The trouble with Ostarine: Jimmy Wallhead’s
16th March 2018
A total of 25 athletes from eleven countries, competing in eleven sports, were involved in anti-doping proceedings that came to light in the past week. Whilst not strictly involving anti-doping, Russia’s plans to prepare a Bill exempting Russia from the effect of Decisions reached by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has the potential to affect its compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.
“What did the IOC [International Olympic Committee] do? It deprived us of our flag, anthem and coat of arms”, said Roman Teryushkov (Роман Терюшков) at a meeting of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sports, according to a Statement. “Athletes arrived not from Russia, that is, not citizens of the country. It turns out that the IOC violated its own Olympic Charter. The actions of these allegedly independent organisations are already going beyond sports law and becoming criminal.”
“In 2016, unfortunately, we included in law the prevalence of international sports arbitration over the laws of the Russian Federation”, continued Teryushkov. “Therefore, we have received a binding enforcement of a Decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] which, in my opinion, is wrong. I consider it necessary to make changes to the Law on Physical Culture and Sports: to move the relevant article concerning ‘foreign arbitration institutions’. State symbols are external signs of sovereignty. The bearer of sovereignty is the people. They are cancelling us, and we will cancel them.”
Teryushkov’s comments appear to suggest that Russia’s motive for legislative change is the exclusion of Russia from international sporting events due to its invasion of Ukraine. However, the World Anti-Doping Code also requires signatories to recognise Decisions taken by CAS. ‘A decision of an anti-doping rule violation made by a Signatory Anti-Doping Organization, an appellate body (Article 13.2.2) or CAS shall, after the parties to the proceeding are notified, automatically be binding beyond the parties to the proceeding upon every Signatory in every sport’, reads Article 15.1.
The planned change comes as the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) appears to be getting its house in order. Earlier this month, it issued life bans to four Doctors involved with administering prohibited levels of intravenous infusions to youth athletes. This week, it sanctioned Oleg Makshantsev (Олег Макшанцев), President of the Moscow Bodybuilding Federation, with a 12 year ban for tampering with a doping control; sanctioned a Powerlifting Coach with a life ban; and sanctioned a Bodybuilding Coach with a four year ban. Contrast this approach with when RUSADA engineered bans to allow athletes either to keep medals, or to keep competing.
Perhaps Russia’s move also was spurred by Alexander Shustov’s (Александр Шустов) failure to overturn, on appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT), a four year ban upheld by the CAS in November last year. The high jumper was sanctioned on the basis that his name featured on the ‘washout schedules’ used by the Russian Ministry of Sport and RUSADA to ensure that doped Russian athletes returned negative tests at major sporting events. Shustov is joined by US runner Shelby Houlihan, who this week also lost an appeal to the SFT against a CAS Decision to uphold a four year ban.
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The importance of checking medication was underlined by cases in the UK and Kenya. Chioma Ubogagu was sanctioned with a nine month ban because a medication she had been taking for years to combat acne contained Canrenone, a metabolite of Spironolactone, a diuretic. UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) rejected the Tottenham Hotspur player’s application for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE). No reason was given in the Football Association’s (FA) Decision, however it appears that Ubogagu was told her retroactive TUE was rejected because she’d have to apply for it before taking the medication.
That is accurate for a TUE. A retroactive TUE can only be granted where a medical emergency necessitates treatment involving a prohibited substance, hence the use of the term ‘retroactive’. In any case, Ubogagu’s application wouldn’t qualify.
In Kenya, three athletes were sanctioned with varying bans due to the apparent administration of mediation containing derivatives of Nandrolone. An Anti-Doping Panel accepted that a painkiller was responsible for Phenus Kipleting’s adverse analytical finding (AAF – or ‘positive test’), ruling that he bore ‘no significant fault’ for his AAF and reducing his ban to two years. However although Martha Wanjiku Njoroge provided medical documentation proving medication prescribed to her caused her AAF, a separate Panel didn’t accept that she bore no significant fault because she failed to tell a Doctor that she was an athlete, and failed to check the medication. Her ban, however, was reduced to two years for her ‘honesty and good faith’.
However, Judith Jepngetich was not so lucky. In her case, a separate Panel ruled that she wasn’t able to demonstrate how nandrolone had entered her system, and she was sanctioned with a four year ban. Jepngetich had argued that she was taking Amoxicillin and Flucodex to combat a cold, but failed to declare Flucodex on her Doping Control Form (DCF). She failed to produce any documentation or evidence that these medications had caused her AAF.
In other news, Egypt faces a potential ban from international weightlifting, after six lifters reported AAFs for methylhexanamine, a stimulant that often turns up in supplements. Under Article 12 of the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) Anti-Doping Rules, the IWF can suspend or fine a member federation if three or more athletes or officials from that federation are found to have committed anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) during a calendar year. Under Article 4 of the IWF Olympic Qualification System (OQS), Olympic quota places can also be withdrawn.
The IOC has also reallocated medals and diplomas from the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympics. The Biathlon 4×6 female relay has been reallocated due to a confirmed anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) by Olga Zaytseva (Ольга Зайцева), meaning that Norway will now receive a Silver Medal and the Czech Republic a Bronze. The London 2012 4x100m relay has been reallocated following an ADRV by Great Britain’s CJ Ujah, meaning that Canada will now receive the Silver and China the Bronze. All the athletes from both the Russian and British teams involved must return their Olympic medals to the IOC for the reallocation process to be completed.
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).
Samar Habashy, Mohamed Abdelrahman Elsayed, Ibrahim Moustafa Wahid Shaaban, Sara Samir Elsayed Mohamed Ahmed, Farag Salma Ahmed Mahmoud Awad, Abdelalim Mahmoud Selim (IWF Statement and ITA Statement).
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