Tag Archives: International Association of Athletics Federations

Sebastian Coe: Russia must complete ‘recovery plan’

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has reportedly said that bosses “cannot trust the system” which would potentially allow Russia to return from its sanctions imposed as a result of a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruling.

A WADA verdict in 2020 ordered Russian athletes to appear at major events under the Russian Olympic Committee banner for four years, although the decision was later halved and is due to run until December 2022.

Competitors have been forced to compete with a neutral flag and national anthem at competitions including the summer Games in Tokyo in 2021 and the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.

The All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) was suspended by the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations at a meeting chaired by British Olympic legend Sebastian Coe in 2015.

Now Coe has said that the sanctions approved by his organization will depend on the status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

“Russian athletics will return to the international arena after the recovery plan is fully implemented,” Coe told TASS. “It is important that progress is monitored. I am confident that I can provide the World Athletics board with such a recommendation, and this is possible only if the recovery plan is fully implemented. We are not yet fully confident that we can fully trust the system.”

WADA’s ruling also banned Russian officials from attending events and prohibited the country from hosting international showpieces.

That would have outlawed Russian president Vladimir Putin from attending the Beijing Games had he not received an invitation from his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

“It is known that one of these elements is outside our jurisdiction,” Coe cautioned of World Athletics’ potential decision. “I am talking about the status of RUSADA, which is handled by the World Anti-Doping Agency. But it is an integral part of this process. “We are moving in the right direction. Now there are two good independent experts working in ARAF. They report to us on what is happening.”

Coe’s organization has doubled the quota of Russian athletes allowed at major international competitions, increasing the number of Russians who will be able to participate in the 2022 World and European championships under neutral status to 20.

Source: rt.com

Elijah Manangoi Completes his two years Ban

The 2017 World 1500m champion, Elijah Manangoi will be free (from today midnight Dec 22) to compete after serving his two years ban for “whereabouts failures” that was imposed on him by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

The 28 years old was provisionally suspended after missing three tests from July 2019 to December 2019. The three missed tests in a 12-month span led to his suspension of two years which forced him not to defend his world title in 2019.

Manangoi is the 2015 World Champion silver medallist, 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and he is also the 2018 African 1500m Champion.

Manangoi was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2017

The AIU was established by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) now World Athletics (WA) in 2017, has managed to conclusively handle over 250 doping cases with Kenya among those countries with most banned athletes.

Sex verification in sport: the sidelining of intersex athletes

Sex verification in sport has been debated for decades, with the likes of Ewa Kłobukowska and Caster Semenya being banned from women’s sports in the process. As more athletes were prohibited from competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, the debate is far from over.

Regulations have evolved over the years, as our understanding of sex and intersexuality progresses. Sex verification was initially in the form of physical examinations during the 1960s, then replaced by genetic tests. At the 2012 London Olympics, a new regulation was put in place, whereby eligibility to compete in the female classification depended on an athlete’s testosterone levels.

The legislation was hugely unpopular, with the appeal of Indian sprinter Dutee Chand resulting in the regulation’s suspension. It was determined that there was insufficient evidence to show that elevated testosterone levels give athletes a sporting advantage. Testosterone can certainly induce muscle growth, but in many sports other skills, namely agility and coordination, shape the level of an athlete’s success.

As a result of Chand’s successful appeal, researchers funded by World Athletics, formerly known as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), published studies claiming that higher testosterone levels confer a significant sporting advantage in 400m to 1-mile running events. Despite some criticising the integrity of the data, new regulations were implemented based on this evidence in 2018. It mandated female athletes with ‘Differences in Sex Development’ (DSDs) to lower their testosterone levels if they choose to compete in the female classification of such events.

The legislation was challenged by intersex athlete Caster Semenya back in May 2019: “Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history”.

In response, the regulations were upheld, as the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruled the differential treatment of intersex athletes “necessary, reasonable and proportionate”. At this year’s Tokyo Games, the eligibility of athletes was determined by individual sporting federations.

“Therefore, contrary to popular belief, sex is not binary. Such variations may be uncommon in the general population, but some have suggested that intersexuality is far more common amongst elite athletes”

Before proceeding any further, it should be pointed out that intersexuality is different to transgenderism. Intersex people are born with ambiguous sex, while transgender people feel their gender and sex are misaligned. Consequently, the regulations are different for the two situations, and this article focuses strictly on the former.

The science behind World Athletics’ legislation

It’s commonly accepted that gender is an individual choice of identification, while sex is an unalterable, congenital trait. The definition of sex is multi-faceted: genetic sex is the possession of XY chromosomes in males and XX chromosomes in females, gonadal sex is the possession of testes in males and ovaries in females, and anatomic sex is the possession of penises for males and vaginas for females.

