General Doping Thread.

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^^There must be something fishy going on in the background.

They sit on the test results for more than a month and only announce a positive case during the Olympics. They leak her name to the media while she is a 'protected person'. It fits the US propaganda.
 
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^^There must be something fishy going on in the background.

They sit on the test results for more than a month and only announce a positive case during the Olympics. They leak her name to the media while she is a 'protected person'. It fits the US propaganda.
Oh, come on. Nothing suggests test result was available before 8th February. And if it was, it would have been known to RUSADA of all the parties, who took the sample. And unless you noticed, it was RUSADA who issued immediate provisional suspension. And finally, the name was widely reported before ITA made official statement, all while the case was handled by RUSADA. So who exactly are "they" in your opinion?
 
^^There must be something fishy going on in the background.

They sit on the test results for more than a month and only announce a positive case during the Olympics. They leak her name to the media while she is a 'protected person'. It fits the US propaganda.
The sample was collected on Christmas day and a gap of 6-8 weeks is pretty standard between sample collection and reporting. I very much doubt they sat on the test result.
 
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Oh, come on. Nothing suggests test result was available before 8th February. And if it was, it would have been known to RUSADA of all the parties, who took the sample. And unless you noticed, it was RUSADA who issued immediate provisional suspension.
The sample was collected on Christmas day and a gap of 6-8 weeks is pretty standard between sample collection and reporting. I very much doubt they sat on the test result.
According to WADA guidelines, the sample should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible and no later than seven days from the date of collection - https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/resources/files/isti_sample_collection_guidelines_en_final_2_feb_2021_0.pdf

So at the latest her sample was already in Sweden on 2 January. It's odd that they only tested her sample on 8 February, the day after she became Olympic champion and before her individual competition. Allegedly, the laboratory cannot identify which athlete provided the sample as they are assigned an anonymous sample code number. Strange coincidence, isn't it?

And finally, the name was widely reported before ITA made official statement, all while the case was handled by RUSADA. So who exactly are "they" in your opinion?
That's exactly what I said. Someone leaked her name to the media and they widely reported it. Read the ITA statement.

Seeing that some in the media did not grant her the same protection and have reported widely
I already mentioned which country I meant when I wrote 'they'.
 
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After following the figure skaters a bit closer this season I think it's important to notice that there are not "the" Russian figure skaters. They are several camps which don't work together but mostly against each other. They have their own teams including doctors. There are also intern federations, like for instance the St. Petersburger fed... The coaches partly fight each other openly in the media. There are a lot of power plays between people in the background.
Valieva is from Moscow, from the Sambo70 school, decisive coach is Eteri Tutberidze, the head of the "factory" of fabulous girl skaters. In the past decade she has been the dominant person in figure skating. (She mostly coaches teenage girls.) Now there are more other coaches coming up, like for instance Plushenko who has opened his own private school and seems to be a good coach. Tutberidze is known for being extremely successful, but also for not giving a ** about her girls' health (or mental state). That's why it is so believable to many that she and her team would do this to a girl. The girls are also willing to do practically everything to have success because they are told they have to do that (compete with injuries, starve, etc.) Also one of the main doctors for Sambo70 has been heavily involved in doping before.

I don't know whether it's really better with other coaches or if Tutberidze is just the most open about her methods. Anyway, I can easily imagine that there is some power play in the background within the Russian skater's scene, and that some leak or some none-hiding might have come from there - but that's pure speculation, based on other non-doping stories which are true.

The US are clearly eager to bring the Russian dominance in women's skating down, and are happy to play their cards and exploit the situation, but I don't believe one second that this is only a smear campaign in the sense that they made something up or did something with a clean sample.

By the way there is also talk that the age limit might actually be raised after the Olympics. That is something the Russians have heavily resisted so far and that would threaten the Eteri system which is mostly build on using pre-puberty girls' bodies. I wonder whether this has something to do with it, whether for instance people who have protected her are not standing as firm by her side anymore...
The thing is, I'm usually not one for conspiracy theories, but it's hard to follow figure skating without seeing all the sports political play that is happening and which makes up for some good movie stories.

My main point: this is not just US vs. Russia.
 
