FACTBOX-Doping-Headline doping stories in 2013

March 29 Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:00am GMT

March 29 (Reuters) - Following are the main doping stories in sport in the first quarter of 2013:

ATHLETICS

Five Kenyan marathon runners have been suspended for doping and six athletes, including former Olympic and three-times world hammer champion Ivan Tsikhan, will be disciplined for failing dope tests after their samples from the 2005 Helsinki world championships were re-examined.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) retests samples from previous championships in an effort to detect substances for which no valid tests existed at the time.

Seventeen unidentified athletes face bans after abnormalities were found in the biological passports which track changes in their blood profiles.

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BASEBALL

Major League Baseball League (MLB) commissioner Bud Selig has called for stiffer penalties for players caught using performance-enhancing drugs in a sport which already has the strictest testing programme of the four major U.S. sports.

Baseball recently added blood tests and baseline testosterone readings to its tests and players caught for a third time receive lifetime bans.

The MLB is investigating a newspaper report that several players had been supplied with human growth hormone, testosterone and anabolic steroids by a Florida anti-ageing clinic. New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, one of the players named in the report who has confessed to taking steroids between 2001 and 2003, denied the allegations.

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BOXING

American Lamont Peterson, who had not fought for 14 months after a positive test for synthetic testosterone, retained his IBF light-welterweight title by stopping compatriot Kendall Holt in the eighth round.

Peterson was stripped of his WBA belt when he tested positive after injecting testosterone pellets into his hip before a rematch last year with Amir Khan, the Briton he defeated to take two world titles. The fight was called off.

The IBF had allowed Peterson to keep its belt, saying it was happy with an independent investigation which accepted Peterson's camp's claim that the testosterone had been taken for therapeutic reasons.

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CYCLING

After years of denial, Lance Armstrong admitted on a U.S. television show that he had taken banned drugs before each of his seven Tour de France victories.

Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen, who was kicked off his team in the 2007 Tour de France for lying about his whereabouts, told a news conference that he doped for 12 years.

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GOLF

The PGA is set to announce its decision following an admission by former world number one Vijay Singh that he had used deer antler spray containing a banned substance.

The three-times major winner told Sports Illustrated magazine that he had used the spray, which is believed to speed up recovery from injury, but had been unaware that it contained a banned anabolic agent.

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RUGBY LEAGUE

Six leading Australian rugby league clubs confirmed they were being investigated for possible doping violations following a report released by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) after a year-long investigation by the country's leading criminal intelligence organisation.

The report, which said the use of performance-enhancing drugs was widespread among professional and amateur athletes in Australia, was described as the "blackest day in Australian sport" by a former head of ASADA.

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SOCCER

FIFA announced it would use biological passports at this year's Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup in Brazil.

The decision followed a call from Arsene Wenger, the manager of English Premier League side Arsenal, to introduce compulsory blood testing.

Peru midfielder Joel Sanchez was banned for two years after failing a dope test in a World Cup qualifier against Bolivia last October.

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SWIMMING

Three Russian swimmers were banned for doping in two days by the country's anti-doping agency.

One of the trio, European 100 metres backstroke short-course record holder Ksenia Moskvina, was banned for six years after failing a second test in three months.

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TENNIS

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced it would introduce biological passports and increase the number of blood tests.

According to figures on the ITF website (www.itftennis.com), only 21 out-of-competition tests were conducted in 2011. (Compiled by John Mehaffey; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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