SII Focus 14 November 2022

The SII Anti-Doping Monitor – week ending 11 November 2022

Twenty nine athletes from five countries, competing in ten sports, were involved in anti-doping proceedings that came to light during the past week. Italy’s anti-doping prosecutor (PNA) issued sanctions to 23 athletes, ten of which were cyclists. Of those ten cyclists, six were sanctioned for anti-doping rule violations involving Erythropoietin (EPO), and two were sanctioned for refusing a test. 

Some of the bans issued by the PNA were lengthly. Distance runner Alessandro Braconi was originally sanctioned with a 12 year ban for anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) including trafficking/attempted trafficking in September this year. He will now be prohibited from competing until the end of March 2046, after the PNA added another 12 years to his sanction for participating while banned. 

Cyclist Onofrio Monzillo will not be getting on his bike until the end of July 2033, after the PNA sanctioned the Strade Bianchi Grand Fondo winner with an additional eight year ban for a second ADRV. The sanction has been added to the end of his additional ban, which was due to expire in 2025.

Kamila Valieva, WADA, the CAS, and the FMBA

Extract from the World Anti-Doping Code (click to open…)

On 8 November Witold Bańka, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), announced that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) had failed to deliver a Decision in the Kamila Valieva (Ками́ла Вали́ева) case, despite being put on formal notice. Under the World Anti-Doping Code (see right), if an anti-doping organisation fails to deliver a Decision in a timely manner, WADA can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

RUSADA’s DADC contains members of the FMBA, which is in charge of preparing Russian athletes for international competition…

Today, the CAS announced that it had registered WADA’s appeal, which seeks a four year ban against the 16 year old figure skater, as well as the disqualification of her results from 25 December 2021. This would include the team Gold won by Russia at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, before Valieva’s provisional suspension was controversially lifted due to her status as a minor.

The CAS Ad Hoc Decision revealed that RUSADA had also opposed the lifting of Valieva’s provisional suspension. RUSADA’s Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee (DADC), which was due to hold the hearing into Valieva’s case, is independent from RUSADA.

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.

Andrey Zholinskiy is a Director of the FMBA & Chief Physician to the Russian Olympic team…

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. 

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.

The FMBA recently 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.

Please continue to send any cases we may have missed or suggestions through to our 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).

Decision links

Josè Luis Palomino (NADO Italia Statement);

Salvatore Maresca (NADO Italia Statement);

Mykhaylo Kononenko (UCI Statement);

Guido Lamberto Chiani (NADO Italia Statement);

Flavio Moccia (NADO Italia Statement);

Alessandro Braconi (NADO Italia Statement);

Mohamed Hajjy (NADO Italia Statement);

Dario Nacca (NADO Italia Statement);

Nicola Daniel De Benedetto (NADO Italia Statement);

Piermario Giardino (NADO Italia Statement);

Mikel Zubiaur Valmaseda (NADO Italia Statement);

Onofrio Monzillo (NADO Italia Statement);

Mike Kipruto (NADO Italia Statement);

Christian Arena (NADO Italia Statement);

Manuel Pucci (NADO Italia Statement);

Fabio Cazzanti (NADO Italia Statement);

Stefano Pascucci (NADO Italia Statement);

Antonella Fontana (NADO Italia Statement);

Nicolas Battistella (NADO Italia Statement);

Andrea Pisetta (NADO Italia Statement);

Marco Palana (NADO Italia Statement);

Simone Mastropaolo (NADO Italia Statement);

Beniamino Desiderio (NADO Italia Statement);

Antonio Domenico Nigro (NADO Italia Statement);

Giovanni Battista Vendemia (NADO Italia Statement);

Jacopo Cortese (NADO Italia Statement);

Kim Kyu-Seung (ITF Statement);

Keneth Kiprop Renju (AIU List of First Instance Decisions, full Decision);

Maurizio Ungalli (NADO Italia Statement)

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