After following the figure skaters a bit closer this season I think it's important to notice that there are not "the" Russian figure skaters. They are several camps which don't work together but mostly against each other. They have their own teams including doctors. There are also intern federations, like for instance the St. Petersburger fed... The coaches partly fight each other openly in the media. There are a lot of power plays between people in the background.
Valieva is from Moscow, from the Sambo70 school, decisive coach is Eteri Tutberidze, the head of the "factory" of fabulous girl skaters. In the past decade she has been the dominant person in figure skating. (She mostly coaches teenage girls.) Now there are more other coaches coming up, like for instance Plushenko who has opened his own private school and seems to be a good coach. Tutberidze is known for being extremely successful, but also for not giving a ** about her girls' health (or mental state). That's why it is so believable to many that she and her team would do this to a girl. The girls are also willing to do practically everything to have success because they are told they have to do that (compete with injuries, starve, etc.) Also one of the main doctors for Sambo70 has been heavily involved in doping before.
....

My main point: this is not just US vs. Russia.
It is a similar situation in cross country skiing, with different competing training groups.

The Yuri Borodavko group has had outstanding success - Bolshunov and Spitsov finishing 1-2 in the skiathlon and Bolshunov 2nd in the 15km classic today, Nepryaeva 2nd in the womens skiathlon. Spitsov went from his first world cup race in December 2017 to 2 silvers and a bronze in the 2018 olympics.

From the article in the attached link : "Borodavko was suspended from working with the Russian national team for two years in 2010 after the Russian Cross-Country Ski Federation said he was among a group of coaches "involved in doping cases." He worked with the 2006 Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Dementiev, who was banned for two years in 2009 after testing positive for the banned blood-booster EPO."


Borodavko was banned from the 2018 olympics for his involvement in doping.

Not to say the Russians are the only ones implicated in doping but they are not indifferent to enhancing performance by artificial means.
 
After following the figure skaters a bit closer this season I think it's important to notice that there are not "the" Russian figure skaters. They are several camps which don't work together but mostly against each other. They have their own teams including doctors. There are also intern federations, like for instance the St. Petersburger fed... The coaches partly fight each other openly in the media. There are a lot of power plays between people in the background.
Valieva is from Moscow, from the Sambo70 school, decisive coach is Eteri Tutberidze, the head of the "factory" of fabulous girl skaters. In the past decade she has been the dominant person in figure skating. (She mostly coaches teenage girls.) Now there are more other coaches coming up, like for instance Plushenko who has opened his own private school and seems to be a good coach. Tutberidze is known for being extremely successful, but also for not giving a ** about her girls' health (or mental state). That's why it is so believable to many that she and her team would do this to a girl. The girls are also willing to do practically everything to have success because they are told they have to do that (compete with injuries, starve, etc.) Also one of the main doctors for Sambo70 has been heavily involved in doping before.

I don't know whether it's really better with other coaches or if Tutberidze is just the most open about her methods. Anyway, I can easily imagine that there is some power play in the background within the Russian skater's scene, and that some leak or some none-hiding might have come from there - but that's pure speculation, based on other non-doping stories which are true.

The US are clearly eager to bring the Russian dominance in women's skating down, and are happy to play their cards and exploit the situation, but I don't believe one second that this is only a smear campaign in the sense that they made something up or did something with a clean sample.

By the way there is also talk that the age limit might actually be raised after the Olympics. That is something the Russians have heavily resisted so far and that would threaten the Eteri system which is mostly build on using pre-puberty girls' bodies. I wonder whether this has something to do with it, whether for instance people who have protected her are not standing as firm by her side anymore...
The thing is, I'm usually not one for conspiracy theories, but it's hard to follow figure skating without seeing all the sports political play that is happening and which makes up for some good movie stories.

My main point: this is not just US vs. Russia.
In other news, Saddam Hussein tested positive for WMD.

Smacks of high-level sabotage. If 20 days is the dateline, then 30 days should be regarded as beyond the stipulation. Why not take an even older sample i.e. 5 months ago? What is the use of testing protocol if it is subjected to arbitrary adjustments?
 
It is a similar situation in cross country skiing, with different competing training groups.

The Yuri Borodavko group has had outstanding success - Bolshunov and Spitsov finishing 1-2 in the skiathlon and Bolshunov 2nd in the 15km classic today, Nepryaeva 2nd in the womens skiathlon. Spitsov went from his first world cup race in December 2017 to 2 silvers and a bronze in the 2018 olympics.

