Russia have been warned they could be banned from all major sports events, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
They have been given three weeks to explain inconsistencies in its lab database.
Following its three-year suspension for state-sponsored doping, Russia had to hand over data from its Moscow laboratory in January.
A formal compliance procedure has now been opened following the discovery of ‘inconsistencies’.
Chairman of Wada’s compliance panel, Jonathan Taylor, told the BBC: “There’s evidence this data has been deleted.
“We need to understand from the Russian authorities what their explanation is.”
Russia risk being excluded from the Olympics and world championships and other events including the 2022 World Cup.
It also faces the prospect of being barred from hosting major events.
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Taylor added: “This is hypothetical at the moment, but if the experts maintain their current view, then the compliance review committee will make a recommendation to send a notice to Rusada asserting ‘you’re non-compliant’ and proposing consequences.
“In a case with a ‘critical non-compliance’, there is now a starting point for the sanctions that can go up and down, and they do include sanctions against Rusada and options include no events hosted in Russia, and they do include no participation of Russian athletes in world championships and up to the Olympics.”
Russia was accused of operating a state-sponsored doping programme from around 2011 to 2015 across the ‘vast majority’ of summer and winter Olympic sports.
A Wada report said Russia’s sports ministry oversaw the manipulation of urine samples by its athletes in the build-up to London 2012 and through the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Former head of Russia’s national anti-doping lab, Grigory Rodchenkov, claimed he helped replace dozens of urine samples with clean urine with the help of the Russian secret service, the FSB.
Wada recommended that Russia be banned from the 2016 Olympics in Rio but the International Olympics Committee (IOC) rejected that.
Russia was suspended from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang with athletes forced to compete as neutrals.
Caster Semenya has lost her legal battle with athletics’ world governing body the IAAF over its regulations restricting testosterone levels in women runners in selected events, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced.
The two-time Olympic 800 metres champion and Athletics South Africa had claimed the rules, which would force athletes with naturally-occurring high levels of testosterone to take medication to lower them, were unlawful.
The 28-year-old has one of the various genetic conditions collectively known as differences or disorders of sex development (DSD).
But CAS said in a statement on Wednesday: “By majority, the CAS panel has dismissed the requests for arbitration considering that the claimants were unable to establish that the DSD regulations were ‘invalid’.
“The panel found that the DSD regulations are discriminatory, but the majority of the panel found that, on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events.”
Semenya responded on social media with a tweet which read: “Sometimes it’s better to react with no reaction.”
Semenya has been the subject of intense scrutiny ever since she burst onto the scene at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, where she won the first of her three world titles.
Aged just 18, she achieved that feat despite the emotional strain caused by international media speculation about a gender verification test following complaints from rivals about her muscular build.
The IAAF’s proposed regulations concern athletes competing in events from the 400m to the mile.
However, despite the award in favour of the IAAF, CAS said its panel “expressed some serious concerns as to the future practical application” of the DSD regulations.
CAS said that while the “evidence available so far has not established that those concerns negate the conclusion of prima facie proportionality, this may change in the future unless constant attention is paid to the fairness of how the regulations are implemented”.
It highlighted the following three key issues.
The panel “expressed its concern as to an athlete’s potential inability to remain in compliance with the DSD regulations in periods of full compliance with treatment protocols, and, more specifically, the resulting consequences of unintentional non-compliance”.
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It also suggested the IAAF “consider deferring the application of the DSD regulations” to the 1500m and mile because of the current lack of “concrete evidence of actual (in contrast to theoretical) significant athletic advantage” in these events.
And it added “the side effects of hormonal treatment, experienced by individual athletes could, with further evidence, demonstrate the practical impossibility of compliance which could, in turn, lead to a different conclusion as to the proportionality of the DSD regulations.”
The IAAF said it was “grateful” to CAS for its judgement and was “pleased” its regulations had been upheld.
It said the regulations would be coming into effect on May 8.
As a result, affected athletes hoping to be eligible for the World Championships in Doha in October, have a week to reduce testosterone levels to within the regulation levels, so, the IAAF said, they “are encouraged to initiate their suppressive treatment as soon as possible”.
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The regulations require athletes to reduce their testosterone levels to below 5 nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months prior to competition.
But the IAAF said that, because of the delay in implementing the rules caused by Semenya’s legal challenge, it will accept affected athletes who comply with the limit starting on or before May 8 as eligible.
The governing body added: “No athlete will be forced to undergo any assessment and/or treatment under these regulations. It is each athlete’s responsibility, in close consultation with her medical team, to decide whether or not to proceed with any assessment and/or treatment.”
Tyler Magloire has become the fastest player in Blackburn Rovers’ history, hitting a top speed of 10.6 metres per second (m/s).
To put that into perspective, it makes him quicker than Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, who notched a top speed of 10.55m/s during the 3-1 win over Monaco.
It also means he has beaten Usain Bolt’s average time from his 100m sprint when he set the world record back in 2009 in Berlin.
The 20-year-old smashed the previous record at Edwood Park, eclipsing the 10.2m/s record previously held by Josh King.
“Nobody beats him in a foot race,” Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray said after handing the centre-back Magloire his debut in a 3-0 win over Wigan last month.
Having been with Rovers since he was nine, the defender has had to wait patiently for his chance. At the start of the season, he injured knee ligaments and was ruled out for four months, making him think his chance had gone.
NEED FOR SPEED
Tyler Magloire has serious pace...
