Follow Us On
News
News

Written by Amanda Turner    Sunday, 03 April 2016 16:23    PDF Print
Russians Request Kuksenkov's Doping Sample from Stuttgart
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



The Russians will formally request national champion Nikolai Kuksenkov's doping sample from the recent World Cup in Stuttgart following his positive test for meldonium, the federation stated Sunday. Pictured: Kuksenkov performs in Stuttgart on March 20.

The Russians will formally request national champion Nikolai Kuksenkov's doping sample from the recent World Cup in Stuttgart following his positive test for meldonium, while Kuksenkov has spoken out about his positive test.

Kuksenkov was provisionnally suspended from the Russian national team on Friday after it was revealed he tested positive for minute traces of the banned substance in a random doping test on March 15. On March 20, he won the bronze medal at the FIG World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany.

"Kolya's a responsible guy," Russian coach Valentina Rodionenko told news agency F-Sport. "He'll never take an extra tablet. He's shocked."

If Kuksenkov is handed a more severe punishment, it would be a major blow to the Russian men, who are contenders for a team medal this summer at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Russia finished fourth at the 2015 World Championships.

Positive doping tests are highly rare in gymnastics and are mainly limited to cases of gymnasts using the masking agent furosemide to shed water weight, as well as a few who have tested positive for recreational drugs. Gymnastics' only real doping scandal to date was Romania's Andreea Raducan's positive test for pseudoephedrine at the 2000 Olympic Games, which she ingested via cold medicine. She was stripped of her all-around gold medal. (Pseudoephedrine is no longer on the banned list.)

On Friday, Kuksenkov won the all-around title in Penza, his first Russian all-around title. The Kiev native moved to Russia following the 2012 Olympics in London, where he finished fourth with the Ukrainian team. The letter announcing his positive results from the March 15th test arrived after his all-around result, and he was forced to withdraw from the Russian championships.

Meldonium, invented in the 1970s by a Latvian company, is a popular medication in Eastern Europe, where it is prescribed for a multitude of diseases and as a preventative medicine. It first appeared on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list on January 1, 2016. The drug has a half-life of about six hours, but according to its manufacturer, it can conceivably take up to months for all traces of the drug to leave the system. By mid-March 2016, more than 120 athletes have tested positive for meldonium, with many insisting they had not taken it in months.

Kuksenkov told Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets (MK) that the standard practice for the national team is to take three to four supplements daily after workout, supplied by the team physician. Gymnasts are forbidden from taking anything on their own.

"We are strictly forbidden from buying medicine at the pharmacy, even if someone is sick!" he said. "Because two sprays for the nose or throat can be quite different: one has banned components, the other is OK. Everything goes through the team doctor."

Kuksenkov told MK he did not notice any particular benefits to meldonium since he has stopped taking it.

"[It has] no tangible benefits," Kuksenkov said. "Perhaps it somehow acts on the heart muscle, but you know that we rarely have a problem of doping in gymnastics in general. It's a complicated, highly coordinated sport where precision in movement is important, which no kind of doping will help!"

Kuksenkov, who turns 27 in June, expressed his frustration over the situation.

"The low concentration of the drug in my sample can easily determine that I did not take it in a long time," Kuksenkov said. "So we talk about the traces [of the drug]. But these are old traces. Everyone knows that meldonium stays about two years. And even those who last took it a year ago, it will pop up! It is unreasonable and unfair. I consider myself an honest athlete, and the truth is on my side. Hopefully, the Russian Gymnastics Federation will support me."

Rodionenko said she is also frustrated and is worried people will jump to conclusions and assume Kuksenkov is guilty of doping.

"This is a misunderstanding," Rodionenko said. "This hasn't just affected us. I think that there will be people jumping to conclusions about this story. Now we don't know what to expect after the story — it's kind of savagery. Our guys are hurting, are getting ready, don't take anything illegally.... Moreover, it's a drug that is generally difficult to understand why it's appeared on the doping list in the first place."

External Link: Russian Gymnastics Federation

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 02 April 2016 14:24    PDF Print
Kuksenkov Scratches Russian Nationals After Positive Doping Test for Meldonium
(3 votes, average 3.67 out of 5)



New national champion Nikolai Kuksenkov has withdrawn from the Russian men's championships in Penza after it was revealed he tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

New national champion Nikolai Kuksenkov has withdrawn from the Russian men's championships in Penza after it was revealed he tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

Kuksenkov won the team title with the Volga District on Wednesday at the Russian championships in Penza, and captured the all-around title Friday. He will not compete in this weekend's apparatus finals, officials announced.

