RED OAK, Texas – Dirt Defender has renewed awards for IMCA national champions while introducing a new slate of prizes for special events competitors this season.The Red Oak, Texas, manufacturer again gives a pair of vented mud covers to IMCA Modified, IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod national champions.A top five finisher at 30 designated specials for Modifieds, 15 designated specials for Stock Cars and 15 designated specials for the SportMods will receive a Dirt Defender product.“When we started this business, we made a promise that we would always give back to the racer and continue to help the sport in any way possible,” said Dirt Defender’s Billy Vest. “We are very blessed to have the customer loyalty throughout the years we have been in business and would like to thank each and every person who has ever purchased one of our products.”“The new slant to the Dirt Defender program this season focuses on IMCA special events across the country and getting products in the hands of racers having good runs at those events,” noted IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “Dirt Defender has done a great job of reinventing their products and contingency awards to meet the demands and desires of IMCA racers.”Dirt Defender is in its third year of IMCA sponsorship. Information about the company product line is available by calling 469 556-4612 and on Facebook.
This follows the surfeit of doping-related controversies in the sport, including allegations this month that Russian anti-doping officials unsuccessfully requested money in return for covering up failed drug tests registered ahead of London 2012.Particular concerns have been raised in relation to Russian and Chinese swimmers, with world champion Yuliya Efimova and Olympic gold medal winning counterpart Sun Yang among leading athletes to be implicated.Efimova suffered the second failure of career after testing positive for meldonium in March, but has had her suspension provisionally lifted due to an admission that “more reasearch” is required to assess how long the substance – only banned on January 1 – remains in the human body.Allegations of state sponsored doping in other sports in Russia has heightened fears in recent weeks.”It’s the biggest threat to who should win the medals,” said Marsh ahead of the US Olympic Trials.”It’s the biggest threat to the integrity of the Games.”He described the effects of doping as a “complete game-changer” particularly in women’s events.”With a little bit of extra testosterone, it’s a giant advantage.”Many members of US team admitted to being concerned by possible doping by rivals ahead of the Games.”It’s really disappointing,” freestyle superstar Katie Ledecky told Associated Press.”I think we’re all happy that people are getting caught and they’re being a little tougher on things.”Hopefully, that will continue and we can all feel confident going in that we’re competing against clean athletes.”US swimmers have been implicated in doping scandals themselves, with breaststroke and freestyle star Jessica Hardy serving a one-year ban after failing a test in 2008 before returning in time to win a medley relay gold at London 2012.