Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The International Skating Union (ISU) has decided to move the ISU World Cup Speed Skating event in Chelyabinsk, Russia, to another country. A new host for the event, which takes pace from 10-12 March 2017, will be confirmed shortly. ‘The ISU Council considered that following the publication of the 2nd part of the McLaren report including a substantial amount of critical evidence and the uncertainty relating to the attendance of the Athletes, the focus of the Event would not be on the sport but rather accusations and controversies’, read a statement. ‘The Council also took into account the IOC statement of December 7 and follow-up contacts with the IOC reiterating the IOC recommendation to all International Olympic Winter Sports Federations to freeze their preparations for major events in Russia, such as World Championships, World Cups or other major international competitions under their responsibility, and to actively look for alternative organizers’.
Chelyabinsk specifically featured in the email evidence package underpinning Part Two of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Person (IP) Report, published by Richard McLaren on 9 December. An email sent on 31 March 2014 lists one male and five female speed skaters competing at an event in Chelyabinsk on 18 March 2014 as having ‘small amounts of the metabolite’ of arimistane present in their samples. Arimistane currently doesn’t feature on WADA’s Prohibited List, however Russian sporting federations recently sent out warnings over its addition to the 2017 Prohibited List, which comes into force on 1 January.
The ISU also confirmed that it is examining information received from WADA regarding manipulation of samples at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, after the IOC announced that it had opened proceedings against 28 Russian athletes. ‘The ISU reiterates that it is in the process of carefully evaluating the voluminous and complex evidentiary summary received from WADA/McLaren-IP Team’, read a statement. ‘The evidence relates to samples taken not only during the Sochi Olympic Winter Games but also samples of Russian Skaters taken before and after those Games. If and when there are sufficient elements and evidence to pursue anti-doping rule violations, the ISU will not hesitate to open disciplinary proceedings and possibly apply provisional suspensions against bodies or persons subject to infringements of the World Anti-Doping Code/ISU Anti-Doping Rules.’
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