The medication meldonium, sold under the brand name Mildronate, is used to treat angina, diabetes, arrhythmia and myocardial infarction, along with a host of other medical conditions. It was only placed on the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on January 1, 2016, under concerns that it was being used to bolster sports performance. Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova was recently suspended after testing positive for meldonium. Sharapova says she has long taken the medication for medical purposes and was unaware it had been placed on the banned list.

According to Russian coach and spokeswoman Valentina Rodionenko, Kuksenkov's test was conducted two weeks ago but the results were only just revealed.

"Yes, in Nicholas Kuksenkov's doping test they found meldonium, but the bare minimum concentration," Rodionenko said. "This sample was taken on March 15, but we have just learned the result recently. I can say that on the Russian national team in gymnastics we stopped using the drug even in August 2015! Then the representatives of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency consulted with our doctors, and then withdrew all the supplies of Mildronate from our first-aid kits. Which, I must say, were quite officially issued. I guarantee that our athletes did not take this drug since August. But still no one knows what the withdrawal period is of meldonium from the body. It's kind of a wild, weird situation that will need to be solved through joint efforts."

More than 120 athletes already have tested positive for meldonium since it went on the banned list on January 1. Sharapova is the most famous of those who have tested positive, and she stated she was unaware it was banned. However, many others who tested positive insisted they had not taken the drug since it was banned. Latvian corporation Grindeks, manufacturer of meldonium, told Reuters that "its terminal elimination from the body may last for several months" depending on factors such as dose, duration of treatment, and sensitivity of testing methods.

It remains to be seen whether this will impact Kuksenkov's chances of competing at the Olympics in Brazil this summer. He represented his native Ukraine at the 2012 Olympics in London, where the team finished a controversial fourth after a last-minute protest by Japan pushed Ukraine off the podium.

External Link: Russian Gymnastics Federation

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Wednesday, 30 March 2016 11:28    PDF Print
New Injury Dashes Adlerteg's Dreams of Rio Olympics
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



Swedish star Jonna Adlerteg sustained a torn meniscus at the recent Doha World Cup, crushing her dreams of competing in her second Olympic Games this summer.

2012 Swedish Olympian Jonna Adlerteg sustained a torn meniscus at the recent Doha World Cup, crushing her dreams of competing in her second Olympic Games this summer.


Adlterteg with her coach Sebastian Melander at the 2015 Europeans in Montpellier, after she tore her left ACL on floor exercise

Adlerteg sustained the injury on her dismount on uneven bars in Doha. She was just returning from the torn ACL that she suffered on floor exercise at the 2015 European Championships in Montpellier.

"It's really hard. Olympics in Rio has been my goal since the 2012 Olympics," she told the SVT Sport network. "I feel that I've raised my level since then. I feel I could perform well and was eying a final."

Adlerteg made history for Sweden at the 2013 European Championships in Moscow, where she won the silver medal on uneven bars, Sweden's first European championship medal in 50 years. She was also a bronze medalist on uneven bars at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

In Doha, Adlerteg debuted a new uneven bars routine worth 6.6 Difficulty, including a Shaposhnikova to Bhardwaj combination (click here to watch). She hit her routine in both qualification and finals, winning the gold medal. In finals, she stuck her dismount, but looked pained as she walked off the podium, and did not attend the awards ceremony, and instead went straight for the hospital.

"I did a good landing," she explained. "It was not like when I hurt myself last time, when my knee went to the side, now the landing was good but it did not feel right in the knee."

A scan at the hospital in Doha showed no signs of a torn ACL, but further scans in Stockholm revealed the damaged inner meniscus in the left knee, the same knee she injured last year. There will be not enough time to recover from surgery before the Olympic qualification event coming up in April in Rio de Janeiro.

Adlerteg, who turns 21 in June, is staying positive about her future.

"I still think I have my best years ahead of me – it feels like it," she said. "It's the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 that are now to look forward to."

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Swedish gymnasts includes:
"Swedish History-maker" Jonna Adlerteg profile (November 2010)
"Scouting Scandinavia" – feature on IG's visit to clubs in Sweden and Norway (March 2011)
"Swedish Upswing" – women's team feature (November 2010)
"Swedish Achiever" Ida Gustafsson short profile (June 3013)
"Sweden's Standout" - Mans Stenberg profile (March 2010)
Quick Chat: Veronica Wagner (November 2008)
Veronica's Date: 2008 – Veronica Wagner profile (February 2005)
"Swedish Sojourn" – Karolina Bohman profile (February 2003)

To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

 
Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 28 March 2016 10:16    PDF Print
Despite Bruising, Käslin Cruising Towards Olympic Test Event
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



Swiss veteran Ilaria Käslin told IG that, although she was shaken up by a heavy fall from balance beam at the recent DTB Team Challenge in Stuttgart, she remains confident heading into the upcoming Olympic test event in Rio de Janeiro.