Tyler Magloire: 10.6 m/s
Kylian Mbappe: 10.55 m/s
Usain Bolt: 10.44 m/s (average, Berlin 2009 – top speed 12.42 m/s)
“It was tough,” he told Sky Sports News. “While I was injured, I spent quite a bit of time with the club psychologist. He helped me keep my head, made sure when I came back I was ready to go again.”
He returned for the Under-23 side, who were seemingly set for the drop from the Premier League 2 Division 1. However, as captain, Magloire led Damien Johnson’s side to 12 wins in their last 16 matches.
As a result of his fine form, the young Englishman was rewarded with a new professional contract in February until June 2022.
The club, Bolt and his agent Ricky Simms were in talks over a commercial-based deal with the Australian club, but said they will not be “able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner”.
The Jamaican said: “I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead.”
Bolt’s brace came in a friendly against Macarthur South West United, with on-loan strike partner Ross McCormack saying: “If he pulls it all together, he can be some threat”.
Central Coast Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth wished Bolt well for the future.
He said: “Despite the fact that we could not come to an agreement that would continue Usain Bolt’s football journey with the Central Coast Mariners, we’ve been thrilled to have the Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder as part of our club for these past eight weeks.
“For the Mariners, it’s been a pleasure to work with Usain as he pursued his desire to become a professional football player.
We wish @usainbolt all the best in his future endeavours and thank him for being a part of the Mariners Family.
“From day one, Usain dedicated himself to being part of the Mariners. He integrated very well into the team and made great strides as a footballer.
“Most notable, was his performance in Campbelltown where he scored two goals helping the Mariners secure a 4-0 win against Macarthur South West United.
“Whilst we understand that Usain will not be part of the club going forward, the Central Coast Mariners wish him all the best in his future endeavours and we hope that opportunities arise to collaborate in other capacities in the future.”
But Keogh, the former Wolves star now playing for Perth Glory in the A-League, is unconvinced by Bolt’s ability and says giving him a contract would be ‘facial’ and would make a mockery of the game.
“It’s nice to have the attention on the A-League but him playing in the A-League, that’s not for me,” Keogh told Off the Ball.
“For me, he’s not going to be able to make it [as a footballer].
“He’s shown a bit [of potential] but it’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth to the professionals that are in the league.”
Asked about the Jamaican’s first touch, he added: “From what I’ve seen, it’s like a trampoline, so I’m not too sure.
“If there’s someone who genuinely thinks he’d be a good football addition, I don’t think they should be in a position to make those calls.
“It’s fine from a marketing point of view but from a football perspective, it’s a little bit farcical.
“He says he’s chasing a dream of becoming a professional footballer yet he’s come out with quotes about he wants X amount [of money] when, if you’re chasing the dream, it’s not about the money and he’s obviously contradicted himself massively there.”
Bolt, who holds the 100m and 200m world records, retired from athletics last year.
However, the Aussie club have conceded it is unlikely they will agree terms without financial help.
In a statement posted on the club’s official website, the Mariners said: “The Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt’s representative Ricky Simms have progressed contract discussions and would like to offer clarity around the negotiations between the club and Usain Bolt.
“The club can confirm that a contract proposal has been offered by the Central Coast Mariners and negotiations remain ongoing with Usain Bolt and his management regarding his football future.
“Both parties are eager to explore all options and ensure that if there is a suitable way forward for both player and club, the two parties will keep working together and formalise an agreement.
“The Central Coast Mariners want to ensure that Usain Bolt is given every chance possible to fulfil his dream to become a professional football player.”
Bolt’s brace came earlier this month in a friendly against Macarthur South West, having joined the club in August for a training period.
“There are two main terms of discussion involved in this negotiation – football and commercial,” the Mariners added.
“Regarding the football terms of the negotiations, Usain has made great progression during his time on the Central Coast and we feel that he will improve further with more individual intensive training and competitive game time.
“We are looking at ways to do this as the club does not have the luxury to be able to do this in the Hyundai A-League.
“Regarding the commercial terms of the negotiations, Usain Bolt’s management and the Central Coast Mariners are in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.
“It is important to note that contract values speculated in the media are incorrect. Without the financial contribution of an external third party, it is unlikely that Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners will agree to terms.
“To ensure that there is no distraction to the Hyundai A-League squad in preparing for this weekend’s match versus Melbourne City, Usain Bolt will not attend team training this week, until and if the club and Usain Bolt can agree to terms and formalise an arrangement.”
Move over Henry and Bergkamp, Cole and Yorke, Suarez and Sturridge – there’s a new star strike duo in town…
Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time, and Aston Villa reject Ross McCormack formed an unlikely partnership as they started up front for Australian club Central Coast Mariners on Friday.
They combined to score three goals between them, with Bolt netting a brace on his first start in professional football.
What a time to be alive!
The game was a pre-season friendly in New South Wales against Macarthur South West United – a side made up of the best players from teams in the region.
It provided Bolt with his latest run-out, having joined the Australian club – whose sporting director is former Manchester United assistant coach Mike Phelan – on an ‘indefinite’ trial in the summer.
Still yet to be handed a professional contract, Bolt failed to score on his debut in August, but found the net twice on his first start for the side on Friday, playing alongside Scotland international McCormack.
McCormack also joined the Mariners this summer, signing on loan from Aston Villa, and he too netted in the 4-0 victory.
It’s been a rollercoaster two years for the 32-year-old, who was one of the Championship’s top players with Fulham before leaving to join Villa in 2016.
It was claimed he moved to have a better chance to play Premier League football, but fell out of favour at Villa Park. Two years later, Fulham are in the top flight and he’s on loan in Australia.
However, starting alongside and scoring with a true sporting legend will surely be a career highlight – if a bizarre one.
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