After a lengthy process that has included a 9-month provisional suspension, Russian swimmer Sergey Makov has received a two year suspension from the FINA Doping Panel after a positive test for the substance Ostarine.
Ostarine is classed by the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) as a Class S.1.2 Other Anabolic Agents, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators.
Makov’s positive tests came on October 12th, 2013 at the FINA World Cup stop in Moscow, Russia. His suspension will be backdated to then, and he will once again become eligible on October 11th, 2015 – notably after the Russian-hosted 2015 World Championships in Kazaan, Russia.
Specifically, Makov’s positive test came after the mixed 200 meter medley relay.
Long before Makov’s provisional suspension in January, he sent a letter to the Executive Director of FINA “questioning the contents and findings of the analytical results report,” according to the FINA Doping Panel’s official decision. The provisional suspension came after Makov’s “B” sample also tested positive.
As allowed by FINA anti-doping rules, Mr. Makov made his case several times in writing, including defenses that “he may have drunk from another bottle in a state of euphoria,” and that the Russian Federation was providing him no support or information in defense of his case.
Makov also shared concerns over the independence of witnesses to the opening of the sample, the identity of the Head of the Anti-Doping Centre in Russia, and the difference in the level of Ostarine in the “A” and “B” samples.
Ultimately, Makov failed to meet either standard for reduction from a two-year suspension under the by showing:
(1) How the prohibited substance entered his system;
(2) That he bears “no significant fault or negligence for the rule violations in terms of FINA DC 10.5.2.”
For the 29-year old Makov, the specific results sacrificed are a 4th-place finish in the 50 back at that World Cup and a 4th place finish in the 100 back (52.28). In addition, he will lose the gold medal result of the 200 mixed medley relay, where he combined with Andrey Grechin, Daria Tsvetkova, and Ekaterina Borovikova for a 1:41.70. All four swimmers will lose those medals as a result, though the World Cup mixed medleys aren’t associated with any series points or cash prizes.
That was, however, for a brief time the World Record in the event. FINA never publicly ratified that record, though it would have been moot now, and it has since been improved by several seconds.
The substance, also known as Enobosarm, was banned by WADA in 2008, and can be used to increase both stamina and fitness. It’s most common clinical trial use was with the intent of decreasing muscle-wasting in elderly adults.