Swiss veteran Ilaria Käslin told IG that, although she was shaken up by a heavy fall from balance beam at the recent DTB Team Challenge in Stuttgart, she remains confident heading into the upcoming Olympic test event in Rio de Janeiro.

"I don't know why I did it like that," said Käslin, who crashed against the beam after a switch ring leap in Stuttgart on March 20. "The technique was wrong and the beam is not so wide, so I fell. I think the fall was like an alarm that I must pay more attention and think more about technique. But it is not serious and I can train like usual."


Käslin with coach Zoltan Jordanov after her fall off beam at the DTB Team Challenge on March 20 in Stuttgart

Despite the mishap, Käslin is continuing well and preparing for the test event. She placed fourth on floor exercise at the FIG World Challenge Cup in Doha on Saturday.

"I'm so happy that nothing serious happened," Käslin said. "I have some bruising on both inner thighs, and a bit on the chest, but I'm fine and so happy that I can work normally and continue the test event preparation."

Switzerland finished 16th at last fall's World Championships in Glasgow, earning the last team spot for the test event that will take place April 18-22 in Rio.

The top eight teams in Glasgow got automatic berths for this summer's Olympic Games, and the next eight teams moved on to the test event. The top four teams at the test event will advance to the Games.

Käslin's best international results include 22nd place all-around at the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, first on floor exercise and third on balance beam at the 2015 Challenge Cup of Varna, and third on floor exercise at the 2015 Challenge Cup of Doha.

Käslin is optimistic that she can help the Swiss women score an Olympic team berth if they perform confidently at the test event.

"I really hope that the team will get the ticket for the Olympics," Käslin told IG. "So my goal is to do my routines really well and show my best. I know that it will be not easy to get the place for the Olympics, because everyone works hard to reach this goal, and so I will do my best to help the team."

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Swiss gymnastics includes:

"Brägger Breaks Through" - Pablo Brägger profile (January/February 2014)
"No Turning Back" - Claudio Capelli profile (June 2011)
Interview with Swiss team head coach Zoltan Jordanov (January/February 2014)
"Swiss Hit" - Ariella Käslin profile (December 2008)
"Swiss Thrill-seeker" - A. Käslin short profile (January/February 2007)
"A New Swiss Standout" - Ilaria Käslin profile (December 2013) Giulia Steingruber cover photo (May 2015)
"Full Force" - Steingruber interview (June 2013)
"A New Hit for the Swiss" - Steingruber profile (December 2009)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast magazine, or order back issues, click here.

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Tuesday, 22 March 2016 06:48    PDF Print
Ferlito Gets Foot Scans Following Frightening Fall
(8 votes, average 3.00 out of 5)



Italian Olympian Carlotta Ferlito was back at the doctor's following her frightening fall on Sunday, the Italian Gymnastics Federation reported.

Italian Olympian Carlotta Ferlito was back at the doctor's following her frightening fall on Sunday, the Italian Gymnastics Federation reported.

Ferlito missed her foot on her roundoff, double pike dismount on balance beam at the City of Jesolo Tournament on Sunday, landing directly on her head. Ferlito was taken away in a neck brace, but scans at the hospital in Portogruaro were all negative for any spinal damage.

Her coach, Paolo Bucci, confirmed that Ferlito was fortunately only frightened by the fall. She returned to the hospital on Monday for an MRI of the foot she missed on her dismount, and again the Italian federation reported no serious injuries were found.

Her fall, which was broadcast on live television, immediately made headlines in Italy, where Ferlito is a huge star. For the past several years, Ferlito has starred on MTV Italy's "Parallel Lives," a reality show documenting the lives of the gymnasts at the national training center in Milan. Ferlito won the "Sports Hero" award at the MTV Italy Awards in both 2013 and 2015.

Ferlito posted a "Thumbs up" photo on Instagram on Monday, thanking her fans for all the messages she had received.

"I wanted to thank you for all the love and support that I have received," she wrote. "I hope to return as soon as possible to competition!"

 


Page 5 of 189