The trouble with Ostarine: Jimmy Wallhead’s
16th March 2018
Ninety two athletes from 13 countries, competing in 22 sports, were involved in anti-doping proceedings that came to light in the week to 13 January. The reason numbers were so high was not due to a spike in doping over the Christmas period, but because anti-doping organisations decided to publish case lists in the New Year.
On 5 January, the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) published a list of 19 athletes currently serving provisional suspensions after reporting an adverse analytical finding (AAF – or ‘positive test’) for a prohibited substance. India’s anti-doping agency (NADA India) followed by publishing a list of 45 athletes currently subject to a provisional suspension. It has yet to be determined if the athletes are guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV), as the 64 cases have yet to be heard.
High profile cases involved an Indian Javelin medalist, a Russian Hammer Throw medalist, and a Russian Ice Skater. Shivpal Singh won a Silver Medal in the Men’s Javelin at the 2019 Asian Championships and a Gold in the 2019 Military World Games. He is free to compete again, after NADA India’s Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (ADAP) reduced a four year ban, issued on 16 August, to one year from 21 October 2021. Singh proved that a supplement, Prime Testo Booster, was contaminated with Methandienone.
On 11 January Sergey Litvinov (Сергей Литвинов) confessed to doping with Oxandrolone and Turinabol in 2012 (see right). It later emerged that he had been sanctioned for doping based on analysis of the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) retrieved from the Moscow Laboratory in January 2019. Via the Moscow LIMS, investigators from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) discovered that hundreds of Russian AAFs were reported as negative tests on WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS).
Litvinov has been sanctioned with a two year ban from 8 November 2021 to 8 November 2023. He will lose a Bronze medal won at the Zurich 2014 European Championships.
World Aquatics confirmed that teammates of Mariya Nemchinova (Мария Немчинова) will not lose their medals, despite her sanction for a historic doping offence. The Russian Synchronised Swimmer helped her team win a Silver medal at the Helsinki 2014 Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships and two Golds at the 2016 World Juniors.
This appears to be at conflict with FINA’s 2014 Doping Control Rules (see right). However, the rules do allow more lenient sanctions to be applied in cases involving a minor. Nemchinova will be sanctioned with a two year ban from 19 May 2022 to 19 May 2024, and her results from 8 July 2014 will be disqualified.
Finally, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has informed WADA that its Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee (DADC) has cleared Kamila Valieva (Ками́ла Вали́ева) of any intent or fault for an ADRV involving Trimetazidine. The figure skater, then 15, returned an AAF on Christmas Day 2021.
As the Moscow Laboratory remains suspended, her sample was sent to Stockholm for analysis. RUSADA received the results on 7 February 2022, blaming delays on Covid-19 in Sweden. This was – coincidentally – the same day on which Valieva helped Russia secure Gold in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics team event.
A DADC hearing was held on 9 February on whether Valieva’s provisional suspension should be lifted to allow her to continue competing at Beijing 2022. In its arguments before the DADC, RUSADA opposed the lifting of Valieva’s provisional suspension, however the DADC disagreed. RUSADA notified the International Olympic Committee (IOC), WADA, the International Skating Union (ISU) and the International Testing Agency on 9 February, and all parties appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
On 14 February, the CAS Ad-Hoc Division upheld the DADC’s Decision to lift Valieva’s provisional suspension, allowing her to compete in the Beijing 2022 Single Figure Skating event on 15 February. The Decision explained that although different standards of evidence and more lenient sanctions are applicable to ‘protected persons’ such as minors (Valieva was 15 when she reported an AAF) under the World Anti-Doping Code, there is no guidance on how anti-doping organisations should approach provisional suspensions in such cases.
On 22 October last year, RUSADA announced that the details of Valieva’s case would not be made public due to her status as a minor. Its position was – bizarrely – supported by the International Testing Agency (ITA) when it announced details of her case due to public interest concerns.
