24th September 2020

Sports Integrity Briefs – 24 September 2020

• French police have released two people detained after a 16 September raid on the Arkea Samsic team hotel in Méribel, reports Reuters. Nairo Quintana, considered the team’s lead rider, said he had been questioned by the Marseille Prosecutor’s Office on Monday. ‘The authorities entered my room and seized perfectly legal vitamin supplements, although perhaps unfamiliar to the French authorities’, he clarified in a statement. ‘For the avoidance of doubt, I want to confirm that doping substances were never found […] Yesterday, after being summoned by the French authorities, and voluntarily, I appeared before the prosecution and answered each and every one of their questions clearly and with a clear conscience. In that sense, it is necessary to emphasise that I have not been subject to any accusation by the authorities.’ Police did, however, find evidence of doping during the raid, the team confirmed on Monday.

• The International Swimming League (ISL) has accused national swimming federations of using the Covid-19 pandemic to intimidate athletes into withdrawing from its second season, after a number of swimmers withdrew. ‘It is unacceptable that some national swimming federation’s leaders, knowingly and cynically use the pandemic to intimidate athletes who wish to participate in other competitions’, read a statement. ‘Athletes must be protected not only in their physical integrity but also in their economic and social integrity. They need to compete or risk imperilling their livelihoods. ISL stands for the right of all athletes to freely live their swimming life, believes it is time to put power back into their hands, to champion their right to make a living they deserve, and to have a greater say in the way their sport is run. The recent bullying and pressure on some of the athletes who are already in a precarious position is a political manoeuvre and contrary to the very spirit of sport.’

• Italian skier Benedetta Vittori Venenti has been sanctioned with a four month ban, Italy’s anti-doping organisation (NADO Italia) announced. She was charged with a violation of Article 2.1 of Italy’s Norme Sportive Antidoping (NSA). However, she was able to reduce her sanction under Article 4.5.1.1 through demonstrating that she held no fault or negligence for the presence of the specified substance in her sample. 

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