The latest documentary by Hajo Seppelt alleges that Natalia Zhelanova, the anti-doping assistant at Russia's Ministry of Sport, tipped off skiing and biathlon teams before sample collection. Did WADA's ADAMS system, where federations are encouraged to pre-register their planned tests, allow this to happen?
For Throwback Thursday, we're reposting a November editorial calling for WADA to investigate doping in winter sports and irregularities at the Sochi Olympics. How many of our questions have been answered in the last six months?
The New York Times reports that dozens of Russian athletes doped at the 2014 Olympics, and that the head of the anti-doping laboratory helped them cover it up. Among those named is Alexander Legkov, the gold medalist in the 50 k freestyle - a race where the Russian men swept the podium.
As Ukrainian biathlete Olga Abramova waived her "B" sample and proceeds to a doping hearing panel, the IBU has found another positive test for the same hormone, mildronate. Plus, IBU VP Jim Carrabre wants to re-analyze testing results from the Sochi Olympics. IBU President Anders Besseberg thinks it's unnecessary, while Russia asserts that the IBU has no jurisdiction.
Norway's TV2 says it has found out that Estonian cross-country skier Kristina Smigun is likely to be stripped of her 2006 Olympic gold medals; national and international federations seem happy to discuss, but the IOC will not. Meanwhile, a Norwegian Paralympian alleges Russians had separate (and comically short) doping control tests at the 2014 Olympics.
In confirming the lurid details of a state-sponsored doping scandal in Russian track and field, WADA's Dick Pound made clear, "We don’t think that Russia is the only country with a doping problem, or that athletics is the only sport with a doping problem." He also discussed how results from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi may be tainted, and said there is likely doping in cross-country skiing and biathlon.
Just 2 percent of IOC members come from a snow sports background, and one of those two - biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen - skipped the vote for who should host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Between this imbalance and the fact that IOC members are no longer allowed to visit bid cities, the financial might and huge consumer market of China won out over other factors in the decision-making process.
42 votes were needed to win hosting privileges for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beijing received 44 to win out over Almaty, Kazakhstan, and become the first city to host both summer and winter Olympics.
With a week to go until the IOC members vote on whether to award the 2022 Olympic Games to Beijing or Almaty, a leading human rights nonprofit asserts that the IOC has no tools with which to enforce their vague mandate of “human dignity”.
From no snow to human rights and lack of any meaningful long-term legacy, there are big reasons why the IOC should not choose Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
After the 2002 Salt Lake City bidding scandal, IOC members are not allowed to visit candidate cities during Olympic bidding. Instead, they have to rely on promotional materials, presentations, an Evaluation Commission report, and bid committee presentation rooms for information. Here's what that looks like.
With a strong presentation to IOC members, confident answers to nagging questions, and in-person testimony from none other than the Prime Minister, Almaty made up some of the gap to Beijing in the race for 2022 Winter Olympic hosting rights. There's still hope to award medals in the land of Vladimir Smirnov. Voting is in late July.
You might not know what Sport Accord is, but the systematic behind-the-scenes and now public dismantling of the former association of international Olympic and non-Olympic sports federations has shown IOC President Bach's ruthless side. The positive aspects of his reform agenda had better be substantial and followed to their best conclusion.
Anchorage's Matt Pauli served as the FIS Technical Delegate for Junior and U23 World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in early February. He reports back that though the local committee was hardworking and accommodating of challenges with snowpack, the venue was brand new - and not, he believes, ideal to host an Olympic Games. Luckily, the Soldatskoe venue where he worked at Asian Winter Games in 2011 is a good alternative.
A transcript (find a link inside) of the German documentary which exposed systematic doping in Russia reveals an even worse situation than imagined: how easy it is to purchase cheap EPO without a prescription; how Russian officials threaten that any athlete who goes to the press might "have an accident". Plus, we talk to Lowell Bailey, Nathan Smith, and Max Cobb about the situation.
Hajo Seppelt's documentary on ARD talks to multiple whistleblowers within Russian sports, and discovers not only widespread systematic doping - to an extent comparable to the old East Germany - but regular procedures to cover up positive tests, as well as strange financial arrangements.
Cross Country Canada High Performance Director Tom Holland reports back on a trip to South Korea, where he scoped out the site of the 2018 Olympics. "It's a more simple Games," he said. The biathlon stadium is in good shape, but some of the cross country ski trails aren't built yet.
Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle had three of her nine supplements - recommended by an experienced nutritionist - tested for banned substances. She read the ingredient labels carefully and googled their names with the phrase "doping". But the IBU rejected the idea of accidental ingestion and slapped her with the same 2-year ban that a Russian using EPO received on the same day. Is that fair?
FIS Anti-Doping Coordinator Sarah Fussek says that her federation is in the very early stages of harmonizing their Athlete Biological Passport testing protocol with other winter sports federations, with a possible end result of the IOC taking over all testing at the Olympics. This would allow FIS to do more testing at other events in Olympic years.