Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: The Russian Doping scandal & Rob Heffernan...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Russian Doping scandal & Rob Heffernan...

As many of you will have seen and heard, the running and athletics media news sources have been full of details of the doping scandal in athletics. A report from WADA...the World Anti-Doping Agency...found that the Russian state was behind an elaborate doping system in the country. Add to this the fact that the French police are investigating Lamine Diack, the former head of the IAAF...the governing body for international athletics.... then the whole sport comes under the spotlight.

There was a good radio programme on BBC Radio about the scandal (1h 18m)... HERE
It's obvious from listening to it that there is a lot more to come out yet with some countries like Kenya and Jamaica coming under suspicion.

The current IAAF president Seb Coe doesn't come out of this looking too good either as he was the Vice-President for the last seven years.

How it relates to Rob Heffernan.......At the Olympics in London in August of 2012, Sergei Kirdyapkin won the Gold medal in the 50km walk. Rob Heffernan finished 4th in the same event.

Kirdyapkin was subsequently found to have been doping so the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA announced back in January of 2015 that he would be banned for three years and two months from 15.10.2012, with the cancellation of the results of the July 20, 2009 - September 20, 2009, June 29, 2010 - August 29, 2010 December 17, 2011 - June 11, 2012.

Needless to say, the Russians were cherry picking the ban dates so that he could keep his medals which is a farce. In March of 2015, the IAAF said they were not accepting this and they have filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. If that appeal is upheld then the Russian should be stripped of his Gold and Rob Heffernan will be upgraded to Bronze.

Back to the WADA report. This is what it said about Kirdyapkin and the IAAF....

Sample 11 was taken on 10 August 2012 during the Olympic Games, one day before the 50 km walk event won by Mr. Kirdyapkin. The period between April to May 2012 was considered to be abnormal (samples nine and ten) as the athlete’s haemoglobin concentration increased by almost 30 g/L in less than one month. Sample nine showed slightly elevated reticulocytes, which is suggestive of stimulated erythropoiesis (but low haemoglobin value), while sample ten showed a high and abnormal haemoglobin level (161 g/L). In addition, samples nine and ten were taken in the lead up to a major competition in Saransk.
It was also considered possible by one of the ABP expert panel members that the athlete withdrew his blood in January and/or April 2012 and then re-infused it in May 2012. This hypothesis was raised by two of the ABP expert panel members, one of whom proposed that the increase in haemoglobin values from early 2012 (126-132 to 16 g/L) was suggestive of the use of autologous blood collection and reinfusion in preparation for the Olympic Games. However, despite clear and problematic abnormalities in Mr.Kirdyapkin’s ABP in the period leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, he was nevertheless allowed to compete. Although the ABP expert panel provided its opinion in October and November 2012, the results of the abnormal samples mentioned above would have been known to the IAAF prior to the Olympic Games.

As you can see, the WADA report says Kirdyapkin shouldn't have even been competing due to his blood values let alone win a medal.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday his organisation would continue to apply a zero-tolerance policy to doping, and that Olympic medals would be withdrawn from any Russian athlete named in the Wada report who is found guilty of doping.

It's hard to see how Rob Heffernan won't get an Olympic Bronze now.

Earlier today, Rob's agent released the following statement...

Expect this to drag on for a while yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seb Coes recent appointment has to be in serious doubt now, IAAF look no better
than FIFA here, IAAF officials have to have been taking bribes to turn a blind eye
to Russian doping