© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) moved to reinstate the provisional suspension of Turkish drug cheat, Asli Cakir Alptekin. She had anomalies in her biological passport, this, after already once having served a suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2004. She is the 2012 London Olympic Games 1500 metre gold medallist. This was a good and necessary move by the IAAF.
As written earlier in an op-ed piece regarding Alptekin, and 30 other Turkish athletes, who also tested positive before the London Games, the governing bodies need to move to ban drug cheats; to act swiftly and with force.
“It is time now for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to work with force on member nations who refuse to suspend or ban permanently athletes who test positive for performance enhancing drugs. After all of the many recent positive drug tests, it is now time to put a stop to apparent state–endorsed and or state-ignored doping once and for all, otherwise, without a deterrent doping will continue, unabated.”
In April of 2013, thirty-one Turkish athletes tested positive for anabolic steroids. In December the Turkish Athletics Federation exonerated Alptekin. “It has been decided that there is no grounds for national sporting sanctions against Asli Cakir Alptekin as she did not violate any anti-doping rules,” said a statement from the disciplinary commission on the Turkish Federation`s website. It appeared that the Turkish Athletics Federation was making a mockery of the process.
She is now waiting for a final decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport. She risks a lifetime ban if she is found to be guilty after having received that two-year suspension for doping from 2004. While suspended she cannot take part in competition anywhere, until the CAS makes a decision. It will be poor show, if they do anything but ban her for life.
American sprinter Tyson Gay tested positive for anabolic steroids or a steroid precursor, which is likely the DHEA that was found to be in a cream that was used by his Atlanta-based chiropractor and anti-aging specialist Clayton Gibson III. At the time of the positive result Gay said, “I don’t have a sabotage story…” and he also said, “I don’t have any lies. I don’t have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake or it was on USADA’s hands, someone playing games…I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down.”
That is a conflicting statement and just like every other cheater in sport, the guilty did not accept the blame and tried to pass it onto someone else. It is likely that Gay was not let down by someone else, “Gibson” but rather he let himself down. He knew going in that Gibson served NFL players and Gay knows that the NFL anti-doping program is very different than that of the IAAF and WADA’s. He needs to accept blame, not to hide behind USADA’s “My Victory” program — in which athletes volunteer for enhanced testing to prove they’re clean.
Kelly-Ann Baptiste is another world-class sprinter and she happens to train with Gay’s group. She also failed a drug test. She won the 100 metres in the 2011 IAAF World Track and Field Championships. Baptiste also saw Gibson, the cream applying chiropractor.
In the Anti-Doping code WADA states:
“Athletes should always check with their IF to find out what additional substances and methods are prohibited in their sport. Also, athletes should always make their doctor aware that they are bound by the specific rules of their sport. Those who are unsure of what a product contains should not take it until they are sure it is not prohibited. Ignorance is never an excuse…”
“Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use…” …in many countries, the manufacturing and labelling of products may not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under anti-doping regulations. A significant number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements, and taking a poorly labelled dietary supplement is not an adequate defence in a doping hearing.”
This is common knowledge in sport.
Just as the athlete needs to know what they are putting into their body, they also need to know what their practitioners are prescribing or applying. At the very least Gay and Baptiste were negligent in their responsibility as athletes. However, in all likelihood, they are guilty not of negligence, but of purposely cheating, by accepting the cream, which was apparently labelled as containing DHEA, as well as testosterone. They cannot be that stupid, can they?
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone produced by your body’s adrenal glands. Apparently scientists do not know everything that DHEA can do however; they know it acts as a precursor to male and female sex hormones. Production peaks when a person is in their mid-20s. Gay is 31 years old, while Baptiste, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, is 28 years old; both on the decline in natural DHEA production.