There are two upcoming stories to watch over the next few months for those interested in keeping the sport clean.
The first is the announcement by the Court for Arbitration of Sport that they will reveal their decision on the validity of “Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter” at a press conference in Switzerland on Thursday morning at 5 AM Eastern US time (11 AM local time). This is a landmark decision that will decide if the IOC’s unilateral decision in July of 2008 to put a mandatory one-Olympic ban on all doping suspensions of greater than 6-months. (Click here to read more about the controversy, though it’s no longer applicable to Subirats).
The majority of the public opinion from legal experts has been that this rule will be overturned. Basically, it’s been argued as double jeopardy, where an offender is punished twice for the same crime, and that it would also be a violation of the World Anti-Doping Code that all national federations have signed and agreed to.
American Jessica Hardy, who tested positive for clenbuterol at the 2008 US Olympic Trials, was technically susceptible to this ban, but after pressure from the USOC, the IOC determined that because of the short notice (the rule only went into effect a few days before Hardy’s test), that she was not subject to it. That, however, didn’t call off the dogs at the USOC, as they still pressured the case to the international CAS for a final decision.
The biggest target, across sports, is now LaShawn Merritt, an American sprinter who is the defending Olympic Champion in the 400 and, upon his return from a 21-month ban, took silver in the 400 at the recent Daegu World Championships.
Here is a list of aquatics athletes who could be affected by Thursday’s decision. Those with (2016) after their names will still be suspended through the 2012 Games regardless, and so 2016 would be the Olympics that they were mandated to miss. Very few of these names jump off of the list immediately (which is partially to do with the fact that many haven’t competed in a few years), but several are major players within their country and are probable for Olympic bids, if eligible.
Vinicius Waked, Brazil
Ksenia Atamanskaya (2016), Kazakhstan
Lubos Krizko (2016), Slovakia
Evgeny Aleshin (2016), Russia (retired)
Lukasz Giminski (2016), Poland
Ante Krizan, Croatia
Maxim Shcherbakov, Russia
Daiane Becker de Oliveira (2016), Brazil
Sergio Garcia Ortiz, Spain
Vania Neves, Portugal
Nikolett Szepesi, Hungary
Lorena Araujo Rezende, Brazil
Alexander Morgunov, Russia
Tommaso Zambelli, Italy*
Joshua Loges, Germany
Firas Guachai, Tunisia
Sabina Dostalova, Czech Republic
Chun Leung LAU, Hong Kong
Naskar Uma Pada, India
Nikita Leviakov, Russia
Zambelli’s positive test happened around the same time as Jessica Hardy’s, so precedent would imply that he is not subject to the rule regardless of the CAS’ decision on Thursday.
Water Polo Players
James Stanton (2016), Australia
Adam Maklari (2016), Hungary
Zsolt Lutter (2016), Hungary
Andrea Mangiante, Italy
Matthew Zammit, Malta
Thomas Tsakirakis, Greece
Salem Hussain Shaheen, Saudi Arabia
Waleed Ali Alghmdi, Saudi Arabia
Sebastien Verdocq, Canada
Alex Farnell (2016), Canada
Mohsen Alizadeh, Iran
Kevin Mestdagh, Belgium
Nikolay Bocharov, Russia
Diogo dos Santos Serra, Portugal*
Piotr Michalski, Poland*
Michalski and Santos Serra tested positive roughly when Jessica Hardy did, so one would presume that they are eligible regardless
Harrison Jones, USA
Juan Guillermo Uran, Colombia
Nuria Diosdado, Mexico
Mariana de Oliveira Marques, Portugal
Ksenia Ivlieva, Russia
NEW HGH TEST COULD BE APPROVED IN TIME FOR LONDON
Universal Sports is reporting that a new blood-sample test could become a great new weapon for anti-doping agencies across the world, and that there is hopes that the test will be ready in time to be used at the 2012 London Olympics.
Current HGH tests can only catch usage in the realm of three-days before, but this new test (called the “biomarker” test, as compared to the current “Isoform” test) could reach back up to 10-21 days. The difference between the two is that the isoform test works by directly detecting the presence of synthetic HGH in the body. The biomarker test works on a theory that is becoming more-and-more popular in fighting doping, which is to detect chemicals that the body produces after HGH use. These chemicals usually linger in the body much longer than the actual drug itself does.
The current isoform test has been around since the 2004 Olympics, but has only had 8 positive tests across all sports during that time, none of which have actually happened at the Olympics. HGH is one of the most concerning performance-enhancing drugs, partially because of the huge advantage it gives, and partially because the number of positive tests seems to not match up with the perception of it’s proliferation in the sporting community.
The developers of the test have said that it’s not quite perfect yet, but that they’re confident that it will be in time for the 2012 Olympics. After the last few issues are worked out, all that will remain is WADA approval, but with the backing of many of the world’s top experts, that should be mostly a formality.
The philisophical concern with this sort of “chemical indicator” type of test has always been the perceived chance of a false-positive. Though it’s not always scientifically accurate, some athletes are concerned that naturally-occuring chemical levels could imply use of a steroid when it was simply an anomaly of anatomy that caused the spikes.