It’s starting to look as if heading the Russian anti-doping agency, Rusada, is a very dangerous job. The man who headed the agency until his resignation in December 2015 is now dead of an apparent heart attack. Nikita Kamayev is reported to have been out cross-country skiing, returned home and complained of pain. He died.
The spokesperson for Rusada said in a statement to the press that Kamayev had not been ill and had not complained about heart troubles.
Kamayev resigned from his post late last year as scandal broke out around doping issues. The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) alleged that widespread doping of Russian athletes was occurring. The IAAF subsequently suspended Russian athletes from international competition.
Kamayev’s death follows closely upon that of Vyaacheslav Sinev who headed the Russian anti-doping agency prior to Kamayev. Sinev died on February 3, 2016. No cause of death has been reported.
The damning WADA report accused Russian state sponsored and promoted the use of performance enhancing substances. They allege that bribes were paid and that a former head of the IAAF conspired with President Putin to improperly resolve doping issues.
The IAAF has now published the names of Russian athletes who are banned from international competition. The list includes over 4000 names. Some medals won by fellow athletes as far back as 2001 are now tainted.
This has put the participation of Russia’s athletes in the 2010 Olympics in jeopardy. Aside from the humiliation of accusations of state sponsored cheating, President Putin is likely to be reliving his disappointment in 1984 when he was set to compete in the Olympics in judo.
It’s not just track and field athletes that are getting caught at cheating. The professional cycling world is constantly catching cheats. Tiny assist motors are one of the ways cheating may be happening. Doping of athletes is more commonplace. Russian cycling team Katusha has had a rider suspended for failing his drug test.
Cheating is not limited to Russian athletes. Kenyan athletes are currently on a watch list. There are 18 suspended athletes at this time.
Winners of international sports competitions can count on lucrative spin offs from their victories.
Professional cycling is big business. Along with big business comes the temptation to cut corners and achieve unfair advantage over competitors. The World Anti Doping Agency(WADA) has taken some much publicized action against cyclists caught doping.
Another kind of cheating in the cycling world has been rumoured for a few years. Allegations that some of the top performers have miniature motors secreted in their bicycles have been made. Top cyclist Chris Froome has had his bicycles x-rayed numerous times in search of possible motors. All his bikes were clean. Fabian Cancellara was accused of secreting tiny motors within his competition bikes. His bikes were disassembled in search of “mechanical doping”. He is reputed to have laughed off the accusations and pointed out that he had two motors – his legs.
Internet sites are available that show how a very small motor could be concealed within the tubing or wheel hub of a bicycle. Even so it all seemed pretty far fetched.
Until now. A competitor in the under 23 cyclocross world championships was caught with a device secreted in her bicycle. She claims an innocent mistake was made and that the offending bicycle was not hers. She claims that the race bike belonged to a friend and was mistakenly handed to her by her mechanic.
It’s absolutely clear that there was technological fraud. There was a concealed motor. I don’t think there are any secrets about that,” UCI president Brian Cookson told a news conference. Velo News
Two time TDF winner Chris Froome is taking the “mechanical doping” of competition bikes seriously and has spoken to cycling’s reform commission about the new form of fraud.
Just as the chemical doping of athletes with performance enhancing substances has evolved over the years, so too is mechanical doping. Apparently the placing of electric motors is now passé. The new way of cheating is to embed wires within the carbon structure of the rear wheel. Twenty to 60 watts of electricity are reputed to be generated to assist the rider. The athlete need never know that he is riding a doped bike.
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