Six from 2005 worlds caught in doping retests

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Updated 10 March 2013
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Six from 2005 worlds caught in doping retests

LONDON: Six athletes from Russia and Belarus, including three gold and two silver medalists, have been caught for doping in retests of their samples from the 2005 track and field world championships in Helsinki.
Nazdeya Ostapchuk, a Belarusian shot putter who was also stripped of her London Olympic gold medal for doping, was one of the six named yesterday by the IAAF. She won the shot put at the 2005 worlds and finished second in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
The other two gold medalists from 2005 were the hammer throwers, men’s winner Ivan Tsikhan of Belarus and women’s champion Olga Kuzenkova of Russia.
Tsikhan won the Olympic bronze medal in 2008, and originally finished second at the 2004 Athens Games before being stripped of his silver medal for doping. He also won gold at the 2003 and 2007 world championships. Kuzenkova won the Olympic gold medal in 2004.
The other three are: Vadim Devyatovskiy of Belarus, who took second in the hammer at the 2005 worlds; Tatyana Kotova of Russia, who was second in the long jump; and Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus, who was sixth in the shot put but won gold in the event at the 2003 worlds.
The IAAF said it was opening disciplinary procedures against the six. It did not say for what substances the athletes tested positive, nor what the punishments could be. If found guilty of doping, they face being stripped of their medals and results and could be suspended for two years or more.
“The IAAF’s message to cheaters is increasingly clear that, with constant advancements being made in doping detection, there is no place to hide,” IAAF President Lamine Diack said in a statement. “The IAAF will continue to do everything in its power to ensure the credibility of competition, and where the rules have been broken, will systematically uncover the cheats.” Frozen samples from Helsinki were re-tested by the IAAF just within the eight-year statute of limitations for drug violations laid down by the World Anti-Doping Code.
The IAAF said it retested samples using “the most up-to-date analytical techniques.” If Tsikhan and Devyatovskiy are stripped of their medals, then Szymon Ziolkowski of Poland would stand to be moved up to gold. Yipsi Morena of Cuba was second to Kuzenkova in the women’s hammer and could be upgraded, while Olga Ryabinkina of Russia could get gold and Valerie Adams of New Zealand silver in the women’s shot put if Ostapchuk loses her medal.
Ostapchuk was stripped of her London Olympic gold medal in August, only hours after the closing ceremony.
The IOC said she tested positive for steroids both before and after winning the shot put. The gold medal was later awarded to Valerie Adams of New Zealand.
In an e-mail to The Associated Press last week, IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies confirmed the announcement last month by Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency that it provisionally suspended Kotova for failing a test at the 2005 worlds.

Two other athletes previously had their performances annulled at the 2005 worlds for doping, hammer thrower Vladislav Piskunov of Ukraine and discus thrower Neelam Jaswant Singh of India.


Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

Updated 23 April 2018
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Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

  • Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
  • Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award

LONDON: Liverpool’s star forward, Mohamed Salah, was named the best player in the Premier League at the English PFA Player of the Year awards on Sunday.

Salah said  when he left the Premier League he had always wanted to return as he did not get a chance at Chelsea. “It was very clear in my mind, I will return back to the Premier League and I will show everyone my football,” he said after receiving the award adding that he was a changed person when he return to England’s top league. “I am very happy for this award, and very happy for my teammates and what we are doing in the Premier League,” the striker said.

When asked about his impressive form, Salah said “I play for the team, not just for myself,” and praised his teammates for their support: “The players help me a lot to be here.” 

The Egyptian, who was the clear favorite to pick up the prize, was going head-to-head with Manchester City’s Premier League-winning midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
The other four nominees were David De Gea, Harry Kane, Leroy Sane and David Silva, though nobody expected them to pip Salah.
The PFA Player of the Year award is voted for by the players from England’s 92 professional clubs in the Premier League and Football League.
Salah, in his second spell in England following an unsuccessful move to Chelsea in 2014, also leads the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
Currently top on 30 goals for the season, Tottenham’s Harry Kane is just four goals behind with four games left to play.
The Tuesday after the PFA awards, Liverpool and Salah face the Eygptian’s old team Roma in the Champions League semifinals.