28 July 2021

Alex Wilson misses Olympic Games due to verdict

Alex Wilson is unable to participate in the Tokyo Olympics. The ad hoc Division of the International Sports Court of Justice, CAS, overturns the Decision of Swiss Olympic disciplinary body for doping cases and has imposed a provisional ban on the 30-year-old athlete from Basel. This is not related to the canceled European record.

The CAS decision is based on a positive doping test from Alex Wilson, conducted by Anti-doping Switzerland on 15 March outside of competition. The positive was due to an extremely small amount of epitrenbolone (a metabolite of trenbolone) detected. Trenbolone is a so-called non-specific substance, which means that any amount is prohibited and entails a ban.

Wilson was then returning from a training camp in the USA to Switzerland, the day before the birth of his third child. Wilson could not explain the positive results and immediately began research. Alex Wilson went through his training schedule and eating diary. It was quickly realised that he had a big meal both 72 hours and 48 hours before the urine sample.

He had consumed a lot of beef in a Las Vegas restaurant. With predominant probability, this could have resulted in consuming the banned substance trenbolone via contaminated meat in the USA, resulting in it being detected in the body of the Swiss record holder over 100 metres and 200 metres. Because trenbolone is an agent that is widely used in the USA for cattle fattening.

“For me, this is the only conclusive explanation for the positive result, especially as only small amounts of trenbolone have been detected”, said Wilson, whose case bears strong parallels to that of the American long jumper Jarrion Lawson. He tested positive for trenbolone in the summer of 2018 after having also had a few hours before the sample ingested contaminated beef and, finally, after 19 months of battle was acquitted by the CAS.

Accordingly, Wilson immediately appealed against the allegations to Anti-doping Switzerland. At the same time, an independent, specialised institute in Strasbourg was commissioned to analyse a sample of hair from Wilson’s beard. The result support the assumption that the banned substance most likely entered the body of the sprinter via food intake.

Taking into account the evidence presented by Alex Wilson, on 18 May 2021 the Disciplinary Chamber for doping cases of Swiss Olympic blocked the provisional suspension for the duration of the appeal and confirmed this decision on 2 July 2021 with the definitive lifting of the provisional ban. Accordingly, Wilson could be selected for the Tokyo Olympics on 5 July. 

On Thursday last week, World Athletics and WADA filed a complaint against the Decision of the Disciplinary Chamber for doping cases, whereupon via the ad hoc Division of the CAS, Alex Wilson has been provisionally suspended again. Parallel to that procedure, the ordinary proceedings initiated before the Disciplinary Chamber regarding provisional suspension for doping cases is still ongoing. It is based around the presumption of innocence.

“I am very surprised and devastated by the CAS decision. I find it difficult to understand why I am expressing my point of view towards the disciplinary body of Swiss Olympic, which saw it as credible, but the Ad Hoc Division of the CAS was considering this World Athletics application and sees it differently. Especially because I have sound, scientific, and well-founded arguments that have been confirmed by experts. 

“Unfortunately I now have nothing else but to bury my dream of the Olympics and must fight on at another level. It’s personal for me – and as everyone who has supported my path so far can see – it is a major concern to finally prove my innocence.”

The decision of the ad hoc division of the CAS is astonishing. The Disciplinary Chamber came to the conclusion that Alex Wilson had succeeded in credibly demonstrating that the positive findings could have come about through the consumption of contaminated beef. The ad hoc Division is now disregarding the decision of the disciplinary body for doping cases and accuses them of violating the law. 

As part of the appeal procedure before the Disciplinary Chamber, even Anti-doping Switzerland was of the opinion that the provisional ban should not be enacted. Contrary to what the disciplinary body for doping cases and Anti-doping Switzerland think, the ad hoc Division has now made the present decision.

• This media release was published by Alex Wilson on 28 July 2021. Click here for the original.

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