Tag Archives: CAS

Natalya Antyukh stripped off the Olympic 400m hurdles title

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has banned Natalya Antyukh of Russia for the use of a Prohibited Substance/Method which is a breach of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

The 41 year-old was stripped of her 2012 Olympic silver medal in the 4×400 relay by the IOC in 2017 because the Russian team was disqualified after doping was found in the samples of runner Antonina Krivoshapka.

In April 2021, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) disqualified Antyukh for four years for anti-doping rule violations. The period of the athlete’s suspension is counted from April 7, 2021. The results has been disqualified from June 30, 2013.

Last year, Antyukh was banned four years in a doping case related to evidence from the 2016 McLaren report on Russian doping. Her results from July 2013 through December 2015 were also stripped. She last competed in 2016, according to World Athletics. In the 2012 Olympic 400m hurdles final, Antyukh, then 31, lowered her personal best by 22 hundredths of a second to hold off Lashinda Demus by seven hundredths for the gold medal.

CJ Ujah cleared of taking banned drugs

CJ Ujah, whose failed doping test cost Team GB Olympic relay sprint team silver, has been cleared of deliberately taking banned drugs.

As a result of the new ruling, the Athletics Integrity Unit and the World Anti-Doping Agency will allow him to return to competition next year.

Ujah, who initially faced a potential four-year ban from the sport, had consistently insisted he did not knowingly take ostarine and S-23, adding it “is something I will regret for the rest of my life”.

However, the British men’s sprint relay quartet’s career-defining performances in the 4x100m Tokyo final last year remains deleted from the history books.

Ujah had run the opening leg but then tested positive for two prohibited substances, ostarine and S-23.

The AIU has now confirmed, however, that Ujah is now serving a reduced term of 22 months, which means he can return to racing next June.

“The AIU and Wada were satisfied that the sprinter’s anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was not intentional as a result of his ingestion of a contaminated supplement and the applicable two-year period of ineligibility was reduced by two months on account of how promptly he admitted the violation,” a statement from the AIU says.

Brett Clothier, head of the AIU, added: “In this case, after a thorough examination of the facts, we were satisfied that Mr Ujah did indeed ingest a contaminated supplement, but he was unable to demonstrate that he was entitled to any reduction in the applicable period of ineligibility based on his level of fault. “Taking supplements is risky for athletes as they can be contaminated or even adulterated with prohibited substances. Athletes owe it to their fellow competitors to be 100 per cent certain before putting anything into their body.

If there’s the slightest doubt, leave it out.” It remains to be seen how his relay team-mates Richard Kilty, Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake will take the news, having been all been stripped of medals over the furore.

Kilty has previously said he felt “let down” by his team-mate, adding how the team “heard nothing from” Ujah for six or seven weeks and they “didn’t have a clue” when the positive test was first disclosed after the Games. “Then we had a Zoom call maybe six weeks ago, and he just said to us that he thinks it was in a supplement,” Kilty added. “The supplements he was taking were not Informed Sport, which is not following the rules. As a team-mate I feel let down. For the last 20 years of my career – the same as the other two lads – we have worked our asses off. We have followed the rules, in and out.”

The British relay team automatically forfeited their medals in February, after Ujah did not challenge his adverse analytical finding at a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing.

Ujah previously said: “I would like to make it clear that I unknowingly consumed a contaminated supplement and this was the reason why an anti-doping rule violation occurred at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

 

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Caster Semenya: ‘I am the greatest that has ever done it’

Let’s start at the finish, with the last question I put to Caster Semenya: When the time comes for the two-time Olympic 800m champion to hang up her spikes, how does she think the world will remember her career?

“I am the greatest that has ever done it,” she says. “That’s what I’ll be remembered for: being great, my talents. I feel unapologetic (about them) and I want people to remember the greatness.”

The 31-year-old South African is the headline star at Tuesday’s BAM Cork City Sports, where she will race over 3000m. It’s Semenya’s first visit to Ireland, and after she laughs about the “European weather” she admits “everything is good” since her arrival last Friday.

Her goal on Tuesday is simple, and relatively modest: to run under 8:50, a time that would rank her outside the top 50 on the women’s top lists for 2022 – strange territory for an athlete who was for so long indomitable.

