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Armstrong Exposes Doping Deal With UCI Boss

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Lance Armstrong has disclosed that the ex-president of cycling’s world governing body knew he was doping and helped cover it up.
The American was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year before admitting he had taken performance-enhancing drugs during his career.
Armstrong told  Tidesports source that Hein Verbruggen helped him avoid a ban in 1999 by agreeing to blame a positive test on a backdated prescription for a steroid cream to treat saddle sores.
Dutchman Verbruggen was president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) when Armstrong tested positive at the 1999 Tour de France.
Lance Armstrong admits doping to win cycling titles.
The American says Verbruggen approved the idea of backdating the prescription to help protect the image of the sport.
Armstrong, who ‘won’ his first Tour de France in 1999, said, “The real problem was, the sport was on life support [after the 1998 Festina drugs scandal]. ‘This is a real problem for me, this is the knockout punch for our sport, the year after Festina, so we’ve got to come up with something’. So we backdated the prescription,” he said.
In a letter to the national federations, published earlier this month, Verbruggen said his conscience was “absolutely clean”.
He wrote: “I have never acted inappropriately. With the benefit of hindsight, however, I admit that I could have done some things differently, but I do not accept that my integrity is in doubt.”
Current UCI President Brian Cookson was elected in September promising that establishing independent anti-doping procedures and carrying out “a swift investigation into cycling’s doping culture” were his priorities.
The organisation claimed in a statement that it would fully examine its own role in the scandals of the past.
“The UCI’s Independent Commission of Inquiry is in the process of being set up,” it read.
“The commission will invite individuals to provide evidence and we would urge all those involved to come forward and help in its work.
“This investigation is essential to the well-being of cycling in fully understanding the doping culture of the past, the role of the UCI at that time and helping us all to move forward to a clean and healthy future.”
Verbruggen is still a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which responded to Armstrong’s latest claims by questioning his integrity and stating that it would wait for the UCI’s own conclusions before acting.
“It is hard to give any credibility to the claims of a cyclist who appears to have misled the world for decades,” read an IOC statement.“We await property considered outcomes from this investigation rather than rumour and accusation.”
In August 2012, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and accused by the United States Anti-Doping Agency of the “most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen”.
After repeatedly denying accusations of doping, he finally admitted in a television interview with chatshow host Oprah Winfrey in January that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs during his career.

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as  4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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