final races were held before roaring crowds under ice-blue 
Alberta skies. The snow was pristine, and the sounds of cowbells and the 
cheers of children echoed through the mountains.

By the end, Scott and Renner had combined to win an unprecedented seven 
medals against an international field. But it wasn't just the winning that 
seemed to energize them. It looked right. It looked pure -- the way racing 
must have seemed when they were kids themselves. The way it might yet be 
again.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Shame on the NHL; It’s new drug testing program is beyond ridiculous
Byline: Steve Buffery
The Toronto Sun
Thu 26 Jan 2006
Page: S6
Section: Sports

Is the NHL's new drug testing program flawed, as many have suggested?

It's not flawed.

Flawed suggests that the program needs tweaking, that it's fundamentally 
sound.

The NHL's drug testing program is little better than a joke.

As it stands now, the NHL will not be testing for major 
performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids, during the 
off-season.

You know how ridiculous that is?

You might as well mail the players steroids when the season ends.

Athletes intent on gaining an edge use steroids and human growth hormone 
during the off-season to become stronger and faster, in preparation for the 
rigours of the season ahead. Steroids also enable athletes to work and train 
longer and recover quicker. Steroids have long been known as training drugs, 
not the type of performance enhancers used during the season. That's where 
stimulants, such as amphetamines, come in.

Despite what many apologists in the hockey world contend, steroids are not 
used just to bulk up. Time and again, hockey "insiders" who have limited 
knowledge on the workings of performance-enhancing drugs, have suggested 
that perhaps one or two goons, fighters, in the NHL might use steroids to 
bulk up. But most athletes on steroids do not use the drugs just to bulk up. 
Quick recovery and the ability to train long, hard hours is the main reason.

And so, given that, will the NHL and the NHLPA conduct proper out-of-season 
testing in the future? Don't hold your breath.

"We will continue to evaluate the current program before deciding whether or 
not any changes are required," Ted Saskin, the NHLPA's executive director, 
said in an e-mail to the Sun this week.

Continue to evaluate?

Pick up a copy of the 1990 Dubin Report, Ted. Look what is says about the 
use of steroids during the off-season. Go to any Olympic sport database and 
research when most steroid users were nailed. In out-of-competition, 
out-of-season, tests.

Many sport insiders, away from hockey, believe that NHL hockey players also 
are getting carte blanche in terms of using their stimulants of choice.

Pseudoephedrine, the stimulant found in the cold remedy Sudafed (The NHL's 
Dirty Little Secret from a 1998 Sports Illustrated article), is no longer on 
WADA's banned list. Apparently, after years of being deemed performance 
enhancing, it no longer is. Dr. Christiane Ayotte, who analyzes the NHL's 
drug test out of her IOC-approved lab in Montreal, for one, was extremely 
disappointed when the stimulant was removed from the WADA list. What a happy 
coincidence that pseudoephedrine was removed from the WADA list just as the 
NHL finally was implementing a drug program.

"I was strongly opposed to this," Ayotte told the Sun of the decision to 
remove pseudoephedrine from the WADA list, adding that she still believes 
the drug to be potentially dangerous. Ayotte insists there are "less potent" 
stimulants still on the banned list.

So let's get this straight.

This new NHL program does not test for steroids out of season, the time of 
year when athletes intent on becoming quicker, faster and stronger, use 
them. The program also does not test for pseudoephedrine, the stimulant 
found in the hockey player's best friend, Sudafed.

Exactly what is the point of this program?

Did somebody say public relations?

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