In most cases, sex differentiation is straightforward: females will inherit XX chromosomes, which means they subsequently develop ovaries and a vagina, with the opposite being true for males.

However, in a minority of cases, some individuals can possess a mixture of both male and female biological traits. For example, they may have XX chromosomes and ovaries yet have external genitalia somewhat resembling a penis. These deviations from biological expectation are known as intersexuality, or DSDs. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, sex is not binary. Such variations may be uncommon in the general population, but some have suggested that intersexuality is far more common amongst elite athletes.

The newest World Athletics eligibility regulations only apply to intersex athletes. Non-intersex women with testosterone levels above the 5nmol/L limit are not required to lower their testosterone production in order to compete in the female category. Although it’s recognised that non-intersex women can also have elevated testosterone levels, especially those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome or adrenal tumours, their levels rarely exceed the 5nmol/L limit. Furthermore, there is ambiguity in the regulations, such that intersex athletes with some specific DSD variations might arbitrarily be exempt too.

 What are the aims of the DSD regulations?

Records show that there is a performance difference between men and women in most sports. No doubt, non-physiological factors such as funding contribute to the gap, but biological factors undeniably play a role too. World Athletics believes that the higher testosterone levels in men are the main reason for their sporting advantage over females. However, this argument may be flawed given that higher testosterone levels only correlate with better performance in a limited range of running events.

“When athletes are segregated into male and female classifications, those in the middle of the spectrum, or those who are intersex, will inevitably be treated differently compared to non-intersex athletes”

The aim of the DSD regulations was not to verify sex; it was to distinguish athletes with a competitive advantage from those without. Yet, by permitting non-intersex female athletes to have a testosterone level exceeding the 5nmol/L limit, the governing body is not separating athletes into the male and female classifications solely according to testosterone levels. In fact, the organisation is seeking to define and verify sex.

Testosterone is one of the key factors that determine anatomic sex and, as its levels rise, an individual’s sexual characteristics become increasingly masculine. But at what specific point on this spectrum does a woman become a man? Any line drawn to segregate males and females will be arbitrary. Moreover, the definition of sex is evidently complicated, given that genetic, gonadal, and anatomic sex can be independent of each other in intersex individuals.

When athletes are segregated into male and female classifications, those in the middle of the spectrum, or those who are intersex, will inevitably be treated differently compared to non-intersex athletes.

By definition, intersex individuals do not fit into the binary constructs of the male and female sexes. It is therefore problematic to think of intersex athletes simply as females with an inborn sporting advantage due to their increased testosterone levels.

 Striking a balance between sporting integrity and intersex rights

 One proposed solution is the creation of a third classification in sports. However, such a decision would risk alienating athletes with DSDs, as for some their intersexuality does not become known until puberty or even during adulthood.

They may have been raised as a certain sex their entire life, and therefore forcing them to compete in a completely separate category of competition would be both unfair and unethical. Additionally, the terms ‘DSD’ and ‘intersexuality’ broadly cover many different types of biological variations, making it hugely problematic to subject all intersex athletes to standardized regulations.

There is no simple answer to this debate, and a satisfactory solution will not be found in the foreseeable future; our scientific knowledge simply remains lacking, especially in the field of athletic performance. A good first step would be to eliminate the non-physiological contributors to performance differences between the sexes by increasing both the investment in and marketing of women’s sport.

As a result, the physiological contributors to performance differences would be better elucidated and thus inform policy making. Meanwhile, World Athletics must address the ambiguities and contradictions in its existing DSD regulations.

But most importantly, the underlying science behind intersexuality and the nitty-gritty details of DSD rules need to be better communicated to the general public. Only then can we have meaningful conversations that strive towards the most fair and ethical way to classify athletes according to their abilities.

Source: varsity.co.uk

Road Kings Kitwara, Oloititip , Kabuu Complete Doping Ban Race

Sammy Kitwara and Nicholas Kosgei are some of the Kenyan athletes who have completed their doping ban after serving their term that was imposed by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

AIU, the body established by by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) now World Athletics (WA) in 2017, has managed to conclusively handle 250 doping cases with Kenya among those countries with most banned athletes.

Kitwara, who was banned for anti-doping rule violations with the presence of a Prohibited Substance (Terbutaline) (Article 2.1) was handed 16 months since 17 March 2019 that was completed just as Kosgei, who was banned when he was tested positive for Prohibited Substance (Prednisone) (Article 2.1), 16 months ineligibility from 2 February 2020.

