Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Estonian athletics association (EKJL) has suspended Nikolai Vedehin, after the 1,500m national champion tested positive for Trimetazidine after a 5 February 2015 out-of-competition test conducted in Eldoret, Kenya. “The runner has declared Trimetazidine use, but claimed not to know that it was prohibited out of competition”, said EKJL President Erich Teigamägi in a statement. As well as violating IAAF Rule 32.2(a), which relates to the presence of prohibited substances in an athlete’s sample, Vedehin has been accused of violating IAAF Rule 32.2(e), which prohibits tampering with – or attempting to tamper with – a sample.
In information relating to the background of the case, Estonian Anti-Doping (EAD) said that Vedehin had been using Preductal MR, a prescription drug used to combat angina. EAD said that under the 2014 Prohibited List, it was only prohibited in competition, but under the 2015 Prohibited List is not allowed at any time.
Eldoret (pictured), at 2,100 metres above sea level, is the gateway city to high-altitude training in surrounding Kenyan villages. A number of endurance athletes have trained in this area- including Britain’s Mo Farrah ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. On 4 April 2013, the IAAF listed 13 Kenyans guilty of doping offences between January 2012 and 2013. A documentary screened by German state broadcaster ARD identified that a number of these had been based in the area surrounding Eldoret, such as Matthews Kisorio, who admitted doping during the documentary. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is currently establishing a testing laboratory there.
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