doping

Getty Images

Conor Dwyer banned through Tokyo Olympics for doping, retires from swimming

Leave a comment

Conor Dwyer, a two-time Olympic swimming relay champion, announced retirement after being banned through the Tokyo Olympics for having testosterone pellets surgically implanted into his body and failing three drug tests in late 2018.

“This is an unfortunate end to an incredible chapter of my life,” was posted on Dwyer’s social media. “I believe that things happen for a reason, and I can’t wait to share with you all the next chapter of my life.”

Dwyer said in a press release that he “made an honest but unfortunate mistake” with the pellets, saying a doctor assured him they were legal.

An independent panel banned him 20 months, retroactive to Dec. 21, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Dwyer, 30, last competed at the August 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, where he qualified for this past summer’s world championships. Dwyer’s name was taken off the world championships roster in May without explanation.

Dwyer was part of U.S. Olympic champion 4x200m freestyle relays in 2012 and 2016. He earned 200m free bronze in 2016, plus seven world championships medals (six on relays) from 2011 through 2017.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Ryan Lochte wins U.S. swimming title in return from suspension

One Olympic event, eight athletes fail drug tests: Another weightlifter faces DQ

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The 2012 Olympic men’s weightlifting 94kg event, arguably already the dirtiest in history with six of the top seven finishers stripped for steroid use, added another name to its doping list.

Albanian Endri Karina, who originally finished 14th but had moved up to seventh via other athletes’ doping DQs, failed a retest of his doping sample from those Games.

Karina’s sample tested positive for steroids, and he has been provisionally suspended, according to the International Weightlifting Federation.

It is up to the IOC to determine if Karina will be retroactively disqualified from the 2012 London Olympics. Given precedent, that’s likely to happen.

The IOC already retroactively stripped seven lifters from that event for failing retests of doping samples, all for anabolic steroids:

Gold: Ilya Ilyin (Kazakhstan)
Silver: Aleksandr Ivanov (Russia)
Bronze: Anatoli Cîrîcu (Moldova)
4. Andrey Demanov (Russia)
6. Intigam Zairov (Azerbaijan)
7. Almas Uteshov (Kazakhstan)
11. Norik Vardanian (Armenia)

The fifth-place finisher, Saeid Mohammadpour of Iran, was upgraded to gold. The eighth-place finisher, Kim Min-jae of South Korea, to silver. The ninth-place finisher, Tomasz Zielinski of Poland, to bronze.

Zielinski was thrown out of the Rio Olympics after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.

(h/t @OlympicStatman)

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: New Zealand weightlifter can become first transgender Olympian

Alberto Salazar, track coach and marathon champion, gets four-year doping ban

Alberto Salazar
Getty Images
1 Comment

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Renowned track coach Alberto Salazar, who trained four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah, along with a gold medalist and other top contenders at this week’s world championships, has been kicked out of the competition after being handed a four-year ban in a case long pursued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA said in a news release early Tuesday that an arbitration panel decided on the four-year penalty for Salazar and endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown for, among other violations, possessing and trafficking testosterone while training top runners at the Nike Oregon Project (NOP).

Brown did consulting work for the NOP and was a personal physician for some of the runners.

Among the seven runners listed as members of Salazar’s team are Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who won the 10,000m on Saturday night, and is entered to run later this week in the 1500m; and Donavan Brazier and Clayton Murphy of the U.S., each scheduled to run the 800m final Tuesday.

The USADA ban went into effect Monday, and track’s governing body, the IAAF, moved quickly to revoke Salazar’s credential for the final six days in Doha. The Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees anti-doping in track, was preparing to notify the Salazar athletes that they could not associate with their coach because of his ban.

In a statement released by NOP, Salazar said he was shocked by the arbitration outcome, and that he would appeal. He said throughout a six-year investigation, he and his athletes “endured unjust, unethical and highly damaging treatment from the USADA.”

“The Oregon Project has never and will never permit doping,” Salazar said.

Hassan released a statement saying she was aware of the USADA investigation when she joined Salazar’s team “and have always had a clean conscience, knowing we are being monitored to the absolute fullest by USADA and” the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“I am saddened by the timing of USADA as it brings my championship out of balance,” she said.

The existence of the long-running USADA investigation became public after a 2015 report by BBC and ProPublica that detailed some of Salazar’s practices, which included use of testosterone gel and infusions of a supplement called L-carnitine that, when mixed with insulin, can greatly enhance athletic performance.

Distance runner Kara Goucher and a former NOP coach, Steve Magness, were among the witnesses who provided evidence for the case. USADA said it received information from 30 witnesses. Goucher left NOP in 2011, and in the ProPublica piece, she called Salazar a “sort of a win-at-all-costs person and it’s hurting the sport.”

Farah, who runs for Britain, worked with the Nike Oregon Project while he was racking up six world and four Olympic titles. During that period, UK Athletics did its own investigation into Salazar and gave Farah the OK to continue working with him. Farah parted ways with Salazar in 2017, saying he wanted to move back home.

On Tuesday, Farah released a statement saying he has “no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line.”

Salazar also coached two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp of the U.S., who in the past has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

The 61-year-old Cuban born coach was a college star at Oregon, who went on to win four major marathon titles, in New York and Boston, from 1980-82.

USADA’s dogged pursuit of him in a difficult case that never directly implicated any of his athletes was a reminder of how track’s doping issues stretch well beyond the Russian scandal that has overtaken the sport over the last several years. The other four Salazar athletes in Doha this week are from Ethiopia (Yomif Kejelcha), Germany (Konstanze Klosterhalfen) and the United States (Jessica Hull and Craig Engels).

USADA said it relied on more than 2,000 exhibits between the two cases and that proceedings included nearly 5,800 pages of transcripts.

“The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said. “While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr. Salazar and Dr. Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and wellbeing of the athletes they were sworn to protect.”

MORE: Top 400m runner forced to 200m at worlds due to testosterone rule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!