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Volume 6 No. 213

Leagues and Governing Bodies

A report on doping in German sport since the '50s, "kept under wraps for months, was released on Monday and highlighted details of systematic use of banned substances over decades," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. The report "describes West Germany as organising and experimenting with doping in sports since the 1950s, much like its East German neighbour, using sports politics and medicine to support the research." It also "raises questions about whether some German footballers 'towards the end' of the 1966 World Cup in England were clean as, citing a FIFA document from the same year, three players showed traces of ephedrine." Ephedrine "is used as a decongestant but also as a stimulant." Commissioned by the Federal Institute and prepared by Berlin's Humboldt University and the University of Muenster, the report into German doping said that "athletes of many sports were knowingly given performance-enhancing substances." Interior Ministry spokesperson Philipp Spauschus said, "The Interior Ministry has a strong interest in a complete clarification and assessment of the history of doping." The report said that by the '70s at the latest, West Germany "was actively involved in experimenting with performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids, testosterone, amphetamines and EPO, financed by taxpayers' money." The report also said that "doping was not limited to one or two sports but many different athletes had used banned substances, with football players being given amphetamine, or 'fighter pilot chocolate,' as early as 1949" (REUTERS, 8/5).

CRITICAL RESPONSE: In Munich, Boris Herrmann wrote the report was "significantly cut from more than 800 pages," and the released version "excluded a number of eyewitness accounts as well as the names of influential politicians." The released version, which is dated April 30 and titled final report, "has a total of 117 pages whereas the version obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung, which is a couple months older and also titled final report, has 804 pages" (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 8/5). German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) President Thomas Bach said in a statement, "This a good day for the fight against doping. We welcome the publication of the study which I have initiated with DOSB. We have appointed an independent commission with a former judge of the constitutional court, Udo Steiner, as chairperson. This commission will now evaluate the report and give recommendations with regard to the tasks as well as about the future improvements of the fight against doping" (DOSB).
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A tradition of restricted male-only membership dating back almost 200 years "has been swept aside by the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight after the membership voted to allow women in as full members," according to Kate Laven of the London TELEGRAPH. A meeting on Sunday, attended by 150 of the 475 members, voted unanimously in favor of the motion "to extend membership privileges to women." There was not a single vote in opposition, "though the decision still has to be ratified by the full membership." Officials at the Squadron said that "they had been lobbying members on the issue of women's membership for four years" before Sunday's ballot. There was no announcement from the RYS, which established its "gentlemen only" membership in 1815. The first women to be identified as suitable candidates are more likely to be members of the Royal family, "who have been connected with the club ever since the Prince Regent became a member in 1817." The Queen is the club patron, and Prince Philip, a regular at the annual Squadron Ball, is admiral, but Princess Anne, a keen sailor, is one of the favorites for consideration, while Dame Ellen Macarthur, who lives minutes away, "might also be in line for a letter" (TELEGRAPH, 8/5).  

The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Monday approached the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court's order "that held as illegal and unconstitutional the two-member probe panel constituted by it to look into spot-fixing and betting charges" in the Indian Premier League tournament as illegal, according to the PTI. The Board sought immediate stay of the High Court's order "while submitting that the panel was constituted according to rules and was legal." In a "severe blow" to the BCCI and its President-in-exile N. Srinivasan, the High Court on July 30 said that "the two member commission was constituted in violation of the rules framed by the BCCI" (PTI, 8/5). The PTI also reported former Indian captain Rahul Dravid on Monday expressed anguish over the recent IPL spot-fixing scandal and its fallout and said "that restoring the credibility of the game was of utmost importance failing which cricketers may lose respect of their fans." Dravid: "Things like this don't help, when we are on the front pages of the newspapers and not on the back" (PTI, 8/5). IANS reported Rajasthan Royals cricketer Ajit Chandila was shocked that Delhi Police have slapped stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act charges against him and pleaded that he is a "cricketer not a terrorist." Chandila, one of the "prime accused" in the IPL spot fixing scandal, "was on a three-day bail, that ended Monday, to attend the last rites of his elder brother" (IANS, 8/5).

