12 August 2022

The SII Anti-Doping Monitor – week ending 5 August 2022

A massive 44 athletes from eleven countries, competing in 22 sports, were involved in anti-doping proceedings that came to light during the past week. The reason that the number was so high was twofold. Firstly, on 1 August, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) publicised 14 sanctions and, secondly, India’s anti-doping agency (NADA India) published updated lists of anti-doping proceedings involving 13 new cases.

Half of the Russian sanctions were due to historic anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) resulting from past investigations into Russian State doping. “The names of these athletes were in the LIMS database [the Laboratory Information Management System retrieved from the Moscow Laboratory in January 2019]”, Anna Gridasova (Анна Гридасова) of the Russian Weightlifting federation told State news agency TASS. “All seven athletes – Saida Mirzabegova, Patimat Baltaeva, Taukan Gekkiev, Alik Daudaev, Ivan Geraymovich, Irina Evdokimova and Alexander Chepikov – were sampled in 2012, before the large scale anti-doping work of the Russian Weightlifting Federation began under the leadership of the new President, Maxim Agapitov (Максима Агапитова)”. 

However, another Russian Decision dominated the news during the past week. US Basketball star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in prison after being charged with the illegal transfer of narcotic drugs, as well as the smuggling of them. Griner hasn’t been sanctioned for a doping offence but for bringing cannabis in vape form into Russia, which she argues was a mistake. A Statement from the US Department of State confirmed the sentence, labelling it a ‘wrongful detention’. It has yet to be confirmed by Moscow’s Khimki Court.

Griner wasn’t the only athlete with cross border cannabis issues. Canadian Anthony DeLuca returned to the UK on 10 September 2021 to resume his career with Ice Hockey team Sheffield Steelers. On 26 September, he returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF – or ‘positive test’) for cannabis.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) attempted to charge him with use of cannabis in-competition. DeLuca argued that his use occurred in Canada, where cannabis is legalised, outside of competition. A Sport Resolutions Panel Decision ruled that UKAD had failed to prove that use occurred during competition and accepted DeLuca’s argument that use occurred outside of competition in a context unrelated to sporting performance. But, based on UKAD’s evidence, it also refused to accept that DeLuca had proven that he only used cannabis before his return to the UK.

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

It also refused to backdate his ban to the start of his provisional suspension, as DeLuca had competed in Canada after this took effect. It refused to accept his plea that ‘he made enquiries in Canada as to the effect of the Provisional Suspension and was told that it could not effect his playing there’ because UKAD had informed him that he couldn’t play in Canada during the provisional suspension. Little of this detail is mentioned in a UKAD Statement on the case.

Another high profile case illustrated issues with Article 10.8.1 of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, which allows an athlete a one year reduction to a four year ban if they admit an ADRV within 20 days. A 19 September 2021 sample given by Tabitha Gichia Wambui returned AAF for Nandrolone. 

The Kenyan Marathon runner accepted the ADRV within 20 days, but her Manager argued that medical treatment may have caused her AAF. She later withdrew her acceptance of the ADRV, and submitted evidence that she had received hospital treatment. This was also blamed for a second AAF from a 17 October 2021 sample.

The AIU found medical documents submitted by the athlete to be fake (click to open…)

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics found medical documents submitted by the athlete to be fake. After informing ichia Wambui of this fact, it charged her with tampering, seeking an eight year ban. The Kenyan accepted the tampering charge within 20 days, and received a one year reduction in her ban. 

Was Article 10.8.1 intended to be used to reward athletes who admit to forgery after already having been told that forgery has been discovered? Should an athlete who has already revoked an acceptance form in relation to a positive test then be allowed to benefit from further reductions when further ADRVs are found to stem from that positive test?

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

Anish Khan, Harmeet Singh, Vinay Deswal, Banwari Gurjar, Nikita Kanwar, Satinder Malik, Antima Kumari, M.R. Poovamma, Onkar Singh, Amit Kharb, Menka Bhatia, Priya Kumari, Aditi Rajesh Bugad  (NADA India Decision List);

Dhanalakshmi Sekar (AIU Decision List & Decision);

Rakesh Pandey (NADA India Appeal List);

Tabitha Gichia Wambui (AIU Decision List & Decision);

Onofrio Monzillo (NADO Italia Statement); 

Donald Makimairaj (AIU Sanction List & NADA India Decision List);

Svetoslav Georgiev (IPC Statement);

Shakul Samed (Ghana Olympic Committee Facebook Statement);

Anthony DeLuca (UKAD Statement & Decision);

Filip Pieczonka (ITF Statement & Decision);

Saida Mirzabegova (RUSADA Statement);

Patimat Baltaeva (RUSADA Statement);

Taukan Gekkiev (RUSADA Statement);

Alik Daudaev (RUSADA Statement);

Dmitry Kiselev (RUSADA Statement);

Maxim Piskunov (RUSADA Statement);

Vladislav Korotich (RUSADA Statement);

Mikhail Kazelin (RUSADA Statement);

Anton Ponomarev (RUSADA Statement);

Ilyas Bekbulatov (RUSADA Statement);

Ivan Geraymovich (RUSADA Statement);

Irina Evdokimova (RUSADA Statement);

Alexander Chepikov (RUSADA Statement);

Valentin Smirnov (RUSADA Statement);

Tayden De Pol (CCES Statement & Decision);

Kawaan Baker (NFL Statement);

Beniamino Desiderio (NADO Italia Statement);

Katia Pilla (NADO Italia Statement);

Brittney Griner (Charge Sheet & Statement from US Department of State);

Andrej Martin (Slovak NADO Statement & ITIA Statement);

Armando Sevieri (NADO Italia Statement);

Lucas Howes (USADA Statement)

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