15th March 2021

Sports Integrity Briefs – 15 March 2021

• Finland’s anti-doping agency (SUEK) announced it is investigating whether track and field athlete Lotta Harala committed an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) by competing whilst serving a doping ban. Harala was sanctioned with a three month ban from 13 October 2020 until 12 January 2021, after a sample given on 5 August last year returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for methylhexanamine. SUEK considered the AAF unintentional.

• Footballer Benjamin Mokulu Tembe has been provisionally suspended due to an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for clostebol, Italy’s national anti-doping agency (NADO Italia) announced. Tembe plays for Serie C club Ravenna whilst on loan from Serie A club Padova.

• A proposal to use the ‘folk song’ Katyusha to replace the Russian national anthem at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) announced. The CAS Decision regarding restrictions placed on Russia due to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) failure to procure an authentic copy of the Moscow Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) prevented use of an ‘anthem linked to Russia’. Katyusha is linked to Soviet military action during the Second World War and as outlined in this article, the ROC’s claim that its use was proposed by Russia’s athletes is questionable.

• The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has ruled that Federal Prosecutor Stefan Kellar acted illegally by extending his investigation beyond his remit, FIFA announced. Keller was appointed to investigate a series of meetings between Michael Lauber, Switzerland’s Attorney General and Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s President. However, it is understood that Keller began questioning people about use of Infantino’s private jet. Whilst conclusions resulting from this part of Keller’s investigation will be struck from the record, criminal investigations continue.

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