When paging through the CAS schedule, I came across an upcoming hearing that I thought would be of interest to our readers. The CAS has “CAS 2011/A/2515 FINA v/ Fabiola Molina & CBDA” on its schedule for December 13th.
This is presumably a follow-up to the two-month suspension she received after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine, which is used as a nasal decongestant and in the street drug “party pills”. The substance is a relatively new one to the banned substance list (added in 2009).
Molina tested positive at the Maria Lenk Trophy in early May and served out her two month suspension without appeal. Though she was eligible by the time the World Championships rolled around, the suspension erased all of her qualifying marks and left her ineligible to enter Worlds.
FINA is appealing the suspension to the Court for Arbitration of Sport, which will have the final say in the matter (barring a change to the World Anti-Doping Code). The timing seems to be a bit long, unless we consider that the case of the Brazilian men was rushed for purposes of a decision prior to Worlds began. The timing of the Molina appeal seems to be more in-line with the standards, though the lack of speed would cause a whole new set of complications some 5 months after she returned to competition.
There’s not much more information available about the appeal as of yet, though we’ll keep asking to see what we can find out. It’s hard to say on what grounds the appeal is made, as the CAS has made their opinion clear on the matter. The banned substance found in Molina’s test was in a different class than those found in the tests of Cielo et al (stimulant versus diuretic), but still is in the category of “specified substances” for which one reduced suspension is allowed in cases of accidental dosage.
Right or wrong, unless FINA feels like Molina’s case did not do as good of a job as Cielo of proving accidental ingestion, it’s hard to see where the CAS would make a different ruling in this case. Expect an acquittal on time served.