Nadezhda Fedorova suspended for anti-doping violation

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has suspended Russian cross-country skier Nadezhda Fedorova for four years for committing an anti-doping violation.

The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympian returned an adverse analytical finding for oxandrolone metabolites in a urine sample provided on 26 October 2018 in an out of competition test in Novosibirsk, Russia, where the athlete was training.

This substance is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2018 Prohibited List under the category S1.1A Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (exogenous).

As a result of her violation, Fedorova will be ineligible for competition for four years from 8 July 2019 to 7 July 2023. All her results obtained from 26 October 2018 and onwards will be disqualified including forfeiture of any medals, points, records and prizes.

James Sclater, the IPC’s Anti-Doping Director, said: “This violation is the result of a targeted test conducted by the IPC at a time when the Russian Paralympic Committee was suspended as an IPC member.

“Throughout Russia’s suspension we continued to test Russian Para athletes who were part of a Registered Testing Pool, a group of top-level athletes in specific Paralympic sports who take part in an out-of-competition testing programme.

“Fedorova was eligible to compete at PyeongChang 2018 as a Neutral Paralympic Athlete after returning two clear anti-doping tests in the six months prior to the Paralympic Winter Games. This was a key criterium athletes had to meet to compete at the Games.

“Following Russia’s reinstatement as an IPC member earlier this year, we are continuing to implement an enhanced testing programme in the country.”

At PyeongChang 2018, Fedorova competed in six sit-ski biathlon and cross-country skiing events. Her highest placing was fourth in the 5km cross-country skiing event.

The IPC would like to remind all athletes the principle of strict liability applies to anti-doping matters and that any athletes who need to take a prohibited substance for medical reasons should seek a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

Each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her sample, and that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in his or her bodily specimen, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.

As a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), the IPC remains committed to a doping-free sporting environment at all levels. The IPC, together with the International Federations and the National Paralympic Committees, established the IPC Anti-Doping Code to prevent doping in sport for Paralympic athletes, in the spirit of fair play. The IPC Anti-Doping Code is in conformity with the general principles of the WADC.

Nottwil 2019: Noah Malone makes his way

The USA’s Noah Malone was one of a host of emerging young stars to shine on the second day of the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland.

Malone has been on the rise nationally. But on Friday he marked his Team USA debut with an international victory in the men's 100m T12 in 10.92, despite swirling wind and rain at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre.

Others to have had a fine day were Malone’s teammates Jackson Atwood, who won his second gold ahead of Portugal’s Rafael Neto in as many days in the men's 100m T54, and Joel Gomez, who dominated from start to finish in the men's 1,500m T53.

South Africa’s Puseletso Mabote returned to the track a day after becoming a world-record holder to take silver in the men's 100m T45-T64 in a race won by Jose Martins Da Costa as the Brazilian claimed his second title of the meet.

Kiara Rodriguez of Ecuador won her second gold in as many events in the women's 100m T46 and will aim for her third in the long jump; and the USA’s Hannah Dederick also made her second trip to the top of the podium by winning the women's 100m T54.

MALONE ON THE RISE

Malone arrived in Nottwil with personal bests of 10.59 and 21.31 in the 100m and 200m respectively.

The 17-year-old only made his Para athletics debut in May 2018, but he has made great progress under coach Andrew Ponsler. Nottwil marks his first trip outside the United States.

“This has been one of my best memories in track and field,” Malone said. “I’ve met so many people, I’ve learned so many things and just the environment, I love it - so words can’t describe it.”

Malone’s world changed on his first day of eighth grade when the 13-year-old found he could not see what the teacher had written on the board.

He was diagnosed with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy which leads to a loss of central vision.

“I had to do a lot of adjusting, a lot of accepting, a lot of transitioning in the classroom, on the track and in life,” he said. “It was hard but I did get through it. It was just a lesson overall.

“I was a very big basketball person and I even tried out for the basketball team in eighth grade with my vision loss and I made the team but the games were too fast-paced so I had to stop basketball but I still had track.”

It was the intervention of a teacher at the Indiana School for the Blind two years ago that made a real difference.

Knowing of his athletic talent, she put him in contact with Cathy Sellers, Team USA’s former Paralympic track and field director.

“Para sport has helped my confidence a lot because obviously there is a bunch of visually-impaired people here. I talk to them, I learn from them and it just has helped that I have a platform to still compete competitively.

“I compete with able bodied in high school and I won the state meet for the 200 in Indiana. I love to compete with able bodied and I love to compete in the Paralympic world too. I think the combination of both worlds is just perfect.

“I would love to do both if I had the opportunity and I keep working hard and times keep dropping, I would sure jump at the opportunity to do both. Hopefully when I am a little bit older I can get there, maybe during college. That would be a goal of mine.”

Malone comes from a track-loving family. His parents Kyle and LaTasha both ran in college and his 11-year-old sister Zion also competes.

“I am always around them, they are very good with helping me, they know me the best so they have really brought me through it for sure. I couldn’t do it alone.”

Next up following Nottwil are the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, and potentially a trip to the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai in November.

He will compete against senior athletes at Lima 2019, a prospect he describes with “nervous excitement.”

“That’s a good way to put it. Every day I’ve been really hyped and excited to just run because I just love to run. All the experience I am having and continue to have - I learn from them all and I am just excited.”

