FISA Bans The Final Two Rowers in The Lucerne Infusion Material Case
The athletes were identified through DNA analysis as having intravenously infused substances for a non-legitmate acute medical reason. The incriminating evidence was found in a plastic bag in a rubbish bin outside the Russian team’s hotel in Lucerne, the day after the Rowing World Cup final last year. In total, DNA strands from eight individuals were identified from blood remaining on this medical equipment. Six of the DNA strands were linked to one other female athlete and five male athletes from the Russian team. Three of these athletes were sanctioned in August 2007 during the World Rowing Championships, and the other three in January this year. Today’s bans punish the last two remaining athletes identified from the Lucerne discovery.
Last week, FISA had announced a ban of all Russian Rowing Federation officials from taking part in any FISA events for one year. According to FISA Rules, the officials of a National Federation can be banned if four or more violations of the Anti-doping code are committed within a twelve month period. Today’s announcement brings the total of cases within twelve months to nine (including the case of Olga Samulenkova who was banned in 2006). Considering this, and according to Article 126.96.36.199, FISA may now consider a total suspension of the Russian Rowing Federation, including its athletes, for a period of up to four years. FISA’s Executive Committee is now carefully considering further actions and shall release any ensuing decision shortly.
Matt Smith, FISA Executive Director explained: "These are the last two athletes identified by DNA analysis to have used the material found in Lucerne last July. In order to respect the rights of the athletes, FISA’s policy is to carry out all investigations fully before it releases any information about its possible doping cases. This explains why it took several months before all eight athletes were identified, heard and sanctioned. We are now satisfied that every opportunity was given to the athletes to explain their actions" He added, "The FISA Executive Committee is currently considering further disciplinary actions on the Russian Rowing Federation in accordance with Anti-Doping Rule 188.8.131.52, following these last two cases."
Sequence of events:
1. On 15 July 2007, intravenous infusion material was found in a rubbish bin near the Russian team’s hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland following the Final of the Rowing World Cup. DNA analysis of blood remains on this equipment identified eight individuals.
2. July/August 2007 – Blood samples were collected from the entire Russian team in training camps and in Munich, Germany.
3. August 2007 – Vladimir Varfolomeev and Denis Moiseev, the first two athletes to be identified through DNA analysis based on blood remains found on the infusion material, were banned for two years for using a prohibited method. This also lead to the disqualification of the Russian Lightweight Men’s double from the 2007 World Rowing Championships;
4. August 2007 - Svetlana Fedorova was identified from the material and banned for two years for using a prohibited method. This lead to disqualification of the Russian Women’s eight from the 2007 World Rowing Championships;
5. January 2008 - Alexander Litvintchev, Evgeny Luzyanin and Ivan Podshivalov, three additional athletes identified from blood remains and DNA matching are banned for two years starting retroactively on 27 August 2008 for using a prohibited method. This lead to retroactive disqualification of the Russian Men’s eight from the 2007 World Rowing Championships.
6. On 26 January 2008, following a hearing with the Russian Rowing Federation, FISA’s Executive Committee decided to ban all officials of the Russian Rowing Federation to participate in any FISA activities for one year from 27 January 2008 as well as fine them CHF 75’000 and charge them for all expenses associated with these cases.
7. February 2008, Anastasia Fatina and Anastasia Karabelshchikova, the final two athletes from the Lucerne materials, banned for two years starting retroactively to 27 August 2008 for using a prohibited method.
All previous press releases and full information on each of the decisions can be found on http://www.worldrowing.com/.
World Rowing Anti-Doping Page (see section 6 for "FISA Anti-Doping Decisions")
Ban of Federation Officials Press Release (29.01.2008)
Ban of Alexander Litvintchev, Evgeny Luzyanin and Ivan Podshivalov Press Release (17.01.2008)
For more information - FISA media contact:
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