USADA bans Blandford for four years

30 Nov

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced this week a four-year ban imposed on US masters national champion Jenna Blandford, 33, of Louisville, Kentucky. Blandford was reported to the agency's Play Clean Tip Center hotline by her boyfriend, Jeff Miller, who accepted a four-year ban and agreed to cooperate with USADA.

According to the American Arbitration Association (AAA) award document, Blandford lived with Miller, her coach and partner, who testified during the arbitration hearing that he used testosterone. Blandford also used testosterone, according to Miller, until her voice began to change, at which point he says she switched to human growth hormone (hGH) and oxandrolone.

Their relationship ended in November, 2016 and she moved out. During their break-up, Miller had threatened to turn her in to USADA for doping.

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Miller provided text message exchanges as well as five used syringes, opened vials of Soma-Max 10 with hGH, an open bottle of oxandrolone and receipts for the purchase of the prohibited substances.

Blandford denied using the drugs, claiming that Miller faked the text message exchanges and turned her in out of spite after she left him. She submitted to an out-of-competition doping control on December 3, 2016 and tested negative for performance enhancing substances.

In 2017, Blandford continued to compete, winning four short-track races in Louisville and several other top-10 finishes in cross-country events, including a fourth in the Lumberjack 100 in Michigan, third in the Pisgah Monster Cross Challenge in North Carolina and third in the Fool's Gold race in Georgia in September.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Van Vleuten shows off new time trial world champion’s kit – Gallery

30 Nov

Annemiek van Vleuten, time trial world champion, showed off her new white and rainbow-striped skinsuit in a team photo shoot. The Orica-Scott women's team shared a gallery of images with Cyclingnews and included several images on its team Facebook page Thursday. 

Van Vleuten was supposed to wear her new time trial world champion kit for the first time in a race at the Tour of Bright in Australia but the three-day event, which was due to start on December 1, was cancelled due to severe weather warnings across Melbourne and Victoria.

The team said on its Facebook page, "We are sad that the Tour of Bright was cancelled this weekend & she won't get to race in it, but we had some fun with a photo shoot with Annemiek van Vleuten anyway. We'll just have to do it again for the 2018 version!!"

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Orica announced it would end its title sponsorship of the women's, under-23 Continental and WorldTour team at the end of 2017, while Scott continued on for another three-year term beginning in 2017. Gerry Ryan, the owner of the Greenedge cycling teams, confirmed he will directly help to fund the women's and under-23 Continental teams for 2018 as they search for a title sponsor.

As such, the team confirmed to Cyclingnews that Van Vleuten's time trial world champion's kit will have minor changes next year, and a new debut is set for January 31 at the new UCI 2.2 Women's Herald Sun Tour in Melbourne on January 30 and 31. It will be held ahead of the men's event, which runs from February 1-5.

Van Vleuten won the time trial title at the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen in September. She has also signed a two-year deal with the team, extending her contract until the end of 2019.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

The 7 most important cars at the 2017 Los Angeles auto show

30 Nov
2018 Jeep Wrangler, 2017 Los Angeles auto showSwimming pools, movie stars, and lots of brand new cars: that's Los Angeles in a nutshell. America's biggest new car market served as the backdrop for more than a dozen new car debuts. With relatively cheap gas and increased consumer interest in high-riding crossovers and SUVs, this year's show is a reminder that new car buyers want room...

Trump Plans to Shrink Bears Ears by 1.1 Million Acres

30 Nov

According to a draft document obtained by Outside, President Donald Trump on Monday plans to gut Bears Ears National Monument, the first such area to be co-managed by native tribes, reducing it from 1.35 million acres to 201,397 acres. “I hereby further proclaim that the lands reserved as part of the monument shall be limited to the Indian Creek and Shásh Jaa' areas,” the document reads. Trump also plans to nearly halve the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, according to the documents, which were first reported by the Washington Post.

Though the document is a draft, the numbers line up with the size and scope of the reductions rumored to be coming from the Trump administration. “Those numbers match what you’ve been hearing out of Utah,” says Peter Metcalf, former president of Utah-based Black Diamond Equipment and a longtime public lands advocate. Earlier this year, Utah governor Gary Herbert’s office sent a proposal to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposing a reduction of Bears Ears to roughly 120,000 acres. According to Metcalf, “The amount of due diligence [the Trump administration] did was next to nothing.”

Department of Interior Spokeswoman Heather Swift did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but did tell the Deseret News that the Post—which appears to have the same document obtained by Outside—had “very old and outdated information.”

“We have no reason to think it’s inaccurate,” says Natalie Landreth, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), a non-profit legal organization representing three of the tribes that plan to file suit should the Trump administration downsizes Bears Ears. Ms. Landreth added: “They’re bluffing. We call.”

According to the document, the names Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante will be removed from the monuments. Bears Ears National Monument will become two new monuments, Indian Creek National Monument and Shásh Jaa' National Monument. (Shásh Jaa' is Navajo for “bears ears.”) Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument will in turn become three monuments: Grand Staircase National Monument, Kaiparowits National Monument, and Escalante Canyons National Monument, together comprising 997,490 acres.

Trump’s announcement comes after months of speculation about the future of Bears Ears. Soon after Ryan Zinke was appointed Secretary of the Interior, he announced a review of 27 national monuments around the country. In June, he recommended shrinking Bears Ears despite an overwhelming number of public comments in favor of preserving it. In August, he sent President Trump a memo suggesting that the federal government shrink the two Utah national monuments, as well as Cascade-Siskiyou, in Oregon. (The documents obtained by Outside make no mention of the Oregon monument.)

On Monday, Trump will officially reveal his decision in Utah, which is home to many of the politicians who have led the charge against public land. Republican Congressman Rob Bishop, for example, has spent much of his career trying to gut the Antiquities Act, which presidents since Teddy Roosevelt have used to protect lands without Congressional approval. Other members of the Utah delegation, including Governor Herbert and Senator Orrin Hatch, have also been eager to reduce the size of the monuments.

Metcalf suspects that this is part of a “quid pro quo” so that Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, would support the Republican tax bill. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the president recently told the senator, “I’m approving the Bears Ears recommendation for you, Orrin.”  

Monday’s announcement promises to be the beginning of a spirited legal fight. Along with NARF, the Navajo Nation, Patagonia, and a host of environmental groups plan to file suit arguing that President Trump doesn’t have the authority to so drastically resize Bears Ears.

“Americans have overwhelmingly spoken out against the Trump Administration’s unprecedented attempt to shut down our national monuments,” says Rose Marcario, president and CEO of Patagonia. “If this leaked document is true, the Administration’s unlawful actions betray our shared responsibility to protect iconic places for future generations. We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight in the courts.”