Spanish Football League (LFP) President Javier Tebas announced on Monday that three La Liga games and six Spanish second division games are "being investigated for suspected match-fixing and all the games under suspicion have been identified to the District Attorney's Anti-corruption Office," according to the EFE. Tebas: "I am not going to say which games because I believe that would jeopardize the organization, but there is suspicion for various reasons, from abnormal betting activity to players' and coaches' behavior before and after games" (EFE, 8/5). In Madrid, Arribas & Lafuente reported one of the La Liga games under suspicion is the match between Levante and Deportivo La Coruña on April 13, which Deportivo won 4-0. One "second division game believed to be under investigation is the Racing-Hércules contest from the last matchday of the season, which coincided with a number of unusual bets" (EL PAIS, 8/5).

GIRONA ACCUSATIONS: The EFE reported Spanish second division side Girona President Joaquín Boadas on Monday declared that leaders of third division sides Xerex and Racing Santander "approached his club in attempts to fix matches." Boadas said, "On July 2 Racing President Ángel Lavín and former club President Francisco Pernía, along with player agent Eugenio Botas, visited us. It was a sad episode because it detracts from the competition. It would mean that points were shared in a game. It was all a fraud and I felt the obligation to do what the LFP had advised me to." Boadas also said that before his club's game against Xerex on May 11, "his former player Dani Mallo told him that a Xerex player had offered Girona €120,000 ($159,072) to let Xerex win the game." Boadas said, "Dani Mallo did the right thing. ... They are two different themes but at the same time they have the same feeling. I have to defend the rights and feelings of the fans" (EFE, 8/5).

National Rugby League Cronulla Sharks players will approach Tuesday's interviews with Australian Sports Anti-Doping Association investigators with "renewed hope they may emerge unscathed," following revelations that Australian Football League Essendon players are "unlikely to face bans," according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. Sharks players "are scheduled to meet ASADA interviewers" Tuesday. It will be "the first time any of those involved in the investigation have spoken to the anti-doping body since interviews were cancelled in April over a perceived lack of co-operation." The players will "enter the interviews in a bullish mood." Like Essendon, Cronulla stands "accused of systematic doping." However, it appears ASADA has been "unable to find enough evidence to lay any charges against the AFL club." Cronulla will be "hoping for the same outcome as ASADA steps up investigations into the NRL" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/6). In Sydney, Lane & Proszenko reported Cronulla captain Paul Gallen criticized the "support provided by the NRL to Sharks players as they prepare for interviews" with ASADA investigators. Gallen said, "It's frustrating because obviously when you look at the players involved, naturally if they want to get anyone they want to get the biggest name." Gallen, when asked if "he had received good support from the NRL during the six months since the investigation was launched," said, "I wouldn't say yes, so I don't think we've had great support from the NRL. Personally speaking I don't think I have had great support" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/6).

Thirty-one Turkish track and field athletes "have been suspended for two years each for doping violations," according to the AP. The Turkish Athletics Federation announced the sanctions Monday, including that of 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist hammer thrower Esref Apak. His case "had been announced in June." The bans follow five days after the Int'l Association of Athletics Federations confirmed that nine Turkish athletes, including two teenagers, "got two-year bans for using anabolic steroids." It "could get worse for the sport in Turkey" when TAF completes investigations into alleged doping by 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Asli Cakir Alptekin and two other female team members in London last year. Turkey's doping problems "threaten to affect Istanbul's campaign against 2020 Olympic bid rivals Madrid and Tokyo." IOC members "will choose a winner on Sept. 7." Still, Turkish Olympic Committee President Ugur Erdener, an IOC member, said Monday's sanctions were "a clear signal" of how seriously it is responding. Erdener: "This work is part of a concerted, and much more aggressive, anti-doping policy in Turkey that has been in place for over six months" (AP, 8/5).

Omega Center, the promoter of the Russian Grand Prix, said Monday that it has managed to resolve its contradictions with the Russian Automobile Federation "concerning the staging of the next year's event" (AFP, 8/5). ... The Int'l Hockey Federation (FIH) "has turned down former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey's proposal for increasing the number of teams in next year's World Cup." Tirkey had written to FIH President Leandro Negre "requesting him to increase the number of participating countries" in the next World Cup to be held in the Netherlands next year. Negre, however, said that "it is not possible" (PTI, 8/4).