But these days things are different. Semenya has been unable to compete at distances between 400m and the mile since 2019, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in favour of her sport’s governing body, the IAAF (now World Athletics), that athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) had to reduce their testosterone below five nmol/L to compete in the women’s category.

In 2020 Semenya appealed the decision to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld the ruling, saying the regulations were “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to ensure fair competition in women’s sport.

Individuals with 46 XY DSD are usually born with internal testes that cause their natural testosterone to sit in the male range of 7.7-29.4nmol/L, well above the typical female range of 0.12-1.79nmol/L. Semenya has since opted not to lower her testosterone by taking medication, which she said caused her to feel sick, gain weight and suffer panic attacks following a similar ruling on athletes with hyperandrogenism back in 2011.

While the regulations could eventually extend to other events, right now they apply only to track events where the link between testosterone and performance is most pronounced, leaving athletes with DSDs free to compete below 400m or above the mile.

Semenya switched to 200m in 2020 in a bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics but after clocking a best of 23.49, well outside the qualifying standard, she moved up to 5000m. She ran a personal best of 15:31.50 at the South African Championships in April, shy of what was needed to make this month’s World Championships, but missing that is “not really a problem” – her chief goal remains the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“The transition has not been easy, I’m a power athlete,” she says. “I’m a tall figure, I’m more muscular so I have to work on being very lean. Now it’s a matter of mastering how to run distance, and it’s coming. Rome was not built in a day.”

These days, Semenya covers 130km a week in training with a long run of 30km. “It was not easy the first year but now I’m getting used to it and I started enjoying distance more than speed.”

She’s coached by her wife, Violet, and they have two daughters, with their youngest celebrating her first birthday on Tuesday.

“This race is dedicated to her,” she says. Her eldest daughter, Oratile, will turn three in a few days. How has life changed for Semenya since she became a mother?

“It makes you a better person, you see life in a different way. Before it was all about myself but now I live for my family. There’s no difference on the track but when I walk off it, I’m a parent and I have to live based on my kids.”

Will her experience in recent years inform her approach as a parent?

“Yeah,” she says. “The main goal for me is to teach them to understand their rights – how to fight for themselves, how to live for themselves, not for any other people.”

Semenya continues to fight her cause. Early last year, following the federal court ruling, she took a case against Switzerland at the European Court of Human Rights, which has yet to be heard.

“It’s not about winning, I don’t really care about the outcome,” she says. “It’s about raising awareness about what’s happening with the authorities, how selfish they are, their motives. My optimal goal is just to expose those errors and then fight for justice – always.

“People need to realise that when you’re here for athletes, you better mean it. If you’re a leader and you say sport is for all, you should act like that.”

In recent weeks, swimming’s world governing body barred transgender women from elite female competitions if they had experienced any part of male puberty, and several other sports are likely to follow suit. While it’s obviously a very different issue to DSD athletes, there are some similarities, which triggers the question: what did Semenya make of that ruling?

“I really don’t have an answer because I don’t know,” she says. “As I’m not transgender, I don’t know how they’re feeling. It’s very complex and a complicated question so, for me, I wouldn’t answer for something I have no experience about.”

An athlete Semenya does feel a strong kinship with is her old rival Francine Niyonsaba, the Burundian who won silver behind her at the Rio Olympics and who moved up in distance following introduction of the DSD regulations. Niyonsaba is currently the quickest woman in the world over 3000m this year.

“We’re very good friends and, yeah, it’d be great if we could have that rivalry again at 5K,” says Semenya. “She always wants what’s best for me, I always want what’s best for her. We encourage each other.”

I ask Semenya about her daughters, and whether they might grow up to be runners. “I hope they do tennis, not running,” she says. “Running can be hard. You don’t want your kids to go through what you went through.”

Despite all she’s dealt with, Semenya remains a fan of the sport. She and her wife coach a running group in South Africa and despite not competing at the Tokyo Olympics last year, she followed the action from afar, saying it was “exceptionally good.”

Semenya still wants to be at the Paris Games in 2024, even if it’s not at her favoured distance.

“The goal was to run the 800 until I’m 35, but unfortunately I had to stop before time,” she says. “But the dreams never change. As an Olympian, you always want to be the greatest. At the moment it’s all about enjoying what I do. Being able to run, it’s a blessing.”

Source: irishexaminer.com

Alex Wilson banned four years for doping

Swiss sprinter Alex Wilson was banned for four years on Tuesday after an anti-doping tribunal judged he intentionally used an anabolic steroid.

The case flared at the Tokyo Olympics last July when Court of Arbitration for Sport judges reinstated Wilsons provisional suspension days before he was due to compete in the mens 100 and 200 meters.

Wilson, the 200 bronze medalist at the 2018 European Championships, tested positive for the steroid trenbolone in an out-of-competition sample taken in March 2021.

He was allowed to continue competing ahead of the Tokyo Games after blaming contaminated meat he ate in Las Vegas, the Swiss Olympic committee said in announcing the latest ruling of its tribunal.

Wilson’s provisional ban during a disciplinary investigation was reinstated in Tokyo after the World Anti-Doping Agency and World Athletics intervened with CAS.

The Swiss Olympic tribunal now ruled the 31-year-old Wilson intended to use doping and imposed a ban that runs into April 2025. He can appeal against the verdict at CAS.

Source: espn.com

Joyce Chepkirui banned for four years for doping

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has banned long-distance runner Joyce Chepkirui from Kenya for four years in a case concerning her Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) which is a violation of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

The 33-year-old had been provisionally suspended since June 2019, after an expert panel studied anomalies in her blood samples collected by AIU between 2016 and 2017.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeal filed by the Athletics Integrity Unit, and her four-year period of ineligibility has been back-dated to start from 28 June 2019.

Her results from April 6, 2016 and August 4, 2017 that include her bronze medal at the Boston Marathon in April 2016 has been revoked.

Chepkirui is the 2014 Commonwealth Games 10,000m champions and also the 2014 African 10000m champion.

Chepkirui star stated shinning at the 2012 Discovery Kenya Cross Country meet and then winning the  National title at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships, before going on to win the gold medal and team title at the 2012 African Cross Country Championships in Cape Town, South Africa

She also won the  2015 Amsterdam Marathon title before placing third at the Boston Marathon and fourth at the New York City Marathon in 2016.

Kenya is still placed under category A and is ranked alongside Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine. It remains one of the countries AIU considers as having the highest risk level for doping or ADRVs and not just the risk of having more doping cases.

Caster Semenya slams World Athletics

Double Olympic women’s 800m champion, Caster Semenya has slammed the World Athletics (WA) in a scathing post on her social media page.

Semenya is not allowed to compete across a number of distances due to the World Athletics regulations for athletes with Differences of Sexual Development (DSD).

The 31 year-old is prohibited from competing in distances from 400m to mile, but can race across 100m, 200m and any event further than 1600m.

Through her social media handle, twitter, she claimed that there was a lack of logic in the regulations.

“So according to World Athletics and its members, I’m a male when it comes to 400m, 800m, 1500m and 1600m,” she wrote.

“Then a female in 100m, 200m, and long distance events. What a research. What kind of a fool would do that?”

The World Athletics regulations, implemented in 2018, prohibit athletes with DSD from competing between 400m and a mile unless they take hormone-reducing drugs.

After unsuccessful appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court, the South African super star is waiting for the hearing at the European Court of Human Rights.

Last week she ran her fastest ever women’s 3000m race at the Athletics South Africa Grand Prix, clocking a lifetime best of 8:54.97 over the distance.

In November WA confirmed that it would not be changing its regulations, even after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued a new framework for transgender and DSD athletes.

Semenya missed out on her target of 15:10.00 which meant she didn’t qualify for the Olympics after finishing in fourth place in a 5000m meet in Belgium in a time of 15:50.12 in June 2021.

Courts rejects Daniel Wanjiru’s doping appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed Daniel Wanjiru’s appeal & upheld the Disciplinary Tribunals decision to ban him for 4 years for an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation.

