Singapore’s top male (Mok Ying Ren) and top female (Dinah Chan) have been banned from competition after being caught together in a hotel room at the Asian Beach Games.
Although the exact details of the incident have not been revealed, it is believed that “the duo had infringed the Triathlon Association of Singapore’s (TAS) code of conduct for athletes, which forbids male and female athletes from sharing a room and requires the door to be kept open when there is a visitor of the opposite gender.” There is however no suggestion that either athlete were caught in a compromising position at the time.
Other Singapore Governing Bodies support TAS’s decision, and suggest that athletes should behave appropriately when representing Singapore, even if they are dating or married.
This incident also raises a number of interesting questions, for example: is it therefore ok to be a gay athlete as presumably the door would not have had to have been left open? Should Western sports teams also adopt this approach – after all the behaviour of the English Football WAGs (Wives & Girlfriends) was widely seen to be a distraction to the footballers at Euro 2004 Tournament.
For those of you that haven’t seen it, the issue of sex before an important game was an important dramatic conceit in ‘Wimbledon’ (clip below)
“WADA has now published online a legal opinion released in November 2008 by legal experts from the law firm Covington & Burling LLP about the compatibility of WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) [the ‘whereabouts’ system] with European data protection laws.”
You can download a .pdf of this legal opinion here: http://www.wada-ama.org/en/newsarticle.ch2?articleId=3115769
WADA and Interpol are now to formally combine their resources to tackle doping in sport. Both organisations have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding and will work together to develop best practice in doping, trafficking and evidence gathering.
“While doping is often viewed as a crime committed by an individual, the reality is that when an athlete takes illegal performance-enhancing drugs, this is just one piece in a larger network of criminality,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Noble, “Our collaboration with WADA will provide a strong basis to encourage the implementation of the relevant legislation in all INTERPOL member countries, which in turn will enable law enforcement bodies to efficiently fight the trafficking of doping substances.”
With all this talk of relevant legislation in member countries, maybe we will see a sport-specific doping statute in the UK?
Olivier Rabin (Science Director for WADA) has announced last month that it now has a new test for erythropoietin (EPO), a cancer and kidney drug that boosts red blood cell production allowing athletes to compete for longer periods of time.
Although WADA has been testing for EPO since 2000, the drug is difficult to detect as traces of the substance do not stay in urine for long. The new test will not just test for EPO, but will also detect biosimilar substances which create the same effects but are not easily detectable.
Suspicious samples that had previously been stored in freezers will now be able to be retested with the new test, although neither the IOC or WADA will confirm how many or which competition’s samples will be retested.
Brace yourselves then for a new set of drugs scandals in May / June……….
Jason Armstead (Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver) was arrested and charged over the weekend for domestic violence and resisting arrest. Allegedly he waved a gun at his former girlfriend after chasing her on US Highway 90.
No one was injured and Armstead was later released on bail.
Searching is continuing today for three missing footballers (Oakland Raiders linebacker – Marquis Cooper, free-agent NFL defensive lineman – Corey Smith, and former South Florida player – William Bleakley) after their boat capsized during poor weather on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico.
Coast Guard crews managed to rescue a fourth man (Nick Schuyler) who was found clinging to the boat. Doctors have said it is a miracle he survived as long as he did in the cold water off the Florida coast.
Officially, the Coast Guard has closed the search, and has discouraged private searches for safety reasons, however the families of the men have not given up hope just yet.
Source: http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090224.wsptputin0224/GSStory/GlobeSports/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20090224.wsptputin0224 ; http://www.ekaterinburg.com/news/spool/news_id-299069-section_id-102.html
Encouraging anti-doping noises are coming from Moscow ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi. Vladimir Putin (Prime Minister of Russia) told his country’s top sport officials to increase the penalties for any athlete caught doping, and to examine plans to establish a state doping control mechanism.
His statements came in the wake of three leading Russian biathletes (Ekaterina Yuryeva, Albina Akhatova and Dmitry Yaroshenko) testing positive for banned substances (a Russian version of EPO) ahead of the Biathlon World Championship in South Korea.
Source: http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090225.wsptriders0225/GSStory/GlobeSportsFootball/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20090225.wsptriders0225 ; http://www.montrealgazette.com/Health/Roughrider+Smith+left+Canada/1336437/story.html
Trevis Smith (disgraced former Saskatchewan Roughrider) has now been released after completing two years of his six year sentence for aggravated sexual assault. The charges were brought in 2007, after he had unprotected sex with two women when he was HIV-positive.
Smith has now been deported back to the United States.
During his January parole hearing, Smith admitted that he didn’t inform his sexual partners of his HIV status because he was embarrassed and in denial.
The original story of how the footballer fell from grace can be read here: http://www.canada.com/theprovince/story.html?id=dced6e21-bee4-4183-95d3-da83cf3a9ab2
Source: http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090226.wsptceltics0226/GSStory/GlobeSportsBasketball/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20090226.wsptceltics0226; http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3936097
Gabe Pruitt (Boston Celtics Guard) has been arrested for misdemeanour drunken driving after failing a field sobriety test when stopped by Police at 3am.
Pruitt said in a statement that: “I sincerely apologize for my actions which have caused unnecessary embarrassment to my family, my team, and the Celtics organization, I used poor judgment and I am really disappointed in myself. I made a mistake and I have learned a valuable lesson.”
Source: http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090226.wsptholmes26/GSStory/GlobeSportsFootball/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20090226.wsptholmes26 ;
Santonio Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers receiver) waived his right to a preliminary hearing on a misdemeanour marijuana charge after Police found three marijuana-filled cigars in his car, last October 23rd. Holmes was co-operative with the officers and was not arrested. No date has been set for the charge although a formal arraignment is scheduled for April 29th.