From the article in the attached link : "Borodavko was suspended from working with the Russian national team for two years in 2010 after the Russian Cross-Country Ski Federation said he was among a group of coaches "involved in doping cases." He worked with the 2006 Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Dementiev, who was banned for two years in 2009 after testing positive for the banned blood-booster EPO."


Borodavko was banned from the 2018 olympics for his involvement in doping.

Not to say the Russians are the only ones implicated in doping but they are not indifferent to enhancing performance by artificial means.
Yet you never write comments on the suspicion of other skiers from different nations. The closest you come to is ‘not saying others aren’t doping.’

The Russians train almost exclusively in Western Europe, where they’re tested by the ITA, and every athlete (from any country) registered by their Olympic committee has to follow strict whereabouts protocol via ADAMS.

All of Borodavko’s skiers have had excellent results as juniors and u23 skiers. Why are you shocked they are doing so well as seniors? Nepryaeva is leading the WC standings. If it wasn’t for a cold, she would have won the 2018/2019 overall WC, at age 23. Bolshunov and Spitsov do very well at altitude, and this tough course suits someone like Spitsov, a smaller athlete. He’s also improved his technique a lot, particularly in classic.

I am curious if you think Niskanen is clean, beating all those talented but drugged Russians?
 
In other news, Saddam Hussein tested positive for WMD.

Smacks of high-level sabotage. If 20 days is the dateline, then 30 days should be regarded as beyond the stipulation. Why not take an even older sample i.e. 5 months ago? What is the use of testing protocol if it is subjected to arbitrary adjustments?
The reporting time required for specific occasions (e.g. for Major Events, see Annex B) may be substantially less than twenty (20) days. The reporting time may be altered by agreement between the Laboratory and the Testing Authority.

page 106 here


Not saying that this is necessarily what happened, but yes, the protocol can be subject to 'arbitrary' adjustments.
 
After following the figure skaters a bit closer this season I think it's important to notice that there are not "the" Russian figure skaters. They are several camps which don't work together but mostly against each other. They have their own teams including doctors. There are also intern federations, like for instance the St. Petersburger fed... The coaches partly fight each other openly in the media. There are a lot of power plays between people in the background.
Valieva is from Moscow, from the Sambo70 school, decisive coach is Eteri Tutberidze, the head of the "factory" of fabulous girl skaters. In the past decade she has been the dominant person in figure skating. (She mostly coaches teenage girls.) Now there are more other coaches coming up, like for instance Plushenko who has opened his own private school and seems to be a good coach. Tutberidze is known for being extremely successful, but also for not giving a ** about her girls' health (or mental state). That's why it is so believable to many that she and her team would do this to a girl. The girls are also willing to do practically everything to have success because they are told they have to do that (compete with injuries, starve, etc.) Also one of the main doctors for Sambo70 has been heavily involved in doping before.

I don't know whether it's really better with other coaches or if Tutberidze is just the most open about her methods. Anyway, I can easily imagine that there is some power play in the background within the Russian skater's scene, and that some leak or some none-hiding might have come from there - but that's pure speculation, based on other non-doping stories which are true.

The US are clearly eager to bring the Russian dominance in women's skating down, and are happy to play their cards and exploit the situation, but I don't believe one second that this is only a smear campaign in the sense that they made something up or did something with a clean sample.

By the way there is also talk that the age limit might actually be raised after the Olympics. That is something the Russians have heavily resisted so far and that would threaten the Eteri system which is mostly build on using pre-puberty girls' bodies. I wonder whether this has something to do with it, whether for instance people who have protected her are not standing as firm by her side anymore...
The thing is, I'm usually not one for conspiracy theories, but it's hard to follow figure skating without seeing all the sports political play that is happening and which makes up for some good movie stories.

My main point: this is not just US vs. Russia.
This is such a soap opera I had to look up more info in order to try to make sense of who is playing what part in all this Valieva drama. (I think you summed up what I've also been able to gather so far well!) We've got the skaters themselves, the coaches, RUSADA, ITA, IOC, CAS... did I forget anyone?

You mentioned the Sambo70 school and Eteri Tudberize, someone had compared her to Bela Karolyi and his gymnastics school/ compound. I don't really follow figure skating closely, but when someone mentions the Karolyis I know what they mean. All for the sake of a gold medal, and in this case the team competition medals haven't even been handed out yet because this whole mess has made its way all the way to the CAS. (If I'm understanding things correctly.)

