Spain and Mexico have been declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code after failing to meet a deadline for making required changes to their drugs testing procedures, it has been announced today
The circumstances which led to Britain's world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe believing she had to go public to clear her name because she had been personally implicated in a United Kingdom Parliamentary Select Committee hearing have been described as “very unfortunate” by David Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
It has also emerged that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) wrote before the hearing last Tuesday (September 8) to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee - whose chairman Jesse Norman triggered the Radcliffe response by saying that “potentially the winners or medallist of the London Marathon, potentially British athletes, are under suspicion for very high levels of blood doping” - asking that all involved be reminded not to discuss individual names or cases.
The IAAF letter, dated Monday (September 7), also pointed out that there was already an investigation underway into the blood doping allegations made in recent months by German television company ARD and Britain’s Sunday Times within an Independent Commission established by WADA.
“The media reports stemming from the Evidence Sessions have included an appeal from Paula Radcliffe to WADA to help ‘clear her name’, as she felt unfairly implicated by the discussions at this week’s Evidence Sessions,” said Howman, who was among those to give evidence to the Committee, in a statement.
“It is very unfortunate that any athlete should feel implicated and that they have to defend their reputation as a result.
“WADA has a clear and established process set out in the World Anti-Doping Code that protects athletes.
“If any athlete were to have a case to answer, it allows them a full hearing and an opportunity for their voice to be heard.
“Let me be clear and reiterate what has already been stated by the Independent Commission as it relates to the ARD and Sunday Times reports regarding athletes’ blood values: no information in the leaked database from before 2009 - which was before the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) was introduced - could ever be considered as doping, legally or otherwise.
“Tarnishing an athlete’s name based on values from pre-2009 would be wholly irresponsible.
“At best, blood values from this time could only be used as indicators of the need for targeted future testing of those athletes that have abnormal or unusual values.
"Even athletes’ data from post-2009 - when the ABP had been introduced – is not necessarily indicative of doping.
“The strength of the ABP is that it monitors selected biological variables over time, via the blood, which indirectly reveals the effects of doping.
"WADA’s rules governing the ABP are designed to ensure a complete and fair review of ABP profiles and require the unanimous opinion of three experts.”
Howman added: “WADA is committed to protecting the confidentiality of athletes; in particular, their private medical information.
“If any athlete feels their rights are being eroded or inappropriately challenged as a result of the ARD and Sunday Times reports, they must refer those concerns to the Commission.
“This is the correct channel versus trial by media.”
The IAAF letter, signed by Thomas Capdevielle, the world governing body's anti-doping senior manager and which insidethegames has a copy of, drew the Committee’s attention to the fact that Dr Michael Ashenden, one of the two scientists who have commented on the blood data leaked to ARD and passed onto The Sunday Times, was “aware that the information contained in the database is by its nature private and highly confidential and that a duty of confidence is owed both to the IAAF and to the athletes whose information is contained in it.”
The letter added: “Dr Ashenden has himself gone on record to say that he sought undertakings from The Sunday Times that his opinions on individual athletes would never be disclosed…
“The IAAF does not in any way seek to restrict or limit the Select Committee's work but respectfully points out that it is of critical importance that no names or individual blood data or results are discussed in the context of a public hearing or otherwise in the course of proceedings before the Committee.
“To do so could otherwise cause irreparable damage to the careers and reputations of thousands of innocent athletes, which the IAAF is certain is not the Select Committee's intention.
“We would be grateful if the contents of this letter could be drawn to the attention of the members of the Select Committee either in advance, or at the outset, of tomorrow’s hearing, as well as brought to the attention of each of the witnesses who are due to give evidence before it, in particular, Dr Ashenden.”
Click Letter from IAAF to Culture, Media and Sport Committee.pdf to read the full correspondence.
Sebastian Coe has effectively had his short-term future as President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) secured after he received the backing of Richard Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission.
Pound's Commission today released a second, 89-page, report today on the wrongdoing of Coe's predecessor
INTENT ON maintaining an unblemished record through the fundamental principles of Olympism, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) will, for the first time ever, serve as this nation’s official National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) for the forthcoming Caribbean Zone Men’s Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifiers, scheduled to serve off at Saith Park, Chaguanas, from May 8-10.
This historic revelation was made by TTOC president Brian Lewis yesterday. Lewis, who plays an instrumental role in ensuring that these tests are done to International Olympic Committee (IOC) standards, stated that all athletes competing in official Olympic qualifiers must be tested by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and IOC-sanctioned organisation.
TT however does not have an official NADO, but according to the WADA code, it is mandatory that the National Olympic Committee/TTOC, acts as the NADO. Accordingly, the TTOC has the authority to direct that there be testing and to facilitate the process.
“The TTOC is of the resolute view that in competition, testing is compulsory. Given Trinidad and Tobago’s status and international standing as WADA compliant and a jurisdiction that is serious about anti doping and drug free sport, anti-doping tests will be conducted for the first time here in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Lewis.
These tests will be conducted by official and experienced doping control officers, Andre Collins and Michelle Stoute-Lopez, and other chaperones in charge of procuring. Samples gathered will then be sent to a WADA accredited lab for complete analysis.
The doping kits will be obtained from the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) and tests will be undertaken according to the WADA code. Additionally, in-competition anti-doping tests will be confirmed at the tournament’s technical meeting which will be held today between 6-8 pm at the Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s.
“This is the first time that there is going to be in-competition testing by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation, with the involvement of the TTOC, acting as the NADO. I made it clear to all concerned that we cannot have a Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier in Trinidad and Tobago in any sport, and there be no in-competition testing. If we are serious about maintaining TT’s status and international standing and being WADA compliant, and being a jurisdiction that is serious about it, tests must be conducted. This is a responsibility that the TTOC cannot and will not shirk,” added Lewis.
This country’s Anti-Doping in Sport Act was passed in 2013 under the then Minister of Sport Anil Roberts. The Rio 2016 Caribbean Zone Men’s Beach Volleyball Qualifier will be hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF).