The International Asociation of Athletics Federations stated Thursday that roughly three out of every 100 athletes tested both in- and out-of-competition failed doping tests conducted under its jurisdiction in 2007.
According to IAAF records, 3.277 urine samples were collected from the period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2007, with 1.759 sampled from place out-of-competition (OOC) tests by 749 athletes, 1.426 from athletes selected during a competition event, and 92 urine and EPO samples taken pre-competion.
The IAAF state that 164 athletes received four or more OOC tests, 66 received six or more, and 18 received eight or more. The IAAF is unable to reveal the indentities of those who have been tested most frequently, but did state that one athlete had 12 OOC test performed on them last year.
Americans Sanya Richards, Leonard Scott, LaShawn Merritt, Deena Kastor, Ryan Hall, Tyson Gay, Damu Cherry, Marcus Brunson, and Xavier Carter were all tested at least four times according to the information provided in the IAAF report.
Athletes from Russia, Kenya, and the United States were the three highest-tested groups, but of the 10 athletes whom the IAAF publicly stated tested positive last year, the biggest names involved were Bulgarian 400-meter sprinter Vania Stambolova and her teammate Venelina Veneva, a high jumper.
Both Bulgarian athletes—who share the same coach, Georgi Dimitrov—had their urine samples collected at an unexpected check during training in Budapest, Hungary on Jan. 24, 2007 and had them later turn up with positive traces of testosterone. Veneva also provided a further positive sample from an IAAF OOC doping control conducted on Feb. 6, 2007 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
IAAF president Lamine Diack, praised the IAAF's efforts in a statement released today.
"I am proud that the IAAF continues to conduct one of the world's largest out-of-competition testing programs," he said.
"And the crucial importance of this is shown in the fact that the majority of our positive results are found in this form of testing."
The great majority of the tests conducted in 2007 done during times where competition schedules are at their peak, with 983 of the tests (30 percent) conducted at the spring season and 1.321 (40.3 percent) conducted during the summer season.
The remaining 29.7 percent of the tests were conducted primarily in the late winter (18. 7 percent), and the remaining 359 samples collected Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.
ARE TESTERS IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME (OF YEAR)?
Victor Conte was the posterboy for cheating.
Where there was a will, there was a syringe and a calendar to make the way. The former BALCO founder helped propel many an athlete up and over the top and to a crashing halt once they were discovered to have cheated and deceived their ways to the top.
Since his release from prison and home-confinement, his pitch has changed over the past two years from supporting a premise that one must cheat to win to stating that the current state of testing for performance-enhancing drugs is unacceptable, because the testers are completely off-key in their pursuit of the cheaters.
If the IAAF are happy with their testing measures, and the IOC believe that there will be a bonafide Human Growth Hormone (HGH) test in place by the time athletes are ready to compete in Beijing, who among those speaking is actually right?
There may be a viable test on its way to head off cheats in Beijing, but Conte's assertions have been that the testers are attempting to get to the athletes at the wrong times of the year—a point he discussed with former WADA head Dick Pound at a meeting earlier this year.
The IAAF have not broken their historical data down by quarters, rather by years—most of which have not been calendar years, but fiscal ones.
It is difficult to ascertain whether the IAAF have been surprising more athletes at off-peak times, but Veneva and Stambolova were two prime athletes who were OOC tested during such time and were caught with illegal substances in their bodies.
Nevertheless, of the nine cases the IAAF have stated brought to light, five of the OOC specimens were collected and tested Q1 (Jan. 1 to March 31) in 2007. Two athletes flunked their drug tests in Q3 (July 1 to Sept. 30), and two failed their tests in Q2 just ahead of the summer season.
Salbutamol (12-month ban); rh-EPO (two-year ban); Prostanozol Testosterone (two-year ban); and six cases of Testosterone (two-year ban) were the drugs of choice named in the anti-doping offenses.
The 10 confirmed cases the IAAF have discussed are far shorter than the number of cases on their 2007 sanctions list, however, as 55 athletes appear on the list, with Marion Jones the sole member who didn't fail an actual test in 2007.
Moreover, the IAAF have not yet indicated athletes who have failed "A"-sample tests and are having their cases reviewed and/or arbitrated, as is their best-business practice.
Two world record-holders fall into that category, one with an indoor distinction and the other an outdoor event contender. Both have been mentioned by their athletics federations, and the information is available with the use of a search engine.
The IAAF, however, have not made that information readily available to the public on its pages dedicated specifically to anti-doping.
IAF anti-doping measures were at their near peak in 2007, with doping control officers taking 3.277 samples, or only 127 fewer than they did in 2003—a world championships year.
There should be no speculation or inferences in who has been tested any given number of times, as several of the aforementioned Americans either won a national title (Drossin and Hall) or were in every IAAF Golden League competition (Richards) in 2007.
USADA REPORTING PHILOSOPHY
The IAAF does not make a distinction as to when any athlete is tested.
USADA, the national testing agency in America, does make a testing history available, however.
USADA selects track-and-field athletes to test in an OOC based on an automated drawing that considers a number of factors, including the athlete's ranking in the sport, their risk of doping, and their previous test history.
LaShawn Merritt and Michelle Collins were each tested 11 times in 2007, followed Mary Wineberg and Reese Hoffa, who were selected for 10 tests.
Merritt came off the best season of his life in 2007, winning a silver medal at the World Championships in Osaka and becoming the ninth athlete in world history to break the 44.00-flat barrier.
Collins has been fighting a previous drug charge which has since gone back into arbitration by the IAAF.
Wineberg had a break-through season in which the then 27-year-old lowered her 400-meter personal record down to a very respectable 50.24 and was part of the gold medal-winning 4-by-400-meter quartet, which defeated Russia in Osaka, and Hoffa was the 2006 USA national indoor and world indoor shot put champion.
There have been 25 IAAF anti-doping tests conducted on athletes from 2000-2007—an average of 3.103 each year. If the number of cheaters are, indeed, reducing in numbers, the IAAF can hold its head high and claim to be catching the leaders in the cheating game.
Unfortunately, Marion Jones was able to escape unscathed more than 150 times behind a wall of deception throughout her career, so to state that the testing system works and is a suggestion that athletes today are less apt to take drugs is not entirely true.
Athletes Sanctioned for a Doping Offense in 2007:
- ADEOYE, Susan Olufunke (NGR), In Competition 05.07.07, Ephedrine*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- AJJAJI, El Mokhtar (MAR), In Competition 18.03.07, Stanozolol Strychnine Norandrosterone, 3 years ineligibility from 22.06.07 - 21.06.10
- BALSEN, Julien (FRA), In Competition 09.12.06, Prednisone* Prednisolone*, 6 months ineligibility from 12.07.07 - 11.01.08
- BELL, Kenta (USA), In Competition 24.06.07, Methylprednisolone*, Public Warning and 3 months deferment
- BOTEZAN, Mihaela (ROM), In Competition 28.04.07, Chlorthalidon, 2 years ineligibility from 17.10.07 - 16.10.09
- CHEPKEMEI, Susan (KEN), IAAF OOC 10.09.07, Salbutamol, 1 years ineligibility from 19.10.07 - 18.10.08
- CHESANI, Silvano (ITA), In Competition 26.08.07, Formeterol*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- DEHIBA, Hind (FRA), IAAF OOC 23.01.07, rh-EPO, 2 years ineligibility from 16.02.07 - 15.02.09
- DENISOVA, Lyubov (RUS), IAAF OOC 20.03.07, Prostanozol Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 27.04.07 - 26.04.09
- FILIPPIDIS, Konstantinos (GRE), In Competition 16.06.07, Etilephrine, 2 years ineligibility from 11.07.07 - 10.07.09
- FORTES ANDRE, Bruno Miguel (POR), In Competition 11.02.07, Cannabis**, 2 years ineligibility from 15.03.07 - 14.03.09
- GAUTHIER, Franck (FRA), In Competition 09.04.07, Heptaminol*, Public Warning & Disqualification from 20.07.07 - 19.10.07
- IVANOVA, Alena (BLR), In Competition 14.07.07, Furosemide, 2 years ineligibility from 06.08.07 - 05.08.09
- JAYSUNA, Saidy (NOR), In Competition 28.06.07, Cannabis*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- JIMLA, Omar (MAR), In Competition 15.04.07, rh-EPO, 3 years ineligibility from 31.05.07 - 30.05.10
- JONES, Marion (USA), admission of use of a prohibited substance, 2 years ineligibility from 08.10.07 - 07.10.09
- JOSEPH, Jasmine (IND), In Competition 12.02.07, Nandrolone, 2 years ineligibility from 07.05.07 - 06.05.09
- KAOUCH, Adil (MAR), In Competition 13.07.07, rh-EPO, 2 years ineligibility from 08.08.07 - 07.08.09
- KECHI, Héni (FRA), In Competition 19.06.07, Cannabis*, 3 months ineligibility from 09.10.07 - 08.01.08
- KEHLER, Lisa (GBR), In Competition 07.07.07, Terbutaline*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- KEITA, Naman (FRA), IAAF OOC 20.08.07, Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 01.09.07 - 31.08.09
- KHANFARI, Ahmadreza (IRI), In Competition 08.05.07, Stanozolol, 2 years ineligibility from 31.05.07 - 30.05.09
- KOCABAS, Jonathan (BEL), In Competition 23.06.07, Cannabis*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- KOLAROVA, Teodora (BUL), IAAF OOC 26.06.07, Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 10.08.07 - 09.08.09
- KONEVA, Yekaterina (RUS), In Competition 14.02.07, Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 23.03.07 - 22.03.09
- KRAVCHENKO, Olesya (RUS), In Competition 07.02.07, Stanozolol, 2 years ineligibility from 20.02.07 - 19.02.09
- KUMAR, Gajendra (IND), In Competition 11.02.07, Mephentermine, 2 years ineligibility from 14.07.07 - 13.07.09
- KYYRO, Mikko (FIN), In Competition 05.08.07, Methylprednisolone*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- LACASSE, Florent (FRA), IAAF OOC 18.05.07, Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 13.07.07 - 12.07.09
- LEWANSKI, Mikolaj (POL), In Competition 30.06.07, Cannabis*, Public Warning & Disqualification from 30.06.07
- LING, Peng (CHN), National OOC 19.09.07, Methandienone, 4 years ineligibility from 08.10.07 - 07.10.11
- LIPSCOMBE, Jesse (CAN), In Competition 12.05.07, Ephedrine*, 6 months ineligibility from 16.08.07 - 15.02.08
- MAHDAVI, Seyed Shahrokh (IRI), National OOC 20.10.07, Methandienone, 2 years ineligibility from 20.11.07 - 19.11.09
- MOSAZADEH, Kavian (IRI), In Competition 24.05.07, Norandrosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 25.06.07 - 24.06.09
- MUCERINO, Giuseppe (ITA), In Competition 11.03.07, Tuaminoheptame*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- NIKODEM, Dawid (POL), In Competition 27.01.07, Cannabis*, 6 months ineligibility from 27.01.07 - 26.07.07
- PAYNE, Jamie (TRI), In Competition 17.03.07, Stanozolol Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 22.05.07 - 21.05.09
- PINTO, Luzia Souza (BRA), In Competition 01.04.07, Sibutramine*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- RAVI PINTO, Rosalba (ITA), In Competition 25.03.07, Furosemide, 2 years ineligibility from 05.07.07 - 04.07.09
- SANCHEZ-REY, Pablo Lopez (ESP), In Competition 06.05.07, 13.05.07, Nandrolone, 2 years ineligibility from 30.07.07 - 29.07.09
- SAVI, Stefano (ITA), In Competition 31.07.07, Cannabis*, 2 months ineligibility from 05.11.07 - 04.01.08
- SECHNEV, Yuriy (RUS), In Competition 06.10.07, Stanozolol, 2 years ineligibility from 20.11.07 - 19.11.09
- SEGATO, Marco Francesco (ITA), In Competition 25.02.07, hCG, 2 years ineligibility from 14.06.07 - 13.06.09
- SEVUKTEKIN, Yahya (TUR), Tampering or attempting to tamper with doping control (Rule 32.2e), 2 years ineligibility from 11.04.07 - 10.04.09
- SHMAGAYLO, Vadim (RUS), In Competition 21.04.07, Norandrosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 25.05.07 - 24.05.09
- SIHAMMANE, Abdeljabbar (MAR), In Competition 07.01.07, Furosemide, 2 years ineligibility from 20.02.07 - 19.02.09
- SLEPOV, Aleksander (RUS), In Competition 09.06.07, Stanozolol, 2 years ineligibility from 03.07.07 - 02.07.09
- STAMBOLOVA, Vania (BUL), IAAF OOC 24.01.07, Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 10.04.07 - 09.04.09
- TURSKIS, Tomas (LTU), In Competition 15.09.07, Nandrolone, 2 years ineligibility from 04.12.07 - 03.12.09
- UUDMÄE, Jaanus (EST), In Competition 23.06.07, Sibutramine*, Public Warning & Disqualification
- USLU, Binnaz (TUR), IAAF OOC 13.03.07, Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 24.03.07 - 23.03.09
- VENEVA, Venelina (BUL), IAAF OOC 24.01.07, Testosterone, 2 years ineligibility from 03.04.07 - 02.04.09
- WANG, Yaqi (CHN), National OOC 22.08.07, Nandrolone, 2 years ineligibility from 11.09.07 - 10.09.09
- ZOLADKIEWICZ, Christin (GER), National OOC 07.09.07, Refusal, 2 years ineligibility from 30.10.07 - 29.10.09
- ZOUBAA, Khalid (FRA), In Competition 27.01.07, rh-EPO, 3 years ineligibility from 22.02.07 - 21.02.10