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According to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Intelligence and Investigations Department (l%l) report published October 21, Ukrainian athletes were given advance notice of drug tests since 2012.

If the allegations prove to be true, Ukraine should be banned from all international competitions.

The Ukrainian Athletics Federation (the “FLAU”), is alleged to have provided advance notice according to the l&l’s investigation called Operation Hercules.

According to the statement, “Potential evidence of erythropoietin (“EPO”) trafficking was identified against one individual. In addition, Operation Hercules has compelling evidence to suggest that, in contravention of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI), the National Anti-Doping Agency of Ukraine (NADC) conducted unjustified advance notice sample collection by testing athletes, including groups of athletes, at the NADC offices since 2012. Moreover, the NADC has, on occasion, recorded samples collected “in-competition” as “out-of-competition”, including as recently as 2021.”

NADC executives met with the investigative team and claimed to not be aware of the advance notice given to athletes.

Operation Hercules gave the EPO-related information to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). They also shared the report with WADA,
particularly the Compliance, Rules, and Standards Department.

WADA I&I Director, Gunter Younger, said, “‘Operation Hercules’ has convincing and corroborated evidence that NADC was engaged in the practice of telephoning athletes or contacting them through their coaches to request their attendance at the NADC, the following day, for testing. The evidence suggests that NADC would adopt this practice often before important international events and there were times when an entire discipline of the national team was present at the NADC awaiting testing.”

If all allegations again NADC and the Flau are confirmed, then Ukraine, like Russia, should be banned from international competition. WADA et al, need to demonstrate to rogue national anti-doping organisations and national sport organisations that protecting athletes in advance of testing is intolerable.

SHOESTRINGS: Meanwhile, three Russian athletes Stepan Kiselev (marathon), Anna Minullina (3000m), and Vladyslav Podzvezdov (800m-1500m) have been green-lighted to compete internationally under a neutral flag. World Athletics Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of three Russian athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria.

Athletics Illustrated asks, “what is the definition of “banned” according to World Athletics when 150 Russian athletes have met exceptional status and are able to compete? Additionally, when dozens of coaches, administrators, and dignitaries were permitted to attend the Tokyo Olympic Games?”

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