14 July 2022

The SII Anti-Doping Monitor – week ending 8 July 2022

Fourteen athletes from five countries, competing in 11 sports, were involved in anti-doping proceedings that came to light this week. Cases included an inline skater who lost his spot at the Birmingham 2022 World Games due to a female infertility drug; and an athlete who received a public warning after accidentally being administered a family member’s medication.

Mohammad Salehi had qualified for the Short Track Speed Skating just before Christmas, however he reported an adverse analytical finding (AAF – or ‘positive test’) for Clomiphene in January this year, and was sanctioned with a two year ban. Clomiphene is a selective oestrogen receptor modulator (SERM) commonly used in female fertility treatment.

Clomiphene can also be used by male steroid users at the end of a cycle to reduce physical effects caused by high oestrogen levels, such as gynecomastia (breast tissue growth). It is also understood to restore the body’s natural production of testosterone, and features under section S4 of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, which deals with hormonal and metabolic modulators.

Wyatt Stuxness, a para Boccia athlete, has received a public warning after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) accepted that a member of his home care team had accidentally administered a family member’s Furosemide medication instead of his own. Furosemide is used to treat heart failure and other medical conditions. It is prohibited by WADA as it can be used as a diuretic or a masking agent to hide the use of other substances.

Stuxness will not serve a ban nor will any of his results be disqualified, however a public warning counts as an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV), which will forever stain his record. Medication mistakes are regularly blamed for ADRVs in sport. They also prevent a convenient excuse – although there is no suggestion that Stuxness’s explanation is anything other than genuine.

A timeline of the Kamila Valieva case (click to open…)

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva (Камила Валиева) blamed her AAF for Trimetazidine, another drug used to treat heart conditions, on her grandfather’s medication. Some have questioned whether such contamination is possible. 

Valieva declared three substances on her Doping Control Form (DCF). Who gave her those three substances to take has not been fully explored. 

As she was 15 at the time of her AAF, Valieva is considered a minor under the World Anti-Doping Code. As previously reported, punishments for those considered responsible for doping minors under the Code are severe. 

Andrey Zholinskiy is a Director of the FMBA & Chief Physician to the Russian Olympic team…

Andrey Zholinskiy (Андрей Жолинский) is a ‘medical expert’ who was called by Valieva’s defence. He told the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that Trimetazidine is prohibited for use by minors. Zholinskiy is the Director of the Federal and Medical Biological Agency (FMBA) that prepares Russian athletes for international competition. He is also a member of the Scientific Expert Council of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and is considered to be Chief Physician to the Russian Olympic team. 

It appears that Trimetazidine may have been given to Russian athletes by the FMBA in the past. In 2018, Nadezhda Sergeeva (Надежда Сергеева) came to a settlement agreement with the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) over an ADRV involving Trimetazidine at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. The Settlement Agreement – a copy of which is held by The Sports Integrity Initiative – reveals that the source of Sergeeva’s AAF was a contaminated supplement. A lawsuit was launched by Sergeeva against the FMBA, which she alleged had given her the supplement leading to her AAF. It was dismissed by the State courts.

If the FMBA were found to be responsible for a minor reporting an AAF, its role in preparing Russian athletes for international competition would be called into question. In such circumstances, administering substances that can be blamed on the mediation of family members would appear to be a sensible approach.

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

Kia Afzali  and Mohammad Salehi (Iran NADO Statement, FINA sanction List);

Rahman Orameh and Kia Gadami (Iran NADO Statement);

Scott Lieph (Statement and Decision);

Konstantin Panov (Statement on appeal, original Statement);

Mikhail Nikiforov (Statement and RUSADA sanction List);

Evgeny Lazarev (Statement and RUSADA sanction List);

Artyom Davydkin (Statement and RUSADA sanction List);

Dmitry Kulagin (Statement and RUSADA sanction List);

Antonio Nigro (NADO Italia Statement);

Giulio Formosa (NADO Italia Statement);

Wyatt Struxness (USADA Statement);

Manuel Pucci (NADO Italia Statement)

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