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Russian authorities systematically covered up doping abuse at 2014 Olympics

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2014 Olympics

#BREAKING WADA calls for #Russia ban from all international competition, including

In a damning indictment, the report, led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren said that the Sports Ministry actively participated in swapping samples at its laboratories in Moscow and Sochi, while it says that the Federal Security Service (FSB) also provided assistance.

However, the report was unable to determine how the FSB was able to open the sample bottles, for a pre-selected group of Russian athletes and then reseal them.

The McLaren report supported the allegations made by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory to the New York Times, saying that he was a “credible and truthful person.”

The investigation centered on accusations made in the New York Times by whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the under-fire Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.

He alleged that up to 15 Russian medal winners at Sochi 2014 were involved in an operation in which doped samples were switched for clean ones.

Rodchenkov, who is the subject of a criminal investigation in Russia, alleged that the state-sponsored scheme involved athletes ingesting a “three-drug cocktail” of banned steroids that was mixed with alcohol.

He also claimed that there was a covert system to replace the urine of medal winners that had doped with clean samples.

“We have already heard this and nothing new has been said. I thought that they would say something interesting. These are all unconfirmed rumors,” Dmitry Svishchev, a member of the state committee for physical culture, sport and youth politics, told R-Sport.

Dmitry Svishev, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs. © Grigoriy Sisoev

Dmitry Svishev, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs. © Grigoriy Sisoev / Sputnik

He was also scathing in his attack on Rodchenkov, saying that the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory had made up all of these allegations.

“Rodchenkov thought all of this up, organized it, and fed all of our sportsmen these cocktails. This person should not be trusted! He says one thing in Russia and another thing abroad. There are a lot of allegations but they have not one of these have been backed up by facts,” he added.

The President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach has called the findings a “shocking and unprecedented attack” on sport.

 

He also added that the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest possible measures against any individual or organization that has been implicated in the report.

Calls have been growing for a complete ban on Russian athletes at Rio 2016, although many people have the criticized timing, as they have come before the report has even been published.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member Patrick Hickey said the investigation had been “compromised” after a letter was leaked from United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief Travis Tygart that called for a total ban on Russian athletes.

Hickey, who is also the President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), said he was “shocked and concerned on many levels” by the letter.

“I have to question on what authority the USA and Canadian Anti-Doping agencies prepared their letter and what mandate they have to lead an international call for a ban of another nation in the Olympic family,” said Hickey.

Despite Hickey’s concerns, many national anti-doping bodies are thought to support a possible ban on Russia.

Graeme Steel, chief executive of Drug Free Sport New Zealand, has said that the report’s findings could leave the OC with no alternative but to completely ban Russian from Rio 2016.

“If [the report] does confirm the scenario that’s been set out by the former Russian anti-doping lab chief, then we would like to see Russia banned from Rio,” Steel said.

“It’s not a cold war thing of the USA wanting to get Russia out. All of these countries feel the same way. We do need to wait to see if the report does confirm those details.”

WADA President Craig Reedie said he would to respond “firmly and effectively” should Rodchenkov’s allegations be proven, admitting it would be a “high-profile moment that we will have to deal with.”

source : RT.COM

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Argentina declares three-day national mourning for Maradona

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

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Buenos Aires: The Argentina government has declared three days of national mourning for the death of football legend Diego Armando Maradona, the office of the presidency has said.

“The President of the Nation will decree three days of national mourning from the day (of his death),” according to the statement on Wednesday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.

Maradona died due to cardiorespiratory arrest at his home in the Tigre district on the northern outskirts of the capital Buenos Aires.

His body did not show “any sign of violence” and everything indicates that he died of “natural causes,” the prosecutor general of the Argentinian town of San Isidro, John Broyad, said.

According to Broyad, Maradona passed away “around 12:00” local time (1500 GMT) Wednesday at his home in the neighbourhood of San Andres, on the northern outskirts of the capital.

In statements to the press, Broyad said that “at 16:00 (local time) the work of the Forensics Police began” on the body of the former footballer.

“No signs of criminality were evident, no signs of violence,” said the prosecutor.

In addition, he reported that an autopsy would be carried out at the morgue of San Fernando Hospital, to “reliably determine the causes of death”.

