Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Analysis of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2015 anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) report has revealed that 15 countries top Russia’s anti-doping agency in terms of positive tests as a percentage of total tests. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) reported the highest number of ADRVs for 2015 (127), but it also reported the third highest number of tests (12,536) after China and Germany’s national anti-doping agencies (NADOs). As such, the vast majority of RUSADA’s tests in 2015 returned a negative result – 1.17% returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF), which is only just above the 1.10% average for all NADOs.
The Sports Integrity Initiative’s analysis has also uncovered some trends amongst NADOs that perhaps warrant further investigation. For example, although Mexico’s NADO topped the table with 3.61% of its collected samples resulting an AFF, 72 of its 97 AAFs resulted in no ADRV. No reason is given as to why so many cases did not result in an ADRV (e.g. no AAFs were dismissed for medical reasons). However, WADA did suspend its accreditation of the Mexican laboratory in November last year, after an apparent false positive prevented a Mexican fencer from attending the Rio 2016 Olympics. Twenty one of France’s AFLD’s 124 AAFs also resulted in no sanction – all other NADOs reported a much smaller number.
Of its 77 AAFs, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) dismissed 43 (56%) for ‘Medical Reasons’, one fifth of the 213 total AAFs that were dismissed for the same reason by the 82 NADOs included in the report. Sweden’s RF dismissed 19 of its 39 AAFs (49%) for ‘Medical Reasons’, and France’s AFLD dismissed 20 of its 124 AAFs (16%) for the same reason. In contrast, just five of RUSADA’s 147 AAFs (3.4%) were dismissed for ‘Medical Reasons’ and many NADOs reported no dismissals for ‘Medical Reasons’ at all (e.g. Mexico and Turkey).
USADA, AFLD and RF will argue that there were legitimate medical reasons for the cases involved to be dismissed. However, they will be unlikely to be able to give details due to confidentiality provisions. As such, these figures are likely to provide ammunition to those who argue that western NADOs are ‘playing the system’, such as Fancy Bears.
Also, many NADOs reported a worryingly low level of sample collection. Pakistan’s anti-doping organisation (ADOPak) sent just 14 samples to laboratories during 2015 and Indonesia (INADA) sent just two more, despite being the world’s sixth and fourth most populous country, respectively. Perhaps more worryingly, despite being the world’s fifth most populous country and a sport loving nation, Brazil sent just over 1,000 samples to laboratories in the year before the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The AAFs featured in the 2015 ADRV Report related to the analysis of samples received by WADA laboratories and entered into its Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) between 1 January and 31 December 2015. WADA’s ADRV report also contains figures on which sports reported the most ADRVs; and on non-analytical ADRVs. These figures will be analysed at a later date by The Sports Integrity Initiative.
• WADA’s media statement announcing the release of the 2015 ADRV Report is available here. An Overview is available here and a questions and answers document is available here. The archived 2013 and 2014 Reports are available here.
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