WADA clears 95 Russian athletes of doping charges

Updated 13 September 2017
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WADA clears 95 Russian athletes of doping charges

WASHINGTON: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is set to clear 95 Russian athletes investigated over involvement in the country’s alleged mammoth doping program, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
A leaked internal WADA report published by the newspaper Tuesday said the agency found it could not gather enough evidence against 95 out of 96 Russian athletes who it has been probing.
“The available evidence was insufficient to support the assertion of an anti-doping rule violation against these 95 athletes,” WADA Director General Olivier Niggli wrote in the document. The report did not name any of the athletes under investigation.
A string of WADA reports has previously uncovered reams of evidence that the Russian authorities ran a large-scale program to help competitors cheat international doping tests.
Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared “non-compliant” with international sport’s anti-doping code in November 2015 and its track and field Olympics squad and entire Paralympics team were barred from Rio 2016.
An independent investigation for the agency by professor Richard McLaren in 2016 implicated some 1,000 athletes in the doping system.
Moscow has furiously denied that it ran a state-sponsored scheme to cheat at international sporting events and insists it is doing its best to crack down on dopers.
And Russian officials said WADA’s decision only served to shed doubt on the revelations in McLaren’s report.
“In general the information of the McLaren report appears to be incomplete and moreover in many cases unreliable,” R-Sport agency quoted Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the deputy chief of Russia’s Olympic Committee, as saying.
“For the moment none of Russia’s 1,000 athletes mentioned in the McLaren report has been found guilty or banned on the basis of his information. Meanwhile, a year has already passed (since the report was issued).”
While this latest twist may help bolster the Kremlin’s claims, Niggli suggested to the New York Times that an absence of evidence did not necessarily prove Russia’s innocence.
“The system was very well-organized,” Niggli said. “On top if it, years after the fact, the remaining evidence is often very limited.”
Niggli said that invetigations into other athletes implicated in the doping scheme are ongoing.
Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA is currently battling to get itself reinstated, but faces a list of remaining WADA criteria that it must first meet.


Godolphin happy with Thunder Snow ahead of Dubai World Cup defense

Updated 25 March 2019
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Godolphin happy with Thunder Snow ahead of Dubai World Cup defense

  • Five-year old bidding to become first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups.
  • $12 million race takes place at Meydan on Saturday.

LONDON: Thunder Snow is preparing well as he bids to become the first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups, according to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The five-year-old memorably won the showcase $12 million race at Meydan by five and three-quarter lengths, winning in a track record time last year. He returned to the track on Super Saturday two weeks ago, finishing second in the Group 1 Al-Maktoum Challenge Round Three.
And Godolphin are expecting big things from him in the famous race. Bin Suroor, the most successful handler in the history of the 2000m dirt feature with eight winners to his name, is feeling confident.
“He did his final serious piece of work on Saturday and went very well indeed,” the Godolphin trainer said. “He needed his Super Saturday outing — his first run since November — badly and has come on a lot for it. We expect him to run a big race under conditions we know suit him, but obviously it is a good race.”
Thunder Snow has already made history as the only horse to win both the Group 2 UAE Derby and Group 1 Dubai World Cup, but if he is to win this Saturday then he will be revered for years to come.
One of his big rivals in the race will be Yoshida. Trained by Bill Mott he arrived in Dubai on March 19 in preparation for the cash-rich race. The Japanese-bred son of Heart’s Cry landed in the Emirate off a sixth-place finish in the inaugural Group 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
He won the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, as well as the prestigious Woodward at Saratoga last year and Riley Mott, assistant to his father Bob, said Yoshida is looking good ahead of the big race.
“He’s settled in really well,” he said. “He traveled great and we’re very happy with him. The facilities here are top class. This is my seventh time over here and we’re treated very well.”
Yoshida went out just after 7:00 a.m. in Monday to stretch his legs over the famous dirt track.
“He just had a routine gallop this morning and we let him stand in the gate. Nothing too serious,” Mott said.
Jose Ortiz, who has piloted Yoshida though his last two starts and was aboard for the Grade 1 score at Churchill Downs, will make his first appearance in Dubai. Mott said he expects Ortiz, who guided Yoshida to a closing fourth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, will have plenty of options in the 2000m race.
“It sounds like there’s a lot of pace from the local horses, but we have a horse that’s pretty versatile in the way he runs,” Mott said. “He’s able to adapt to the pace scenario. It’s just a matter of how the race develops in front of him.”