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Sandro Donati

Veteran anti-doping campaigner Sandro Donati needs no introduction. He blew the lid on Italy's state-sponsored doping system in the 1980s. He helped get blood transfusions banned by the IOC. He was Francesco Conconi's nemesis. His 1990s doping dossier, initially deep-sixed by CONI, helped usher in the hematocrit rule.
"The abuse has spiralled out of control. In some of the races, they are now climbing hills at speeds they used to reach on the flat! And why? Because the majority are pumped to the gills with *** like EPO, HGH and testosterone. For the good of sport, it is imperative we act immediately to stamp this out."
And he advised David Walsh against going after Lance Armstrong:
"Sandro told me something important: going after Lance Armstrong couldn't be what it was all about because the bigger picture was what mattered. Cycling was far more important than one competitor and if you pursue one and become too associated with that pursuit, that is not good."
First and foremost, though, Donati is a coach. And as a coach he has paid for being outspoken on the subject of doping. And - it would appear - he is still paying. The Sports Integrity Initiative yesterday carried a story about Italian race walker Alex Schwazer, who is currently being coached by Donati, claiming that someone in the IAAF spiked one of his samples, causing him to be provisionally suspended during the Rio Games. CAS have scheduled a hearing of the case. You can read SII's story here.

Some believe that anti-doping is a war and that all is fair in love and war, if you have to resort to falsifying test results to catch a doper it's allowed given the number of times they cleared tests. Spiking tests is fair, the end justifies the means. Others, of course, deny that such things ever go on, deny that the authorities would ever try to do such things. But what if they do, what if in this case Shcwazer - and, in the land of guilt by association, Donati - is innocent? Is this the anti-doping system we really want? Is this an anti-doping system we can be proud of?
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Great OP.

For the record, the SII story also contains the original La Republica documentary where the accusations are made and the evidence for a set-up is presented. With English subtitles.
It's a very interesting 20-min. watch, with Donati and Schwazer talking about how they got framed.
Schwazer may or may not have been framed by IAAF (well possible, imo, and some good evidence presented in the docu, but i'm not 100% convinced), but I don't buy into the message that he was now running clean.

The man they think was key in the set up is Giuseppe Fischetto.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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sniper said:
Great OP.

For the record, the SII story also contains the original La Republica documentary where the accusations are made and the evidence for a set-up is presented. With English subtitles.
It's a very interesting 20-min. watch, with Donati and Schwazer talking about how they got framed.
Schwazer may or may not have been framed by IAAF (well possible, imo, and some good evidence presented in the docu, but i'm not 100% convinced), but I don't buy into the message that he was now running clean.

The man they think was key in the set up is Giuseppe Fischetto.
If i understand correctly, this Fischetto guy (IAAF antidoping) had previously been accused by Schwazer of covering up doping. Needless to say, IAAF did nothing and Fischetto continued working for IAAF.
And now the same Fischetto was the doping control officer at the race where Schwazer tested positive for the second time. What are the odds.
Definitely looks like retaliation.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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fmk_RoI said:
Veteran anti-doping campaigner Sandro Donati needs no introduction. He blew the lid on Italy's state-sponsored doping system in the 1980s. He helped get blood transfusions banned by the IOC. He was Francesco Conconi's nemesis. His 1990s doping dossier, initially deep-sixed by CONI, helped usher in the hematocrit rule.
"The abuse has spiralled out of control. In some of the races, they are now climbing hills at speeds they used to reach on the flat! And why? Because the majority are pumped to the gills with **** like EPO, HGH and testosterone. For the good of sport, it is imperative we act immediately to stamp this out."
And he advised David Walsh against going after Lance Armstrong:
"Sandro told me something important: going after Lance Armstrong couldn't be what it was all about because the bigger picture was what mattered. Cycling was far more important than one competitor and if you pursue one and become too associated with that pursuit, that is not good."
First and foremost, though, Donati is a coach. And as a coach he has paid for being outspoken on the subject of doping. And - it would appear - he is still paying. The Sports Integrity Initiative yesterday carried a story about Italian race walker Alex Schwazer, who is currently being coached by Donati, claiming that someone in the IAAF spiked one of his samples, causing him to be provisionally suspended during the Rio Games. CAS have scheduled a hearing of the case. You can read SII's story here.

Some believe that anti-doping is a war and that all is fair in love and war, if you have to resort to falsifying test results to catch a doper it's allowed given the number of times they cleared tests. Spiking tests is fair, the end justifies the means. Others, of course, deny that such things ever go on, deny that the authorities would ever try to do such things. But what if they do, what if in this case Shcwazer - and, in the land of guilt by association, Donati - is innocent? Is this the anti-doping system we really want? Is this an anti-doping system we can be proud of?
I seem to remember something similar happening to one of the athletes he coached in the 90s. That was when Coni were still trying to bury his report. And he was supposed to be discredited. Could be the same going on here. I think Conconi still has an office at the university, so it would not be surprising if someone Donati pissed off 20 years ago is looking for revenge.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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fmk_RoI said:
ToreBear said:
I seem to remember something similar happening to one of the athletes he coached in the 90s.
Are you sure you're not thinking of Squinzi?
Found it:
Point 14
14. 1997, the Di Terlizzi case

After a few weeks of intense excitement, the media lost interest in doping once again; nearly no articles in the press, no debates on television. My telephone stopped ringing.

Also the CONI officials around me were silent. Then they organized the terrible coup de grace.

Anna Maria Di Terlizzi, a young 100m hurdler I had been training for a few years, was tested positive for caffeine on February 7th 1997, after an indoor competition. The caffeine level found in the urine sample was very high, nearly double the value established by IOC.

When the girl told me what had happened, I asked if she had taken any medicament. She answered she was on the pill, but had not taken nothing except a cappuccino at breakfast and a cup of coffee after lunch, but the competition had taken place hours later, in the evening. The caffeine value found in the urine sample corresponded to about thirty cups of coffee taken at the same time.

After a week, the second sample of urine was tested in the presence of an expert of our choice.

Right at the beginning, the Head of the Rome Anti-doping Laboratory asked our expert if he chose the normal testing procedure, which would last several hours, or the shortened procedure. The expert was very surprised and answered, that it was, of course, necessary to repeat exactly the procedure used for the first test, the one that had proved positive.

Before the end of the qualitative analysis, the Head of the Laboratory asked our expert if he wanted to go out for a cup of coffee. He refused and noticed that the Head of the Laboratory and his collaborators were becoming increasingly nervous. When the qualitative analysis was over, the result was astounding: no caffeine peak at all!

The expert called me on his cellular phone; I had been waiting for that call all morning and the news left me breathless; but I still couldnt believe it. I asked how long it would take to have the results of the quantitative analysis; about an hour, he said. That hour seemed never to end. At last he called me with the results; Anna Maria's urine sample contained the traces of one cappuccino and one cup of coffee.

At last, it dawned on me; they had prepared an ambush, the worst possible one: they had tried to destroy my reputation, my credibility. I realised then that I had been dealing with really malicious people.

The following day, and for a few days after that, the Italian media gave quite relevant coverage to this incident and accused the higher sports officials of having organized a fraud to get rid of me. Unfortunately, the international media did not understand the significance of what had been planned; they did not connect the trap prepared for me to my untiring struggle against doping.
http://www.playthegame.org/news/news-articles/2000/anti-doping-the-fraud-behind-the-stage/
 

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