November 13, 2013

Juneau, the Alaskan Husky     Photo: Courtesy of KDVR/YouTube

Dog Saves Paralyzed Skier

Alaskan husky plays Lassie

Leonard Somers was skiing down Berthoud Pass in Colorado when he fell down a ravine, hit a frozen tree trunk, and broke his back. Fortunately, his Alaskan Husky, Juneau, attracted the attention of other skiers by barking and running to and from the site of the accident.

"I saw Juneau running up the path," Jenny Beltman said. "I first saw the dog by himself, and then he headed over to where Leonard was."

The trunk had punctured Somers' neck, resulting in spinal injuries and paralysis. He was taken to Saint Anthony Hospital to undergo surgery.

"I don't know if God was reaching out through her, or something bigger was playing out," he said. “She knew I needed help. She helped me dig out and laid on me to keep me warm until help came.”

What has your dog done for you lately?

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Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater, and Steve Mullings celebrate winning gold in the 4x100m at the 2009 World Athletics Championships. In 2011, Mullings was found guilty of doping and banned for life.     Photo: Matt Dunham / Associated Press

Antidoping Official Faces Résumé Questions

Did Jamaican doctor go to med school?

Jamaica’s drug testing agency has been under fire for allegations that its testing prior to the 2012 Olympics was inadequate. Now, Herbert George Elliott, the man responsible for overseeing the country’s anti-doping efforts, is under scrutiny for his résumé … or lack thereof.

The Wall Street Journal could not verify that Elliott—who has served as a medical official or team doctor in various capacities—received a master’s in chemistry from Columbia University and a medical degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Université Libre de Bruxelles.

An official in Columbia’s registrar’s office found no record of Elliot, and the spokeswoman for Université Libre de Bruxelles was unable to find his graduate-science thesis (the school does not provide degree information to the media).

Although Elliott told the WSJ that his life is an “open book,” he was initially unable to locate his diplomas. Later, he said he’d discovered his docteur en médecine, chirurgie et accouchement (doctor of medicine, surgery and childbirth), but he declined a reporter's request to inspect the diploma, saying "It's so long ago it doesn't matter.”

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Spectators hold up a banner against doping at the 2006 Tour de France. New WADA rules being ratified this week will aim to increase penalties for doping in cycling and other Olympic sports.     Photo: Wladyslaw/Wikimedia

WADA Proposes New Antidoping Rules

Positive tests equal Olympic suspension

The World Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees the anti-doping efforts in Olympic sports, professional cycling, and the World Cup, is expected to ratify a new World Anti-Doping Code at the World Conference on Doping in Sport this week in Johannesburg.

A longer suspension period is among the 2000 amendments expected to be implemented by January 1, 2015. This new rule would double the suspension period from two to four year, effectively banning athlete from the next Olympic Games for positive tests.

According to Thomas Bach, the International Olmypic Committee chief, the increase will protect clean athletes. "That must be our first priority," he said at the conference.

WADA also unveiled a new urine test designed to curtail steroid use. Similar to the Biological Passport, this system will build a profile of an athlete's steroid levels from urine samples to identify any unusual changes. FIFA will be one of the first federations to use it, announcing on Tuesday it’ll be part of its drug testing regimen at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Watch the World Conference on Doping in Sport live here.

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