4th November 2020

Young Uzbek swimmer sanctioned with two year ban

Bibugul Menlibayeva has been sanctioned with a two year ban, after a sample she gave at the 10th Asian swimming federation (AASF) on 25 September 2019 returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for methylhexanamine (5-methylhexan-2-amine). The AASF Championships, held in Bengaluru, India, was a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Menlibayeva also competed at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics.

In a 13 March 2020 email, The Uzbek swimmer argued that she had taken a supplement named ‘C4’, but did not provide any evidence. Although she admitted committing an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) on 25 May, an 11 September email outlined that the supplement was named ‘S4’, and argued that she didn’t know it contained prohibited substances.

The Doping Panel Decision (PDF above) reveals that the international swimming federation (FINA) didn’t seek to sanction Menlibayeva for intentionally doping (see right). It wasn’t required to assess whether her explanation was credible, because she accepted responsibility for her AAF and didn’t provide any evidence for how methylhexanamine had entered her system.

In 2012, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) warned that C4 Extreme, manufactured by Cellucor, contains 1,3 Dimethylamylamine, another name for methylhexanamine. This ingredient (1,3 Dimethylamylamine) doesn’t appear to be listed on the product’s label.

Methylhexanamine is a prohibited stimulant, however it is often listed under a variety of other names on supplement ingredient labels (geranium oil, Geranamine, 1,3 Dimethylamylamine, DMAA, dimethylpentylamine (DMP) 4-methylhexan-2-amine). In 2011, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) warned about the danger this presented for athletes. Only some of these variations are listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List (see right), making it difficult for athletes to check if a product contains the stimulant.

Menlibayeva’s two year ban will run from 25 September 2019. As such, she will miss out on any chance of qualifying for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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