The World Junior Championships takes place until Sunday and can be watched live on World Para Athletics website https://www.paralympic.org/athletics and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ParaAthletics/

More information, including start lists, results and visitor information, can be found on the event website https://www.nottwil2019.ch/en/

Vote for July’s Allianz Athlete of the Month

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has revealed the shortlist for July’s Allianz Athlete of the Month, and the public can now vote for the winner on www.paralympic.org.

The nominations are:

Abdula Kuramagomedov, RUS, judo

Delivered a surprise victory at the European Championships, beating Georgian world champion Zviad Gogotchuri in the men’s up to 100kg.

Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, MAS, powerlifting

Twenty-year-old shocked Paralympic champions Paul Kehinde and Liu Lei, pushing 207kg to claim his first senior major title at the World Championships in the men’s up to 65kg.

Bose Omolayo, NGR, powerlifting

Broke the world record en route to taking the women’s up to 79kg gold at the World Championships. The Nigerian successfully pushed 142kg to claim her first Worlds title.

Mariska Beijer, NED, wheelchair basketball

Was the top scorer throughout the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball European Championship tournament with 170 points, including 24 in the gold medal victory over Great Britain.

Silvia Biasi, ITA, sitting volleyball

Defensive specialist was instrumental in securing the women’s team a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, via their first-ever historic European Championship medal with silver against Russia.

The 2019 winners are:

January – Jeroen Kampschreur, NED, alpine skiing

February – Yujie Li, CHN, taekwondo

March – Lisa Bunschoten, NED, snowboard

April – Michael Roeger, AUS, athletics

May – Koji Sugeno, JPN, wheelchair tennis

June – Antoni Ponce, ESP, swimming

Nottwil 2019: Mabote sets new world record inspired by teammate

The first day of the World Para Athletics Junior Championships got off to an exhilarating start in Nottwil, Switzerland, on Thursday with a world record for 14-year-old South African Puseletso Mabote amid a string of fine performances.

Mabote set the new record in the men's 200m T45-64, clocking 26.36 to slice 0.08 off the previous T63 mark set in June by Atsushi Yamamoto, the Japanese triple Paralympic silver medallist, and pointed to teammate Ntando Mahlangu as his inspiration.

The second edition of the event, held at the Sport Arena of the Swiss Paraplegic Centre, features Under-17 and Under-20 categories involving more than 300 athletes from 42 countries.

The USA’s Hannah Dederick claimed three titles at the first edition in 2017, and she continued that fine form with victory in the women’s 400m T54 in 59.37.

Mahlangu, who became a global star after winning silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, ranked first in the 200m T61 in 23.03, surging through the field in the latter stages.

The Under-17 category highlighted some young stars of the future with 13-year-old Alenezi Abdulrahman, of Kuwait, the youngest in action.

MABOTE MAKES HISTORY

But it was Mabote who produced a stand-out performance, and he shocked himself in the process.

“Wow! That is a real honour for me to call myself a world record-holder. I never thought I would be a world record holder. Now I am. I knew I was on good form but not that much,” he said.

“The race at the beginning it was very, very scary – I was very nervous at the time. The first few metres were not as great as I thought but the rest of the race went good,” the South African added.

Mabote was just 5 years old when he was run over by a truck on the way to school which resulted in him having his right leg amputated above the knee.

“The first two years were very tough but I adapted,” he said. “I started to learn how to use my disability to the max.”

He used crutches before being given a prosthetic when he was 8, and two years later he was introduced to sport by Johan Snyders, South Africa’s team manager and the man behind Jumping Kids, an organisation that provides prosthetic limb technology to children.

But it was Rio 2016 that made a real impact upon the teenager who had little knowledge of Paralympic sport before then.

“I was introduced into sport after the 2016 Paralympics so I watched it then I was inspired and then I went into it,” he said.

Citing Mahlangu as his inspiration, Mabote also acknowledged Snyders and the South Africa coaching team.

“They motivated me from the beginning especially our manager Johan and our coach. They were behind me 100 per cent.”

“It’s a real honour,” he said about being in Nottwil. “Especially for my school because they are going to call the newspaper people and stuff like that so they are going to put me out there.

“So I am doing this for my country and for everybody.”

Next up on Friday is the 100m – his best event – in which he is looking to get a gold medal and another world record.

MAHLANGU EMBRACES INSPIRATIONAL ROLE

Despite being only 17, Mahlangu has become a role model thanks to his medal-winning exploits in Rio which came only four years after he had stepped out of his wheelchair for the first time.

“I can say that to be a role model to other people it’s nice,” he said.

“Last time, I came here with my coach and one other guy Daniel. For me it is a really a good thing. Now we came with a team.

“So we are definitely inspiring more people out there in South Africa, the team is growing and I am wishing to see what is going to happen in the future. It’s going to be nice.”

Mahlangu has spent time at home doing school sports, racing able-bodied athletes over 400m and 800m, and again blazing a trail.

“They’ve been nice to me, they have been giving me a chance to show people out there what I can do,” he said.

“I’ve been running the 400 and 800 with them and running some great times.

“I am just trying to show people out there that if I can do it that means other kids can do it too. I am trying to inspire the new generation to come in and do what they do best. If it’s running then they must come out here and run.”

The World Junior Championships takes place until Sunday and can be watched live on World Para Athletics website and Facebook page.

More information, including start lists, results and visitor information, can be found on the event website. https://www.nottwil2019.ch/en/