27 July 2022

The SII Anti-Doping Monitor – week ending 22 July 2022

Twenty nine athletes from ten counties, competing in 13 sports, were involved in anti-doping proceedings that came to light this week. Cases involved a Marathon runner who was provisionally suspended just days before the Oregon 2022 Marathon, two months after he was tested; a doping scandal involving a 3×3 Basketball Coach; a cricketer who was refused a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for an asthma inhaler; and a life ban issued to a wrestler for a third anti-doping rule violation (ADRV).

Lawrence Cherono, who won the 2019 Chicago Marathon, had travelled to the USA to compete in the Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championship. On arriving in Oregon on 14 July, he was told that he was provisionally suspended, as a sample collected out of competition on 23 May had returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF – or ‘positive test’) for Trimetazidine. The Oregon 2022 Marathon took place on 17 July.

Rules on sample reporting times, as stipulated in WADA’s ISL (click to open)…

The Lausanne Laboratory, venerated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), had taken 47 days to report the results of sample analysis – more than double the 20 days simulated in WADA’s International Standard for Laboratories. ‘The AIU has made a formal complaint to the laboratory in relation to this unacceptable delay, which has denied the opportunity for another Kenyan athlete to take the place of Mr Cherono in the marathon’, read a Statement from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics. The Lausanne Laboratory has yet to issue a statement of response.

‘Bad Boys’ Bryansk is a Russian 3×3 Basketball club based in Bryansk, a city close to both the Belarus and Ukraine border. On 6 June, Alexander Zhakarov (Александра Захарова) returned an AAF at the Winline Final of the Russian 3×3 Championship in Chelyabinsk. At a separate meeting on 6 July, the Russian Basketball federation (РФБ) found that Vadim Khodyrev (Вадима Ходырева) guilty of falsification of part of the doping control process. The sanction was later confirmed by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

Zharkov’s teammates will be allowed to keep the Silver Medal won in the 6 June final. ‘For these violations, the RUSADA commission punished Zakharov and Khodyrev with a three-year disqualification with the deprivation of awards received at the end of the Winline Final of the Russian Championship 3×3 in Chelyabinsk’, read a Statement from the РФБ. ‘It is important to note that in accordance with Russian and world anti-doping rules, violation of them by one athlete does not result in disqualification of the team, as well as the cancellation of its results and deprivation of awards’.

Cricketer Tom Wood was sanctioned with a six month ban after UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) refused his application for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for an Asthma inhaler, use of which resulted in an 11 September 2021 AAF for terbutaline. Wood has suffered with Asthma since he was a child, and has used an inhaler throughout his career.

As a second team player, Wood and James Fuller of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) didn’t think that he needed a TUE, as UKAD’s rules indicated that only first team players needed to apply for a TUE in advance. Second team players have five working days to make a retroactive application for a retroactive TUE in the case of an AAF.

‘During the hearing I was provided with a 2022 screen shot of UKAD’s webpage in respect of the National TUE Pool’, read the Sport Resolutions Decision by Arbitrator David Casement QC. ‘It is clear that those who are not within the National TUE Pool do not need to be in possession of a valid TUE prior to commencing treatment with a Prohibited Substance. They have five working days to make a retroactive TUE application to UKAD following the receipt of an AAF. 

‘There is a facility to do a National TUE Pool Search for a particular sport. When cricket is searched it sets out 6 categories. The third category is “Men’s First Class Counties (One Day, County Championship and T20 First Team Squad Players).” There is no explanation of what is meant by this and how it applies when a player moves from one team to another on a sporadic basis [as Wood had done]. 

‘Interestingly there is a footnote that deals with second team players who are selected to play in one or more first team first class cricket fixtures but that footnote was expressed only for the fifth category (The Hundred (Men’s and Women’s teams)) not the third category that is relevant to this case. Anyone reading that note may well think that someone from the second team playing with the first team in the third category on more than one occasion could apply for a retroactive TUE. It is not surprising in the present case that even Mr Fuller, in trying to assist Mr Wood after the AAF was notified, said he believed Mr Wood could apply for a retroactive TUE.’

UKAD has changed its cricket TUE page following Wood’s case, but refused him a retroactive TUE & sanctioned him with a six month ban (click to open)…

Following Wood’s case, UKAD changed this page to clarify that as soon as a second team player is selected for the first team, they should apply for a TUE (see right). However despite this indication that UKAD’s rules were at fault, Wood’s application for a retroactive TUE was refused by UKAD and he was sancioned with a six month ban, which ended on 7 July.

None of the above was mentioned in UKAD’s Statement, which mentioned that Wood is ‘at fault’ for his ADRV. Mr. Casement QC considered Wood to have demonstrated no significant fault or negligence, and said that the circumstances of the case ‘falls within the category of light degree of fault or negligence’.

Shamil Erdogan (Akhmedov) was sanctioned with a life ban by RUSADA for a third ADRV within ten years. The Avar wrestler, who holds dual Russian and Turkish citizenship, was sanctioned with a two year ban in 2014 for an ADRV involving Stanozolol. Erdogan also competes in mixed martial arts (MMA) – details of his second ADRV cannot be found.

In other anti-doping news, the Astana Quazaqstan team suspended Miguel Angel Lopez, after reports emerged suggesting that he had been detained as part of an investigation into Marcos Maynar, a Doctor with the University of Extremadura. The Guardia Civil has not confirmed or denied reports, and it is understood that the Colombian rider denies any wrongdoing.

The importance of police involvement in anti-doping proceedings was once again underlined by Operation Pangea, coordinated by Interpol. Swiss Sports Integrity announced that 28 shipments containing doping substances were intercepted as part of the internationally coordinated operation, conducted from 23-30 June. 

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

Khutso Rasaka (SAIDS case List);

Minor South African athlete (SAIDS case List);

Gilbert Soares Klier Junior (ITIA Statement);

Jean Baptiste Bryan (AFLD Decision);

Philemon Kacheran Lokedi (AIU Provisional Suspension List);

Eglay Nafuna Nalyanya (AIU First Instance Cases List);

Yelena Arzhakova (Statement & Decision);

Natalya Antyukh (Statement & Decision);

Nicolas Vallée & Onur Balkan (UCI Provisional Suspension List);

Edgar Lemos Pinto (UCI Sanction List);

Ivan Balyasnikov (RUSADA Statement);

Victoria Khitko (RusAF Statement & RUSADA Statement);

Lawrence Cherono and Randolph Ross (AIU Statement);

Nesim Amsellek (NADO Italia Statement);

Dario Nacca (NADO Italia Statement);

Garrett Scantling (USADA Statement);

Miles Johns (UFC Statement);

Tom Wood (UKAD Statement & Decision);

Shamil Erdogan (Akhmetov) (RUSADA Statement);

Ruslan Chobanov (RUSADA Statement & Statement on original ban);

Vadim Khodyrev & Alexander Zakharov (RUSADA Statement on Khodyrev & Statement on Zakharov, РФБ Statement);

Angelina Simakova (RUSADA Statement);

Svetlana Rubel (RUSADA Statement);

Karen Poghosyan (RUSADA Statement);

Gennady Muratov (RUSADA Statement & original Sanction);

Dmitry Medvedev (RUSADA Statement);

Irina Tarasova (RusAF Statement)

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