Canadian Swimmer Dmitry Shulga has received an 11-month suspension after testing positive in-competition for the banned substances N-ethyl-1-phenyl-2-butanamine and 1-phenyl-2-butanamine, which are classified under the World Anti-Doping Code as stimulants.
The 24-year old Shulga tested positive earlier this year, and is generally at his best in short course meters, with times of 1:52.75 in the 200 free and 2:03.57 in the 200 IM. The Nova Scotia native is a former provincially A-carded swimmer, meaning that he finished in the A final at a major Canadian competition. This system has since been scrapped.
After having his appeal hearing delayed following the February test, his suspension was reduced to 11 months.
Among the factors contributing to the length of suspension was the fact that the ingredients that Shulga tested positive for were not listed on the label of a supplement he was taking (Shulga, because of pending litigation, would not name the product specifically), which is an increasingly common story in the world of swimming.
“I believe I was a victim of fraud on the part of the manufacturer,” Shulga told us today. “The manufacturer even claimed on the bottle that the supplement was produced in an NSF for Sport Certified Facility, and all of that turned out to be a fraud and NSF is now pursuing legal actions against the supplement manufacturer.”
But here’s the real kicker to this story: neither substance for which Shulga has been banned is specifically listed on the World Anti-Doping Association’s (WADA) list of banned substances. Shulga says that he found one other case where an athlete was banned for these substances, an Australian rugby player in June, 2012, and despite the January 1st, 2013 update to the WADA prohibited list, it was still not specifically named as a banned substance.
This means that WADA, while aware of the substance and considering it worthy of suspension, chose not to list it on the 2013 list, despite a positive test for it in 2012.
N-ethyl-1-phenyl-2-butanamine, according to a study done by the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is less potent as a vasoconstrictor (raising blood pressure) than epinephrine, a common stimulant, but is effective about twice as long in its blood pressure effect than are amphetamines. It is seen as a sort of surrogate for methamphetamines.