Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has published its list of sanctioned athletes for August/September 2017 (PDF below), which shows that 34 athletes were sanctioned for a doping offence during that period. It includes an eight-year sanction issued to South African distance runner Louise Leballo for attempting to persuade an anti-doping officer (ADO) to cancel her test, after she returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for erythropoietin (EPO).
The list of sanctioned athletes appears to include a higher proportion of older athletes than usual, suggesting that doping is permeating further into amateur athletics. This includes three Italians: a four year ban issued to 53 year old Francesco Megale for failing a test during March, a four year ban issued to 45 year old Francesco Antonello Bassano and a one year ban issued to 44 year old Paolo Zilvetti. Chilean Sara Cortez, who is 54, was also issued with a five month ban for failing an in-competition test in April.
However, young athletes are also represented. A four year ban was issued to 19 year old South African Simone van der Nest, who returned an AAF at the South African U20/U18 Championships, Cape Town, in April.
Ukrainian Roman Yarko, a two time national champion in the 800m, was sanctioned with a four year ban for refusing a test. A four year ban was issued to Egyptian El Sayed Eid Moustafa Mohammed for failing a test at the Senior National Competition, Cairo, in March. A five month ban issued to Brazilian Wendell Jeronimo Souza, and a nine month ban was issued to Eritrean marathon runner Petro Mamu Shaku.
Eleven Russian athletes featured on the list, most of whom returned AAFs due to retests of samples taken at earlier events. However, the list did include a four year sanction issued to Ivan Khudyakov following an out of competition test taken in Kislovodsk during March.
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