If accurate I think PeterB's link sums up things pretty well so I'll repost it - but stay tuned, there is more drama to come! https://ita.sport/news/beijing-2022-the-ita-informs-on-figure-skater-kamila-valieva/#
 
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The ITA release feels like something is missing, unless RUSADA were able to check for TUEs (ok, here it is probably easy as this particular medication is not approved for under-18's in Russia) and confirm that there were no irregularities with sample collection and analysis within 1 day. Similarly, the athlete was able to gather enough evidence to successfully overturn a provisional suspension also within 1 day.

I mean it's quite possible that I am missing something and my understanding of the process is far from perfect, but these are very impressive turnaround times by everyone if the positive only became known on the 8th.
 
I'm surprised you don't realise that transport and analysis are two different things, but I can assure that they are.
Here's what I said

So at the latest her sample was already in Sweden on 2 January. It's odd that they only tested her sample on 8 February, the day after she became Olympic champion
It's funny that you're trying to make it sound like it's perfectly normal for the lab to sit on the sample for weeks and only check it when the Olympics are on.

Director of Stockholm’s lab refused to explain the weeks-long delay for the sample result to be reported and former director of WADA, told Reuters the timeline of events in this case made no sense - https://www.reuters.com/article/olympics-2022-figureskating-valieva-wada-idCAKBN2KG0ET
 
Here's what I said



It's funny that you're trying to make it sound like it's perfectly normal for the lab to sit on the sample for weeks and only check it when the Olympics are on.

Director of Stockholm’s lab refused to explain the weeks-long delay for the sample result to be reported and former director of WADA, told Reuters the timeline of events in this case made no sense - https://www.reuters.com/article/olympics-2022-figureskating-valieva-wada-idCAKBN2KG0ET
The quote from the article:

David Howman, the former long-time Director General of WADA, told Reuters the timeline of events in this case made no sense.

“If the sample was taken... before the Games, why didn’t RUSADA push the Swedish lab to get the results?” he said.

“The other responsibility is with WADA. They knew what samples would have been taken and needed to be analysed,” he said.

“And thirdly, the International Skating Union (ISU) would have known the samples that would have been collected. All three parties would have had access to the ADAMs (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System) systems, which tells you where and when samples were collected. Those are the questions that now need answering.”
Howman questions why Russia didn't ask the lab to accelerate the samples they submitted, which they can, why WADA didn't try and get them pushed through and why the ISU didn't. At no point has he questioned the lab.


As for the lab director, of course they won't comment on individual cases. That's standard practice and even more so when the case involves a minor. No one should have been commenting on it.
 
Yet you never write comments on the suspicion of other skiers from different nations. The closest you come to is ‘not saying others aren’t doping.’

The Russians train almost exclusively in Western Europe, where they’re tested by the ITA, and every athlete (from any country) registered by their Olympic committee has to follow strict whereabouts protocol via ADAMS.

All of Borodavko’s skiers have had excellent results as juniors and u23 skiers. Why are you shocked they are doing so well as seniors? Nepryaeva is leading the WC standings. If it wasn’t for a cold, she would have won the 2018/2019 overall WC, at age 23. Bolshunov and Spitsov do very well at altitude, and this tough course suits someone like Spitsov, a smaller athlete. He’s also improved his technique a lot, particularly in classic.

I am curious if you think Niskanen is clean, beating all those talented but drugged Russians?
First of all, I haven't posted here in a long time but your assertion that "I never write comments on the suspicion of other skiers from different nations" is laughable.

Second of all, I highlighted that the group's COACH has a doping reputation - of course this implys that he is still up to his old tricks. Spitsov's 2018 performance really stuck out for me, much more so than, for example, Scott Patterson's 11th place in the skiathlon when a year ago he had a 14th place in the worlds. Maybe he was doping for both, but I assume you singled him out because he is American. What about Clément Parisse who finished 10th, suspicous no?

The Norwegians are fishy (example the ventoline station in the team bus), but even Klaebo has some periods with poor results while Bolshonuv is at the pointy end of EVERY (distance, sprint) race all year long without a break. His only poor results seem to be from poor waxing, although admitedly his sprint results aren't as good as previous years. Bjorgen and Johaug - yeah pretty obvious I agree.

I will allow myself to offer my uninformed opinions on whatever nation's athletes I want, just as you have the right to be indignant whenever a Russian is called out while slinging mud at everyone else.
 
