International Rowing Federation Announces Further Russian Anti-Doping Code Violations
The case follows on from the suspensions of Vladimir Varfolomeev and Denis Moiseev of the Russian lightweight men’s double and Svetlana Fedorova from the Russian women’s eight which were announced during the World Rowing Championships in Munich [link to Munich case announcement] . These six cases are based on DNA analysis of blood traces found on used intravenous infusion equipment with various legal substances that had been disposed of outside of the Russian team’s hotel in Lucerne in July 2007. This used equipment was found by a local resident in a rubbish bin and reported to FISA. Further investigation identified DNA strands from a number of Russian rowers. Because of delays in obtaining blood samples from all members of the Russian team and the time needed for matching the DNA analyses, the proceeding for these latest three rowers was conducted later.
The three Russian rowers suspended today have been banned from international rowing for two years retroactive to a starting date of 27 August 2007. In order to treat all six rowers from the same incident equally, this date - the date on which the first three athletes were suspended – was selected. These latest three rowers had participated in the 2007 World Rowing Championships and qualified their men’s eight for the 2008 Olympic Games by placing among the top seven boats.
The consequence of this decision is that the Russian men’s eight has now been disqualified for having ineligible rowers on board, their result in Munich has been annulled, and the Australian men’s eight, which finished in 8th position, moves into 7th place and hereby qualifies for the Beijing Olympic Games. The remaining five rowers and coxswain from the Russian boat who are still eligible to compete, may attempt to qualify for the Games at the final qualifying regatta in Poznan in June.
Although none of the six sanctioned athletes actually tested positive for a prohibited substance, they did use a prohibited method - intravenous infusion. The substance, in these cases was a fructose-based solution. According to paragraph "b" of Section "M2" under "Prohibited Methods" in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, "Intravenous infusions are prohibited, except as a legitimate acute medical treatment". The FISA Anti-Doping Hearing Panel concluded that no legitimate acute medical treatment took place.
Asked today, Matt Smith, FISA Executive Director said: "The FISA Council stands solidly behind this decision. It is important to note that the substance used was not a prohibited substance. The issue was intravenous infusion. Our fight is against doping to achieve an unfair advantage, but it is also to protect the health of our athletes. We hope that this is a clear message that the sport of rowing will not accept use of substances or methods that create unfair conditions and/or threaten the health of our rowers."
T hese new cases bring the total number of anti-doping code violations for the Russian Rowing Federation to seven in one twelve-month period. In 2006, rower Olga Samulenkova of the Russian women’s quadruple sculls tested positive for an exogenous source of metabolites of testosterone. Although she had been tested before the Championships, the test result had only been communicated to FISA after the athlete had won a gold medal at the 2006 World Rowing Championships. The crew then subsequently lost their medals and the athlete was banned from competition in the sport of rowing for two years. FISA will now be assessing the situation of the Russian Rowing Federation’s status in FISA.
Panel Decision on the Litvintchev, Luzyanin and Podshivalov case: http://www.worldrowing.com/medias/docs/media_354611.pdf
Press Release case 29 August 2007: http://www.worldrowing.com/display/modules/news/dspNews.php?newid=324229
Munich Press Briefing 29 August 2007: http://www.worldrowing.com/display/modules/news/dspNews.php?newid=324236
Panel Decision on the Verfolomeev & Moiseev case: http://www.worldrowing.com/medias/docs/media_354143.pdf
Panel Decision on the Fedorova case: http://www.worldrowing.com/medias/docs/media_354142.pdf
http://www.worldrowing.com/ Anti-Doping page: http://www.worldrowing.com/index.php?pageid=101
WADA list of Prohibited substances: http://www.worldrowing.com/medias/docs/media_354244.pdf
World Anti-Doping Code: http://www.wada-ama.org/rtecontent/document/code_v3.pdf
WADA website: http://www.wada-ama.org/
For more information - FISA media contact:
Marion Gallimore, Marketing and Communications Manager
Tel: +41 21 617 83 73 or direct +41 21 612 02 26, mobile +41 79 706 72 55