Features 10th May 2019

Athlete forged documents in attempt prove trenbolone meat contamination

The Disciplinary Tribunal of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has dismissed María Guadalupe (Lupita) González Romero’s claim that her adverse analytical finding (AAF) for a metabolite of trenbolone was caused by contaminated meat, concluding that the Mexican racewalker forged documents in an attempt to prove her case. González, who won Silver in the 20km race walk at the Rio 2016 Olympics and London 2017 IAAF World Championships, was sanctioned with a four year ban from 16 November 2018 in a decision announced yesterday by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the IAAF.

In the full decision (PDF below) González provided evidence that trenbolone is authorised for use in livestock feedlotting in Mexico. The IAAF argued that it was ‘remarkable’ that the athlete changed her story regarding what she had eaten for breakfast and had failed to mention a medical diagnosis for anaemia in her initial explanation. ‘As the maximum permitted residues of trenbolone is five times higher in liver, she had an interest in having eaten liver’, it argued.

A Pentad Security investigation into the documents submitted by the athlete, commissioned by the IAAF, found that ‘some documents had been forged and the athlete’s explanations are moulded around these forged documents’. These included the receipts from the street restaurant where she claimed to have eaten the meat, as the owner only issues handwritten receipts upon request.

‘The Athlete provided contradicting versions of events during the proceedings, which are themselves contradicted by the evidence provided, some of which was fabricated’, concluded the sole adjudicator. ‘All the factual elements and the evidence provided by the Athlete contained numerous contradictions, including a document (the invoice of Picanha Grill), whose author recognised it to be false. This leads the Sole Adjudicator to reject the Athlete’s explanation for lack of credibility. 

‘The declaration of Professor [Christiane] Ayotte is very helpful as she illustrated that, considering the amount of meat the Athlete had eaten, it was not possible that the trenbolone found in her body came from contaminated meat, due to the fact that its concentration in her Sample was too high. Finally, the Sole Adjudicator wishes to point out that the medical explanation given by the Athlete is not reliable either. First, the Athlete did not refer to the anaemia diagnosis in her letter of 23 November 2018. If such a diagnosis was true, it is difficult to understand or find a reason why the Athlete did not refer to it in the aforementioned letter. Furthermore, she did not consult with the doctor of her technical team whether the diagnosis and the treatment indicated were correct.’

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