The trouble with Ostarine: Jimmy Wallhead’s
16th March 2018
Sixteen athletes from eight countries, competing in two closely connected sports, were involved in anti-doping proceedings this week. The major news was the International Testing Agency’s (ITA) Decision to charge 13 weightlifters with anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs), after retests of samples they gave at the Antalya 2012 European Weightlifting Championships resulted in adverse analytical findings (AAFs – or ‘positive tests’) for ‘several banned anabolic steroids’.
Article 17 of the World Anti-Doping Code permits retesting of samples up to ten years after a sporting event has taken place (see right). Anti-Doping Organisations (ADOs) often wait until the expiration of the Statute of Limitations is imminent before retesting stored samples, as this allows the latest analytical methods to be used to detect prohibited substances in tiny quantities.
‘The samples had initially been reported as “negative” back in 2012, but thanks to the improvements in the detection methods, the ITA requested their re-analysis in 2021 which identified several banned anabolic steroids’, as the ITA puts it. It is important to highlight that the 13 lifters have not yet been convicted of an ADRV, and will be given the chance to explain their AAFs. However, as they took place almost ten years ago and given the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) mismanagement of anti-doping during this period, any defence would be difficult.
Three Russian powerlifters were also sanctioned for ADRVs, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) announced. Andrey Sidorenko (Андрея Сидоренко) has been sanctioned with a three year ban from 11 November 2021; Alexandra Chernovol (Александру Черновол) has been sanctioned with a four year ban from 1 April 2021; and Para powerlifter Oleg Shundikov (Олега Шундикова) has been sanctioned with a three year ban from 25 October.
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