As for the lab director, of course they won't comment on individual cases. That's standard practice and even more so when the case involves a minor. No one should have been commenting on it.
What does this have to do with her being a minor? It was just a simple question. Why did it take so long to test her sample? I've read several articles in several languages all agreeing on the unusually long time between sample collection and test result announcement. Despite your claim that 6-8 weeks is the standard.

According to Rusada, there have been delays due to an increase in Covid illnesses among Swedish Karolinska's laboratory staff and quarantine rules - https://rusada.ru/en/news/press-releases/ofitsialnoe-zayavlenie-raa-rusada-v-otnoshenii-figuristki-chlena-komandy-okr-/

If this is indeed the reason, I don't know why the director of the laboratory didn't put this out in a statement or told Reuters. To issue a statement is not contrary to 'standard practice'. It's called transparency.

It is also worth mentioning that a few years ago Wada suspended the Karolinska anti-doping laboratory.
 
What does this have to do with her being a minor? It was just a simple question. Why did it take so long to test her sample? I've read several articles in several languages all agreeing on the unusually long time between sample collection and test result announcement. Despite your claim that 6-8 weeks is the standard.

According to Rusada, there have been delays due to an increase in Covid illnesses among Swedish Karolinska's laboratory staff and quarantine rules - https://rusada.ru/en/news/press-releases/ofitsialnoe-zayavlenie-raa-rusada-v-otnoshenii-figuristki-chlena-komandy-okr-/

If this is indeed the reason, I don't know why the director of the laboratory didn't put this out in a statement or told Reuters. To issue a statement is not contrary to 'standard practice'. It's called transparency.

It is also worth mentioning that a few years ago Wada suspended the Karolinska anti-doping laboratory.
Oh, you’ve read articles. Oh right. Maybe you sound read what anti-doping agencies say. This quote if from the USADA website in a section literally called anti-doping 101:

Athletes tested under USADA’s testing authority will typically receive a notification of their results within 6-8 weeks from the date of their test. Tests administered by USADA on behalf of other sport organizations or federations will be subject to that organization’s results management process and athletes will not receive results for those tests from USADA.

how about Sport Ireland:

It is the responsibility of your NGB to notify you of the result in writing. If you have not received your result from your NGB within 6 weeks of the sample collection, please contact your NGB for the result.
I wonder why they tell athletes to contact the NGB if they haven’t heard within 6 weeks..?




They should not be commenting on individual cases, especially those that are ongoing and even more so when it involves a child. I really don’t understand how this is hard to comprehend.
 
According to Rusada, there have been delays due to an increase in Covid illnesses among Swedish Karolinska's laboratory staff and quarantine rules - https://rusada.ru/en/news/press-releases/ofitsialnoe-zayavlenie-raa-rusada-v-otnoshenii-figuristki-chlena-komandy-okr-/
Thanks for this link, containing sensible and concise summary of the current situation and events leading to it. Delay caused by the covid seems rather plausible, doesn't it.

I would really wish there was a way to test her B-sample before the next race and before the CAS decision is taken, otherwise it will be impossible to make an ideal decision - either they let her provisionally compete, likely win a medal and then take it from her if the result of B-sample confirms prohibited substance. Or they uphold her suspension but risk that they ruin her participation if B-sample comes back negative...

Anyway, the situation is what it is and the poor girl is its biggest victim now. At least at this stage I somewhat assume that given her age, it was not her who did something inappropriate knowingly...
 
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Thanks for this link, containing sensible and concise summary of the current situation and events leading to it. Delay caused by the covid seems rather plausible, doesn't it.

I would really wish there was a way to test her B-sample before the next race and before the CAS decision is taken, otherwise it will be impossible to make an ideal decision - either they let her provisionally compete, likely win a medal and then take it from her if the result of B-sample confirms prohibited substance. Or they uphold her suspension but risk that they ruin her participation if B-sample comes back negative...

Anyway, the situation is what it is and the poor girl is its biggest victim now. At least at this stage I somewhat assume that given her age, it was not her who did something inappropriate knowingly...
I'm 100% sure it wasn't her who came up with the idea. I have no clue whether she knew about it, though.
Anyway I am really sorry for her now, apparently they let her train on her own yesterday and she had to walk along the snapping journalists on her own as well, none of her coaches accompanied her. :mad:
 
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