7th February 2018

FIS Statement on article about Blood Doping

In response to the allegations in The Sunday Times and German television articles, the FIS strongly objects to the misrepresentation that there was and is a substantial number of skiers participating in the Olympic Winter Games ‘despite recording abnormal blood test scores (…) that suggested there is a significant incidence of doping’. A comprehensive longitudinal blood testing programme was introduced by FIS in 2001 with the blood values simultaneously provided to WADA for independent monitoring and scrutiny.

FIS is applying the WADA Operating Guidelines for the athlete biological passport (ABP) introduced in 2009, which clearly outline the processes to follow once an atypical passport is shown. It requires three external experts anonymous review in order to take a case forward. This has not been the case other than one case processed as a potential anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) by FIS which was confirmed by the FIS Doping Panel as such. Furthermore WADA has full access to the athletes biological passport and consequently supervises that FIS and other testing authorities bring a case forward according to the rules.

Prior to the WADA ABP when a urine test was required to determine blood doping, the blood values from the FIS blood testing programme have been analysed by appointed anti-doping experts. In fact Jim Stray Gundersen has not worked for FIS as was claimed; whereas he was permitted to conduct a project with his own methodology around 15 years ago. There have been two FIS Anti-Doping Experts since the inception of the professionally managed programme: the late Professor Bengt Saltin from 2001-2006 who handed over to Dr Rasmus Damsgaard in 2006.

FIS was not given an opportunity to review the data referring in the media articles published, but we can nevertheless state that the blood data collected from 2001-2009 which showed evaluated values was followed up with immediate urine testing, which was the only method to test for blood doping at this time. Additionally the data gathered were used as indicators for follow-up and target testing. There have been several official presentations at medical symposiums and publications in scientific journals based on the blood data collected from 2001-2006.

FIS is committed to doping-free sport and protecting the rights of the clean athletes. We are working very closely with WADA on a permanent basis, as well as the IOC here at the Olympic Winter Games and with further important anti-doping activities, including the establish Independent Testing Authority. FIS would like to apologize to the athletes for any compromise of their personal data which has occured.

• This media release was published by the International Ski Federation (FIS) on 7 February 2018. Click here for the original.

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