Top scientist quits Olympics anti-doping body in 'muzzling' claim
A scientist with a leading role in anti-doping at the London Olympics has resigned amid claims he is being "muzzled" by authorities. Dr Michael Ashenden is a leading expert on blood doping in cycling and has been critical of the effectiveness of "biological passports" in monitoring potential doping.
The cycling governing body the Union Cycliste International (UCI), and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have recently handed management of biological passports to a new Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) at the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses in Lausanne.
Blood doping involves artificially increasing the number of red blood cells in the body, which effectively artificially increases fitness levels. The biological passport was introduced in cycling in 2007 .It involves using blood and urinesamples to create a unique medical profile that can be compared to the results of subsequent doping tests. But Dr Ashenden claims it is possible to cheat the system by taking micro doses of the blood-boosting drug EPO.
The IAAF had wanted Dr Ashenden to be part of an expert panel, but new contracts issued by the Swiss Laboratory contained confidentiality clauses which, Dr Ashenden claimed, created a culture of "omerta", a term describing the pact of silence in the Mafia, and the new APMU was trying to silence him.
Dr Ashenden said his new contract required him to get permission before offering personal opinions on any matter related to his role interpreting blood profiles. He said the APMU were "trying to manage the message". He told the BBC: "I believe it's important media have the opportunity to ask hard questions. Unless they're well informed about how the passport operates, they won't know which questions to ask.
UCI spokesman Enrico Carpini said yesterday: "The system is now being run by the APMU, because of that, the UCI has nothing to do with Michael Ashenden's resignation." The IAAF told the BBC it had "made enormous progress on the Athletes Biological Passport".
£6,000 bonus for Tube drivers
Tube drivers could earn more than £6,000 in bonuses if they work extra shifts during the Olympics, it was claimed last night.
An offer made to drivers' union Aslef , which covers a nine-week period from the start of the Olympics, is thought to include a straight £1,000 bonus, plus other payments. If a driver were to take all the overtime available, it would equate to an extra £6,200.
Howard Collins, the Underground's chief operating officer, said: "We do not recognise Aslef's figures. Drivers do not usually work overtime. We expect some Tube drivers to earn £1,400 to £2,000 over the period."
BBC to broadcast 24 live streams
The BBC is to broadcast 24 live streams of Olympic action in high definition this summer. BSkyB and Freesat will air all 24 channels live, both in HD and in normal definition
The streams will be an addition to the coverage on BBC1 and BBC3, which will select the more high-profile moments of each day's events.
England 29 Wales 18 match report: Stuart Lancaster's men enjoy their day in the sun at expense of weary Wales
Carl Froch v George Groves tickets for Wembley Stadium rematch reportedly sell-out within an hour of going on sale
FA Cup semi-final draw: Arsenal to play Wigan at Wembley, Hull paired with Sheffield United
England 29 Wales 18 player ratings: Who was the star man at Twickenham?
FA Cup semi-finals: Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal for Arsenal against Wigan
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home