The first Kenya elite athlete to fall under the shock of AIU was 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemima Jelagat Sumgong in April 2017 and so far AIU has banned 36 Kenyans.

Sumgong, Mercy Jerotich Kibarus and Salome Jerono Biwott were handed the longest banned period for eight years.

Among the thirty-six elite athletes, ten have so far served their full banning sentence and are free to engage in participating in any race in the world.

Two other athletes; Alfred Kipketer and Benjamin Ngandu Ndegwa will have their ban end by the end of this month (November).

Two cases are still at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) as they are yet to be determined. The athletes, Joyce Chepkirui and Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru have appealed their sentencing.

 Below is the list:  

  1. Suleiman Kipse Simotwo,  Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Norandrosterone) (Article 2.1) 4 years ineligibility from 14 July 2017.
     
  2. Eliud Magut Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Norandrosterone) (Article 2.1), 4 years ineligibility from 14 July 2017.
  1. Lucy Kabuu Wangui, Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Morphine) (Article 2.1) Use of a Prohibited Substance/Method (Morphine) (Article 2.2), 2 years ineligibility from 1 August 2018.
     
  2. Samson Mungai Kagia, Presence of a Prohibited Substance (methylprednisolone) (Article 2.1) Use of a Prohibited Substance/Method (methylprednisolone) (Article 2.2), 2 years ineligibility from 14 October 2018.
  1. Hilary Kepkosgei Yego, Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Norandrosterone) (Article 2.1), 4 years ineligibility from 27 April 2017: 
  1. Sammy Kitwara, Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Terbutaline) (Article 2.1),  16 months ineligibility from 17 March 2019.
  1. Alex Korio Oliotiptip, Whereabouts Failures (Article 2.4), 2 years ineligibility from 19 July 2019.
  1. Philip Cheruiyot Kangogo, Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Higenamine) (Article 2.1) Use of a prohibited Substance (Article 2.2), 2 years ineligibility from 31 July 2019.
  1. James Mwangi Wangari, Presence / Use of a Prohibited Substance (Testosterone) (Article 2.1and Article 2.2), 4 years ineligibility from 19 March 2017 DQ results from 19 March 2017.
  1. Nicholas Kiptoo Kosgei, Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Prednisone) (Article 2.1), 16 months ineligibility from 2 February 2020.
  1. Alfred Kipketer, Whereabouts Failures (Article 2.4), 2 years ineligibility from 26 November 2019.
  1. Benjamin Ngandu Ndegwa, Presence of a Prohibited Substance (Nandrolone) (Article 2.1), 4 years ineligibility from 17 November 2017: DQ results: 6 June 2015 to 17 November 2017 

IAAF clears Haron Lagat to run for United States

Kenyan born Haron Kiptoo is among eight athletes who have been cleared to represent new countries in two months since the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council approved new transfer of allegiance rules.

Five athletes have had their transfer of allegiance requests approved and three have had their eligibility for their new countries determined.

It comes after the IAAF established the role of their nationality review panel (NRP) and worked out the requirements for athletes who wish to represent a new IAAF member federation.

Since the new rules were approved, the NRP has received 14 complete transfer requests in all, some of which are still under review, the IAAF said.

The new rules in question require a three-year waiting period before an athlete can transfer to a new country and sufficient evidence that those countries are offering full citizenship and associated rights.

No athlete can transfer before the age of 20 and none can transfer more than once.

All of the eight athletes in question can now represent their new countries, with the exception of former Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo, who will have to wait until August 1, 2019 to represent Portugal.

Those who can already represent their new nations are Rai Benjamin, from Antigua and Barbuda to the United States, Mike Edwards, from Great Britain to Nigeria, Patrick Ike Origa, from Nigeria to Spain, and Leon Reid, from Britain to Ireland.

Those who have been declared eligible for new countries are Lagat for the US, Miranda Tcheutchoua for Ireland and Weldu Negash Gebretsadik for Norway.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said the rules were updated “for the specific purpose” of protecting athletes from any abuses “that occurred under the previous system”.

The IAAF had long been concerned that athletes from African countries such as Kenya, where the depth of middle and long distance running talent is so great, were moving to earn international appearances – and often healthy salaries – for other countries.

The 2016 European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam saw numerous “allegiance transfer” athletes figuring in the medals, most notably from Turkey, whose team included seven Kenyans, two Jamaicans, one Ethiopian, one Cuban, one South African, one Azerbaijani and one Ukrainian.

Russian Athletics Federation takes IAAF to court over suspension

Russia’s athletics federation said on Wednesday it had filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision by global athletics body IAAF to prolong its suspension.

The federation was suspended in November 2015 following a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that found evidence of systematic, state-sponsored doping in the sport.