The 2017 London Marathon winner denied any wrongdoing, had been provisionally suspended by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) since April 2020 after he was found guilty of the doping violation.

Great Britain stripped of Olympic silver medal after Ujah doping confirmed

Great Britain’s 4x100m relay team has been stripped of its Olympic silver medal in the men’s 4x100m relay that they won in Tokyo last August after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld Chijindu Ujah’s anti-doping violation on Friday.

Ujah has been provisionally suspended since Ostarine and S-23 — both substances prohibited by World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) — were detected in his sample in Tokyo.

The CAS had the hearing in November but only revealed on Friday. It found that the 27-year-old sprinter did have two banned substances in a urine sample, ostarine and S-23, which are known as selective androgen receptor modulators that mimic testosterone in the body.

Ujah had blamed his failed test on a contaminated supplement. However under the strict liability rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency that is no defence.

The British men’s quartet of Ujah, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake missed out on the 4x100m title by just a hundredth of a second in Tokyo, as the anchor-leg runner Mitchell-Blake was overhauled on the line by Italy’s Filippo Tortu.

Canada will now be upgraded to silver with China moving into the bronze medal position. “I accept the decision issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport today with sadness,” Ujah said in a statement issued by UK Athletics.

“I would like to make it clear that I unknowingly consumed a contaminated supplement and this was the reason why an anti-doping rule violation occurred at the Tokyo Olympic Games. “I would like to apologise to my teammates, their families and support teams for the impact which this has had on them. I’m sorry that this situation has cost my teammates the medals they worked so hard and so long for, and which they richly deserved. That is something I will regret for the rest of my life.”

World 100m champion set for return after serving 18-month ban

World 100m champion Christian Coleman, is set to return to running after serving his 18-month ban for breaching anti-doping whereabouts rules.

The 25 year-old plans to race for the first time in nearly two years at New York’s Millrose Games next month which will start on 29 January and it will be his first since February 2020 after the pandemic and the anti-doping suspension curtailed him.

“I think it will be emotional to get out there and finally display my talents again,” the indoor 60m world record holder said by telephone from Lexington, Kentucky, where he trains.

Colemen had been given a two-year suspension by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) before it was reduced to 18 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Sex verification in sport: the sidelining of intersex athletes

Sex verification in sport has been debated for decades, with the likes of Ewa Kłobukowska and Caster Semenya being banned from women’s sports in the process. As more athletes were prohibited from competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, the debate is far from over.

Regulations have evolved over the years, as our understanding of sex and intersexuality progresses. Sex verification was initially in the form of physical examinations during the 1960s, then replaced by genetic tests. At the 2012 London Olympics, a new regulation was put in place, whereby eligibility to compete in the female classification depended on an athlete’s testosterone levels.

The legislation was hugely unpopular, with the appeal of Indian sprinter Dutee Chand resulting in the regulation’s suspension. It was determined that there was insufficient evidence to show that elevated testosterone levels give athletes a sporting advantage. Testosterone can certainly induce muscle growth, but in many sports other skills, namely agility and coordination, shape the level of an athlete’s success.

As a result of Chand’s successful appeal, researchers funded by World Athletics, formerly known as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), published studies claiming that higher testosterone levels confer a significant sporting advantage in 400m to 1-mile running events. Despite some criticising the integrity of the data, new regulations were implemented based on this evidence in 2018. It mandated female athletes with ‘Differences in Sex Development’ (DSDs) to lower their testosterone levels if they choose to compete in the female classification of such events.

The legislation was challenged by intersex athlete Caster Semenya back in May 2019: “Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history”.

In response, the regulations were upheld, as the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruled the differential treatment of intersex athletes “necessary, reasonable and proportionate”. At this year’s Tokyo Games, the eligibility of athletes was determined by individual sporting federations.

“Therefore, contrary to popular belief, sex is not binary. Such variations may be uncommon in the general population, but some have suggested that intersexuality is far more common amongst elite athletes”

Before proceeding any further, it should be pointed out that intersexuality is different to transgenderism. Intersex people are born with ambiguous sex, while transgender people feel their gender and sex are misaligned. Consequently, the regulations are different for the two situations, and this article focuses strictly on the former.