On 8 November Witold Bańka, President of WADA, announced that the Agency would be appealing to CAS as RUSADA had failed to deliver the DADC’s final Decision. The Code requires anti-doping organisations to deliver Decisions to WADA in a timely manner (see right).
Despite putting RUSADA under formal notice to resolve the Kamila Valieva case promptly, no progress was made. Therefore, I can confirm WADA has now officially referred it directly to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. @wada_ama
— Witold Bańka (@WitoldBanka) November 8, 2022
Such an appeal would have proceeded on the basis that the DADC had cleared Valieva of committing an ADRV. That is not the case. The DADC has ruled that although Valieva committed an ADRV, she bore no fault or negligence and will therefore not serve a ban, although her 25 December 2021 results will be cancelled. WADA announced that it has requested a copy of the DADC Decision, and will consider whether to launch a new appeal to the CAS.
The DADC Decision may clarify some remaining questions about the case. The CAS Decision mentions that Valieva declared L-Carnitine, Supradyn and Hypoxen, none of which contain Trimetazidine, on her Doping Control Form (DCF). Who gave the 15 year old those substances to take and why?
Valieva’s mother stated that Valieva was taking hypoxen for heart problems (see right). Is there medical evidence for this?
Valieva argued contamination via her grandfather, who has an artificial heart. His medication contains Trimetazidine. A video was produced showing him with a packet of Trimetazidine MV, but it was argued that Trimetazidine is available via prescription only and no prescription was produced. However, a Google search reveals that Trimetazidine can be bought online, and Valieva only had 48 hours to prepare a defence.
Vladislav Nikolaevich Karkishchenko (Каркищенко Владислав Николаевич) is one of six members of the DADC who sit alongside a Chair and Vice Chair (see right). He is also a member of Russia’s Federal and Medical Biological Agency (FMBA), which is in charge of preparing Russia’s teams for international competition.
A team of 20 FMBA Doctors travelled to Beijing to assist the national team (see below). That team was headed by Andrey Zholinskiy (Андрей Жолинский), the Director of the FMBA and a member of the Scientific Expert Council of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). He is considered to be Chief Physician to the Russian Olympic team.
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The CAS Ad-Hoc Decision outlines that on 12 February, the ROC sent a question to the World Anti-Doping Code drafting team about the lack of clarity about how provisional suspensions apply to ‘protected persons’. Zholinskiy was also the ‘medical expert’ called by Valieva’s defence at CAS. He explained that Trimetazidine is prohibited for use by minors and put forward contamination via heart medication used by Valieva’s grandfather as a possible cause for her adverse analytical finding (AAF – or ‘positive test’). However, that theory has been questioned.
The FMBA may have given supplements contaminated with Trimetazidine to Russian athletes in the past. In 2018, Nadezhda Sergeeva (Надежда Сергеева) came to a settlement agreement with the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) over an ADRV involving Trimetazidine at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. The Settlement Agreement – a copy of which is held by The Sports Integrity Initiative – reveals that the source of Sergeeva’s AAF was a contaminated supplement.
A lawsuit was launched by Sergeeva against the FMBA, which she alleged had given her the supplement leading to her AAF. It was dismissed by the State courts.
The Head of the Medical Department at the Russian figure skating federation (FSR) is Alexander Ozerov (Александр Озеров), a Doctor who works for the FMBA. He refused to discuss Valieva’s case following questions from Sport Express in February, and has not commented on the case since.
In October last year, the FMBA held a meeting with the State Duma on Physical Culture and Sports about the legal regulations for medical and biological support for the Russian national team, where two legislative Bills were discussed. ‘The first is a government Bill submitted to the State Duma, which is aimed at combating doping and enshrines the term “specialist in sports medicine” in the legislation’, read a Statement. ‘The document proposes to introduce liability for medical workers who have committed violations of anti-doping laws. The second legislative initiative empowers the FMBA of Russia with powers, including issues of medical rehabilitation and recovery of athletes.’