Federation spokeswoman Natalia Yukhareva told Reuters it had filed an appeal with CAS against the IAAF’s decision to extend the federation’s suspension at its last council meeting in July.

At the time the IAAF said that Russia had made “significant progress” in meeting criteria for reinstatement, but that its suspension would remain in place until the council convened again in December.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and CAS did not immediately return requests for comment.

The move comes days after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) conditionally reinstated Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, angering sports bodies around the globe.

The IAAF said last week that RUSADA’s reinstatement fulfilled one of three pre-conditions for the reinstatement of Russia’s athletics federation.

For the federation to be reinstated, Russia must acknowledge that officials from the Sports Ministry were involved in doping cover-up schemes.

Russian authorities must also provide access to data from testing samples at the Moscow lab, which was also suspended in the wake of the 2015 scandal.

Despite the federation’s suspension, a string of Russian athletes, including 2015 world champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov, have been cleared to compete internationally after demonstrating they are training in a doping-free environment.

Semenya set to attempt triple in Ostrava

After speeding to her hat-trick of Diamond League titles this week, Caster Semenya is gunning for one that is missing from her collection of major medals – the International Association of Athletics Federations(IAAF) Continental Cup.

The 27-year-old is set to attempt a triple at the two-day Czech Republic competition, which starts on Saturday. She has entered the 400m, 800m and the 4x400m relay races.

She is one of 20 South Africans who have been drafted to the 74-member Team Africa squad.

However, before her long trek to represent the continent in Ostrava, Semenya will make a stop at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Berlin, Germany, today to take part in the rarely-run 1 000m.

“The 1 000m is part of my training programme because I think we have done a good job throughout the season. We don’t want to strain the body,” she said shortly after sealing her Diamond coronation at Stadion Letzigrund in Zurich on Thursday.

“In Ostrava, we’ll start with the 400m, which is more of a technical event; you need to focus on your (starting) block and your drive, and keep up the pace and see what you can come up with.

“We focus more on the 400m and nothing else because the 800m is not much of a problem. But I’m up to the challenge,” she said.

Semenya said that what mattered was maintaining consistency.

“We are consistent and that’s what the coach (Samuel Sepeng) needs. Now it’s about being smart and healthy. We’re human and not machines,” she said.

Berlin holds bittersweet memories for Semenya as it was in this German city where she came to prominence as an 18-year-old world champion at the 2009 World Championships.

Her feat, however, catapulted her into the international spotlight following a gender row that refuses to go away.

“Berlin is more like my second home because I won my first (senior major title) there,” she said.

“The 1 000m is just to have fun and improve on my time. A good 800m runner knows what to do. I don’t want to put myself under pressure, but Berlin expects me to do well and I cannot disappoint them.”

Semenya, who holds South African records in the 400m, the 800m and the 1 500m, boasts a personal best time of 2:35.43 in the 1 000m – which she set in March.

The reigning world and Olympic champion had a stellar season despite being followed by fresh scrutiny as, on November 1 the IAAF is set to implement new eligibility regulations regarding naturally high testosterone levels in women athletes.

The new regulations are widely believed to be targeting Semenya.

She has refused to comment on this subject, but has lodged an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to challenge the IAAF.

Semenya will run the 4x400m relay in Ostrava with compatriot Thapelo Phora and Botswana’s Baboloki Thebe as her team-mates.

Source: sport24.co.za

Kenyan politician calls for report into progress of anti-doping law following positive tests

A Kenyan Member of Parliament has called for a report on the anti-doping law as the country attempts to tackle a crisis following several positive tests in athletics.

Kathuri Murungi, a Member of Parliament for South Imenti, claimed an audit should take place to assess the situation.

Kenya introduced criminal laws as part of an anti-doping act back in 2016.

This included the creation of a national testing authority, Anti-Doping Kenya, while it made doping an offence which could be punished by imprisonment.

Revised legislation was published later that year after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) declared the country non-compliant.

The changes led to them being made complaint again in time for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Murungi reportedly called for the Ministry of Sport to do more to help tackle the crisis, asserting that they and Athletics Kenya need to better assess coaches for their credibility.

He also called for new policies to be introduced to boost Kenya’s reputation following the positive tests.

“The WADA has been issuing incessant sanctions to Kenya for non-compliance and delays implementing the laws pose a threat to our social co-existence and integration globally,” Murungi said, according to All-Africa.

“There are allegations that banned substances are used by athletes in the training camps and this is blamed on both local and international trainers.”

Currently, 18 Kenyans are suspended for breaches of anti-doping rules by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

This includes world 800 metres bronze medallist Kipyegon Bett, who was last week confirmed to have tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).