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

On October 30, Maradona had celebrated his 60th birthday.

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Diego Maradona (1960-2020): When death felt like a tackle from behind

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008.

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Diego Maradona, the shanty-town boy who became a supernatural footballer before his life went into a downward spiral of addiction and myriad health issues for over 30 years, died of a heart attack on Wednesday. He turned 60 on October 30.

Maradona had looked death in the eye a number of times and when he underwent successful surgery for a subdural haematoma recently, his fans would have been forgiven for thinking the worst had passed. In 2004, doctors said his heart was functioning at 40% efficiency. Back then, Maradona pulled through and went on to coach Argentina in the 2010 World Cup where amid the constellation of the planet’s football star, he — in a sharp suit, a diamond stud glinting from an ear and a wristwatch on either hand — was the cynosure till Argentina were gobsmacked by Germany one day after Holland sent Brazil home.

Life, it seemed, was sucked out of that World Cup because the curtains had come down on Maradona’s performance. At press conferences — where once he climbed over the dais to bearhug a journalist who then became the story — and on the pitch where his last memorable act was possibly burying his face on son-in-law Sergio Aguero’s back as Germany scored another goal in that 4-0 rout.

The year 2004 wasn’t the only time he had flirted with death and had the world praying and believing in a miracle. One year later, he had a gastric bypass surgery to help deal with obesity. And as a boy he had survived falling into a pit where he could have drowned. On turning 45 at a party with 400 friends for company, Maradona had said: “I am 45. And I am alive,” wrote Marcela Mora y Araujo, who translated his autobiography “El Diego” in The Observer. “He’s a crazy little giant who dices with death and toboggans unto hell on a daily basis,” wrote Araujo in the introduction to the autobiography.

So it wasn’t surprising that the Maradona of 2006 had again made way to a bloated version of the genius who slalomed his way past England in the 1986 World Cup to score one of the most memorable goals of the competition ever. In Russia in 2018, the version of Maradona that filled fans with dread was seen in the World Cup when he had to be helped from his seat during the Argentina-Nigeria game. He blamed it on wine and said he was fine and we got on with our lives. So when news broke of his heart attack at home in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, it felt like a tackle from behind. How could death win this round?

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008. In Egypt, bandits released a group of Argentine tourists on realizing they were from Maradona Country, writes Jimmy Burns, in “Hand of God” . But at least he had played a friendly there. He had not in Kolkata, where the Salt Lake stadium spilled over to see him move in a car. In Bangladesh he had not either, but it didn’t matter. Seeing God, the hero of the 1990 World Cup too and in the bit part he played in 1994 before failing a drug test, felt like an act of fulfillment itself.

Maradona’s rise coincided with football transforming into a billion dollar industry, in whose crosscurrents he found himself for most of his playing career. Except possibly the time at Napoli, where he handheld a team trod upon by the rest of the country to European glory. Two Serie A titles, two second-place finishes an Italian Cup and the UEFA Cup immortalized him in the city. It was while he was at Napoli that Maradona transformed from being an artful dodger to a messiah.

It was also where he came in contact with the Cammora, the city’s crime syndicate. It was where he became a cocaine addict. With Maradona, you see, the sublime and the ridiculous are never mutually exclusive, they exist cheek by jowl. Just as life and death did with him till the final blow on Wednesday.

“Maradona,” Burns begins in ‘Hand of God’, “is the story of a natural-born football talent who grew up to believe he was God and suffered as a result. It was on the pitch where he was the happiest, away from all his troubles, he had said. But while doing what he loved since his uncle gifted him a ball when he could barely walk, he also became a hero for the downtrodden, his ‘Hand of God’ epitomizing — justifying too perhaps — the chicanery that they needed to deal with life’s unfair hand. That magical left foot drew you to him, his outspokenness then endeared him to you.

“Poor old Diego. For so many years we have told him repeatedly, ‘You’re a God’, ‘You are a star’, ‘You are our salvation’ that we forgot to tell him the most important thing: ‘You are a man.’” The words of Jorge Valdano, Maradona’s Argentina teammate in the 1986 World Cup, sums up a life extraordinary.

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Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

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Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

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