News 22 November 2022

The SII Anti-Doping Monitor – week ending 18 November 2022

Twelve athletes from seven countries, competing in six sports, were involved in anti-doping proceedings that came to light during the past week. Cases involved a US Decathlete who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics altering his email address in a failed attempt to defend himself against charges of whereabouts violations; an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to extend a ban forcing the withdrawal of a Saudi Arabian footballer from the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup; and a backdated ban issued to the Triple Jump World Record holder.

A three year ban issued to Decathlete Garrett Scantling wasn’t due to use of any prohibited substances, but failure to comply with anti-doping rules. The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that it had recorded three whereabouts failures against Scantling on 25 August 2021; 24 January 2022; and 9 April 2022, after he had competed in the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics. However, he was tested nine times between his first whereabouts failure and his provisional suspension and all tests were negative. 

Elite athletes who are part of the registered testing pool (RTP) of a sporting organisation have to provide a location where they will be available for testing for one hour each day (in addition to their overnight locations and training schedules) three months in advance, although this can later be amended. If an athlete incorrectly files such information, misses a test, or are not where they said they would be when Doping Control Officers (DCO) arrive to test them, then a ‘whereabouts’ strike is recorded against them. 

Under Article 2.4 of the World Anti-Doping Code, three ‘whereabouts’ strikes in 12 months is judged to be equivalent to an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV), subject to a two year sanction. The ‘whereabouts’ rules are designed to ensure that elite athletes cannot avoid doping control. A Missed Test is recorded when an athlete is unavailable during their specified 60 minute window. A Filing Failure is recorded where an athlete’s failure to update their whereabouts results in DCOs turning up at the athlete’s address or training session – for example – only to discover that the athlete is at another location.

Article 10.8.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code (click to open…)

A sanction for whereabouts violations usually attracts a ban of between one and two years, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics. However Scantling provided an ‘altered email address’ in defence of his third whereabouts failure, which USADA deemed constituted an additional anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) of Tampering with a doping control. A four year ban was reduced by one year, as Scantling admitted the offence and accepted the sanction within 20 days, removing the need to hold a hearing.

The Saudi Arabian football team withdrew forward Fahad Al-Muwallad (فهد المولد) from the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup team, due to an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against a Decision to backdate his sanction. Al-Muwallad was issued with an 18 month ban in May 2021 due to an ADRV involving Furosemide, which was due to expire in November this year. 

In August this year, it is understood that the Saudi Sports Arbitration Centre backdated his ban to the date of his provisional suspension, meaning he would have been eligible to compete at Qatar 2022. It is understood that part of the reason for WADA’s appeal is that it is Al-Muwallad’s second ADRV. On 29 May 2019, he was sanctioned with a one year ban for an ADRV involving Phenethylamine.

Finally, Teddy Tamgho has been sanctioned with a backdated ban, after the AIU received information suggesting that he had ‘competed’ whilst subject to a ban. The Triple Jump World Indoor record holder was sanctioned with a one year ban from 18 March 2014 to 18 March 2015 for three whereabouts violations in an 18 month period1.

The relevant section of the 2009 Code (click to open…)

Tamgho hadn’t ‘competed’, as such. The AIU received information that he had been part of the French training team at the 2014 World Juniors; that he’d been present in the area reserved for officials at the 2014 European Championships; that he’d participated in two training camps and had been involved in a medal ceremony. 

Tamgho explained that he wasn’t aware that the rules banning him from competing also prevented him from participating in training camps or attending events in any capacity. As such, he was sanctioned with an additional one year ban from 18 March 2015.

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

Mario Vuskovic (DFB Statement);

Fahad al-Muwallad (Saudi national team Twitter Statement, Saudi Anti Doping Committee List of Athletes subject to anti-doping procedures);

Sevda Kilinc Cirakoglu (IPC Statement);

Ben Provisor (USADA Statement);

Igor Vasilyuk (RUSADA Statement);

Elena Panova (RUSADA Statement, RusAF Statement);

Dorzhukai Mart-ool (RUSADA Statement);

Igor Kozyubchenko (RUSADA Statement);

Tatiana Popova (USADA Statement);

Aja Evans (USADA Statement);

Garrett Scantling (USADA Statement);

Teddy Tamgho (AIU List of First Instance Decisions, full Decision)

Footnotes

1. Under the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code, three whereabouts rule violations within an 18 month period was considered as an ADRV; this was reduced to three violations in a 12 month period under the 2015 Code.

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