Three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo and Jemimah Sumgong, the Olympic marathon gold medallist at Rio 2016, are other high-profile Kenyan athletes who are currently serving suspensions for doping offences.

Reigning Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet, who now represents Bahrain but continues to train and live in Kenya where she was born, has also been suspended since February following an EPO failure.

A further four are provisionally suspended by the AIU, including Athens Marathon champion Samuel Kalalei, distance runner Lucy Wangui Kabuu and sprinter Boniface Mweresa.

A case is also pending against three-time world champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic gold medallist Asbel Kiprop after he tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in November 2017.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) included the distance-running superpower on a list of nations most at risk of doping in July.

It came as part of new regulations by the IAAF Council which put more responsibility on National Federations to deal with the problem.

Kenya and Ethiopia were among four countries included in Category A – member federations the IAAF believe are most likely to have doping problems – along with Belarus, hosts of next year’s European Games, and Ukraine.

Athletics Kenya last week announced the establishment of an Oversight Committee as they seek to tackle the spate of doping cases involving their athletes.

There was a boost earlier this week when it was confirmed that a first East African WADA accredited laboratory had been approved.

Source: insidethegames.biz

Coe hopeful all countries will attend 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha despite diplomatic dispute

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe has expressed his hope that all nations will participate at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, despite the ongoing diplomatic issues surrounding Qatar.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among countries to cut ties with Qatar in June 2017.

They accused the nation of supporting terrorism, a claim which has been denied.

A resulting blockade included withdrawing ambassadors and imposing trade and travel bans.

The ongoing diplomatic crisis has put pressure on Qatar with sport among several sectors impacted.

Qatar’s capital city Doha is set to host next year’s World Athletics Championships, but concerns have been raised over whether the crisis could impact the event.

IAAF President Coe has expressed his hope countries involved in the dispute will still send their athletes to the Championships, however.

“I want every federation to be there,” Coe said, according to Agence France-Presse.

“I see no reason why they shouldn’t.

“Political fragility from time to time emerges in all systems.

“It is very important that international sport maintains its primacy.

“Picking your partnerships around politics can be a pretty transient process if you’re not careful.

“I’m confident that we’ll have a full house in Qatar.”

The Gulf Cup of Nations was among the events impacted by the political crisis, with the tournament having been scheduled to take place in Qatar in December.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE threatened to withdraw from the event, resulting in the Asian Football Confederation moving the competition to Kuwait.

The competition was set to form part of Qatar’s preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In August last year, Egyptian handball clubs Al-Ahly Sports Club and Zamalek turned down invitations to compete at the International Handball Federation Super Globe event in Qatar for political reasons.

Source: insidethegames.biz

Nigerian stars win gold for Bahrain at Asian Games

Nigerian-born Bahrain sprinter Edidiong Odiong on Sunday won gold at the 18th Asian Games women’s 100m final   at the 76,127-capacity  Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The 21-year-old, who ditched Nigeria for a lucrative deal with the island country in 2015, dipped late to finish in 11.30secs becoming Asia’s fastest woman.

India’s Dutee Chand ran 11.32secs to pick up silver while 2014 champion China’s Wei Yongli won bronze.

Although Odiong, who won the  400m event  at the 2013 African Youth Athletics Championships  in Warri and  represented Nigeria at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon, United States,  switched her international allegiance to Bahrain in 2015, she was cleared by the International Association of Athletics Federations to compete for her new owners  the following year.

Abbas Abubakar, Salwa Naser (Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu) and Kemi Adekoya had earlier dumped Nigeria for cash-rich Bahrain.

Naser won the women’s 400m gold after finishing in 50.09secs while India’s Hima Das arrived in 50.79secs to claim silver.

The 20-year-old, who ran 50.06secs to win silver the London 2017 World Championships, has won four legs of the Diamond League Series this year. She has so far won three  gold for her adopted country since she started competing for them since she had her first success at the 2014 Arab Junior Athletics Championships in Cairo.

In   men’s 100m Nigerian-born runner   Femi Ogunode   claimed   silver in a time of 10 secs.

China’s Su Bingtian grabbed gold after clocking 9.92 secs.  Japan’s Ryota Yamagata carted home bronze   for his effort.

Su, who tied the Asian record created by the Nigerian-born Qatar sprinter Femi Ogunode in 2015 after running 9.91secs in the 100m race at the Paris leg of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League in June, expressed his readiness for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“I expected I could explode in the final, but I didn’t,” the 28-year-old was quoted by Xinhua as telling reporters at the mixed zone after winning Sunday’s event.

“I’m proud to win honours for my country, but I do hope for more at Tokyo Olympic Games.”