The science behind World Athletics’ legislation

It’s commonly accepted that gender is an individual choice of identification, while sex is an unalterable, congenital trait. The definition of sex is multi-faceted: genetic sex is the possession of XY chromosomes in males and XX chromosomes in females, gonadal sex is the possession of testes in males and ovaries in females, and anatomic sex is the possession of penises for males and vaginas for females.

In most cases, sex differentiation is straightforward: females will inherit XX chromosomes, which means they subsequently develop ovaries and a vagina, with the opposite being true for males.

However, in a minority of cases, some individuals can possess a mixture of both male and female biological traits. For example, they may have XX chromosomes and ovaries yet have external genitalia somewhat resembling a penis. These deviations from biological expectation are known as intersexuality, or DSDs. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, sex is not binary. Such variations may be uncommon in the general population, but some have suggested that intersexuality is far more common amongst elite athletes.

The newest World Athletics eligibility regulations only apply to intersex athletes. Non-intersex women with testosterone levels above the 5nmol/L limit are not required to lower their testosterone production in order to compete in the female category. Although it’s recognised that non-intersex women can also have elevated testosterone levels, especially those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome or adrenal tumours, their levels rarely exceed the 5nmol/L limit. Furthermore, there is ambiguity in the regulations, such that intersex athletes with some specific DSD variations might arbitrarily be exempt too.

 What are the aims of the DSD regulations?

Records show that there is a performance difference between men and women in most sports. No doubt, non-physiological factors such as funding contribute to the gap, but biological factors undeniably play a role too. World Athletics believes that the higher testosterone levels in men are the main reason for their sporting advantage over females. However, this argument may be flawed given that higher testosterone levels only correlate with better performance in a limited range of running events.

“When athletes are segregated into male and female classifications, those in the middle of the spectrum, or those who are intersex, will inevitably be treated differently compared to non-intersex athletes”

The aim of the DSD regulations was not to verify sex; it was to distinguish athletes with a competitive advantage from those without. Yet, by permitting non-intersex female athletes to have a testosterone level exceeding the 5nmol/L limit, the governing body is not separating athletes into the male and female classifications solely according to testosterone levels. In fact, the organisation is seeking to define and verify sex.

Testosterone is one of the key factors that determine anatomic sex and, as its levels rise, an individual’s sexual characteristics become increasingly masculine. But at what specific point on this spectrum does a woman become a man? Any line drawn to segregate males and females will be arbitrary. Moreover, the definition of sex is evidently complicated, given that genetic, gonadal, and anatomic sex can be independent of each other in intersex individuals.

When athletes are segregated into male and female classifications, those in the middle of the spectrum, or those who are intersex, will inevitably be treated differently compared to non-intersex athletes.

By definition, intersex individuals do not fit into the binary constructs of the male and female sexes. It is therefore problematic to think of intersex athletes simply as females with an inborn sporting advantage due to their increased testosterone levels.

 Striking a balance between sporting integrity and intersex rights

 One proposed solution is the creation of a third classification in sports. However, such a decision would risk alienating athletes with DSDs, as for some their intersexuality does not become known until puberty or even during adulthood.

They may have been raised as a certain sex their entire life, and therefore forcing them to compete in a completely separate category of competition would be both unfair and unethical. Additionally, the terms ‘DSD’ and ‘intersexuality’ broadly cover many different types of biological variations, making it hugely problematic to subject all intersex athletes to standardized regulations.

There is no simple answer to this debate, and a satisfactory solution will not be found in the foreseeable future; our scientific knowledge simply remains lacking, especially in the field of athletic performance. A good first step would be to eliminate the non-physiological contributors to performance differences between the sexes by increasing both the investment in and marketing of women’s sport.

As a result, the physiological contributors to performance differences would be better elucidated and thus inform policy making. Meanwhile, World Athletics must address the ambiguities and contradictions in its existing DSD regulations.

But most importantly, the underlying science behind intersexuality and the nitty-gritty details of DSD rules need to be better communicated to the general public. Only then can we have meaningful conversations that strive towards the most fair and ethical way to classify athletes according to their abilities.

Source: varsity.co.uk