If the FMBA or its Doctors are found to be responsible for Valieva’s AAF, then that could have consequences for the entire Russian sporting infrastructure. The above suggests that the Russian authorities are already taking measures to mitigate this threat. The timing of the DADC Decision is also interesting, since it will force WADA into a new review and appeal process.
Please continue to send any cases we may have missed or suggestions through to the editor by clicking here. Also, if you’re an athlete, national anti-doping organisation (NADO) or other Results Management Authority and you’d like us to cover a case that you’re involved with, please get in touch! Also – a reminder. The SII Anti-Doping Monitor only features confirmed AAFs (‘positive tests’) or confirmed anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs).
• Mariya Nemchinova, Shahd Abdallah (FINA List of doping cases; additional info. from World Aquatics);
• Martinique Potgieter, Deline Mpiti, Duran Faro, Nicolette Nair, Tatiana Altergod-Alerborn, Hercules van den Berg, Richard Anderson, Tumisane Madiba (2017 Decision), Sifiso Blessing Magwaza, Khoitsimodimo Mathibedi, Andre Gerber, Minor rugby player (SAIDS List of doping cases, Potgieter Decision, Tumisane Madiba 2017 Decision);
• Massani Juno (AFLD Decision);
• Alexandre Businello (AFLD Decision);
• Jannik Domaingo/Gershwin (ÖADR Decision);
• Agatha Jeruto Kimaswai, Teddy Otengo Osok, Esther Chesang Kakuri, Keli Everlyne Syombua, Lydia Simiyu, Mathew Kiplangat Sawe, Alice Aprot Nawowuna, Vincent Kiplangat Koskei, Perister Bosire Morangi, Michael Saruni, Stellah Barsosio Jepngetich, Erick Kumari Taki, Gloria Kite Chebiwott, Georgina Jepkirui Rono, Priscilla Nasimiyu Tabunda, Michael Kibet, Elahetia Jotham Karani, Oluoch Brandon Abednego, Wesonga Joseph Wasike (ADAK List of provisional suspensions);
• Bahram Soleyman (Iran NADO Statement);
• Sanjita Chanu, Shivam Choudhary, Navroop Kaur, Harshit Namdeo, Veerjeet Kaur, Rajnesh, Mohit Pahal, Navkarman Singh, Diandra Valladares, Deepanshu, Roobalpreet Singh, Ravi, Jibanlata Laishram Devi, Sandeep, Poorana Sri, Gudiya, Samreen Kour, Ravi Raj Dhamaraj Chavan, Chandan Narayan Margaje, Dip Roy Choudhary, Divyanshu Puri, Mahesh KP, MV Jilna, Dhanalakshmi Sekar, Ashish, Nikita Vijay Rao Raut, Ritesh Arjun Ethape, Attar Singh, Akash Patel, Manjunatha Marati, Kumari Kartigya, Deepak, Geeta, Aishwarya B, Nirbhay Choudhary, Vinit, Deepak Hudda, Radha, Atul Kumar, Nitin Pawar, Kumari Kartigya , Ramkaran Prajapati, Allen K Joseph, Shaik Md Abuzar Aslam, Ramkumar S (NADA India List of provisional suspensions);
• Swiss rugby player (Swiss Sport Integrity Statement);
• Sergey Litvinov (AIU List of First Instance Decisions, RusAF Statement);
• Elias Montañez Barroso (USADA Statement);
• Bastián Malla (ITIA Statement, & Statement on initial sanction);
• Shivpal Singh (NADA India Decision, background on initial 4yr ban);
• Mariska Venter (ITIA Statement);
• Giuseppe Aschettino, Nikki Hamilton (British Weightlifting Statement, ITA/IWF sanction List);
• Mattias Dam Gningue (NADO Italia Statement);
• Kamila Valieva (WADA Statement)
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