24th September 2019

Sports Integrity Briefs – 24 September 2019

• The Australian Football League (AFL) has confirmed an additional potential violation by Willie Rioli of its Anti-Doping Code, after the West Coast Eagles reported an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for a metabolite of cannabis on 5 September. Rioli was provisionally suspended after a 20 September sample suggested that there had been an attempt to substitute his urine.

Liverpool paid Manchester City £1 million in a confidential agreement in order to settle allegations that the Merseyside club had hacked into the Scout7 database used by their rivals, reports The Sunday Times. Damian Collins, Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Commission of the UK Parliament, has called for the Premier League to investigate.

• Kayaker Basil Berendyaeva (Василия Берендяева) has been sanctioned with a four year ban for evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) announced. The case is understood to be the first time that RUSADA proceedings have been held in an open manner, on the insistence of Berendyaeva. ‘During the hearing, Berendyaeva’s coach tried to put pressure on RUSADA’s employees’, read RUSADA’s statement.

• Sebastian Coe, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has confirmed that its Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) will examine allegations that Kenyan national team athletes used erythropoietin (EPO) ahead of the Doha 2019 World Championships. German broadcaster ZDF reported that it had filmed (video below) two national team members injecting EPO in the off season. “I know the AIU is following up on some accusations that have been made in the German media”, Coe told yesterday’s IAAF Council meeting. “I’m sure the AIU will report back as soon as they’ve established the facts”. Earlier this month, Al Jazeera reported on how pharmacists in the Eldoret/Kapsabet region were continuing to supply EPO to athletes, seven years after the issue was first uncovered.

Mara Fumagalli, a member of the Italian cross country cycling team, has been provisionally suspended as a precautionary measure, Italy’s national anti-doping organisation (NADO Italia) announced. In a post on Instagram (below), Fumagalli said that she was treated with triamcinolone acetonide for ten to 15 days, after which she didn’t compete for a month. Triamcinolone is only prohibited outside of competition. Fumagalli explains that she was ‘reassured by the voice of an “expert” […] that there would be no trace. Unfortunately, it was not so.’ If she is sanctioned with an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV), it would represent Fumagalli’s second offence, as she was sanctioned with a six month ban during 2018.

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Cari amici, finti e soprattutto non, in questi giorni vi ho lasciato fare… ho letto di tutto e di piú.. accuse, sentenze, offese, illazioni, commenti di finti dottori, dottori improvvisati, addirittura speaker/dottori!!! Senza nemmeno sapere o per lo meno chiedere cosa sia realmente successo…. terribile! Una spiegazione a chi mi ha sempre seguito e continua farlo è doverosa, ed ecco come sono andate le cose… Sfortunatamente anni addietro ho subito interventi ad entrambe le spalle, che spesso si fanno sentire. Ad inizio agosto ho fatto un’infiltrazione all’articolazione di una di esse, che proprio non smetteva di farmi male, conosco il regolamento, sono una delle pochissime donne italiane che corrono in mtb ad avere il passaporto biologico, da oltre 3 anni faccio parte della “famiglia ADAMS WADA” e sono soggetta a periodici controlli, sia sui campi gara che a casa, senza nessun preavviso. Quest’anno mi hanno sottoposto a molti controlli, solo per citarne alcuni, Hero, italiano XCM, europeo XCM, tutti risultati con esito negativo!!!! A detta del medico, fidandomi e conoscendo i tempi di smaltimento della sostanza in questione (triamcinolone acetonide), somministrata in piccole dosi ai fini di una terapia solo ed esclusivamente localizzata per la patologia in questione, mi sottoposi a questa pratica per un periodo di 10/15 giorni, senza inviare la relativa documentazione a chi di dovere, in quanto fuori dalle competizioni ne è consentito l’utilizzo senza bisogno di certificato. Non partecipai a nessuna competizione per un mese, rassicurata dalla voce di un “ESPERTO” che entro tale periodo non ci sarebbe stata più alcuna traccia. Purtroppo non è stato così! Errore mio, sono io che corro, non incolpo nessuno e mi assumo le mie responsabilità. Ringrazio chi si è interessato con un messaggio, una chiamata, un pensiero, chi ha creduto e crede nella mia buona fede e anche a chi non l’ha fatto, sputando sentenze a raffica, facendo il leone da tastiera, sono scelte.

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• A spokesperson for the Austrian anti-doping agency (NADA Austria) has said that a decision to sanction Johannes Dürr with a life ban is not yet final, as there is an appeal period. A decision of the Austrian anti-doping legal commission (ÖADR) to sanction the cross country skier was publicised by German journalist Hajo Seppelt on Twitter (below). Dürr was provisionally suspended in March, after confessing to use of blood transfusions, erythropoietin (EPO), and growth hormones in an interview with Seppelt and his investigative team. The confession led Austrian and German police to launch Operation Aderlass, which has resulted in sanctions against a number of athletes.

Rafaela Silva, Brazil’s Rio 2016 Gold Medal winner, has admitted returning an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for fenoterol on 9 August at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, reports AFP. The judoka told a media conference that she may have been exposed to the anti-asthmatic drug due to contact with a friend’s baby.

• The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has confirmed the suspension of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation for a two year period. The IWF said that the Egyptian federation had been sanctioned under Article 12 of its Anti-Doping Policy. It is understood that Egypt has been sanctioned under Article 12.5, which allows the IWF to sanction member federations with a ban of up to four years if athletes from that federation record three or more anti-doping rule violations in a 12 month period. The IWF said that Egypt has 21 days from 12 September to appeal the ban, which would lock Egyptian weightlifters out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Brent Kallman has been suspended for ten games after violating Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health (SABH) Policy by testing positive for a prohibited substance, the league announced. The Minnesota United player announced on Instagram (below) that he began using a product that he thought would enable him to return from injury faster, without consulting team doctors. 

• There can be positive outcomes when an athlete reports an adverse analytical finding (AAF). Canadian ice-hockey player Shea Theodore has explained how a random anti-doping test resulted in diagnosis and successful treatment for testicular cancer. Theodore returned an AAF for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), usually only found in pregnant women but, in some cases, a sign of testicular cancer. ‘If I had not taken that test, and then if the cancer had gone undetected for a few more years..… I don’t even want to think about how differently my life could’ve turned out’, wrote Theadore in The Players Tribune. ‘Whether or not you believe everything happens for a reason, what happened to me really feels like a miracle’.

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