Tuesday, 6 November 2007

WADA Lab Director Offers Stunning Statistics...

According to cyclingnews.com, Swiss laboratory director Martin Saugy has alleged that in-depth examination of Tour de France riders' 'samples taken at the health controls' revealed some 47 of 189 starting riders were assisted through blood transfusions or EPO.

However, Saugy qualified his statements by indicating that the results of the tests were insufficient to be declared a positive. However, in the newly-revised, soon-to-be approved WADA CODE 2007, Article 7.3 “Review of Atypical Findings” addresses exactly such a case. Here's the applicable wording:

As provided in the International Standards, in some circumstances Laboratories are directed to report the presence of Prohibited Substances, which may also be produced endogenously, as Atypical Findings subject to further investigation. Upon receipt of an A Sample Atypical Finding, the Anti-Doping Organization responsible for results management shall conduct a review to determine whether: (a) an applicable therapeutic use exemption has been granted, or (b) there is any apparent departure from the International Standard for Testing or International Standard for Laboratories that caused the Atypical Finding. If that review does not reveal an applicable therapeutic use exemption or departure that caused the Atypical Finding, the Anti-Doping Organization shall conduct the required investigation.

Notes of legal import, concerning what is written above:

  • '...some circumstances' is overly vague: which circumstances? If it is really '...provided in the International Standards', proper legal drafting would offer reference to specific Articles. Searching for the word 'Atypical' in both the ISL and IST reveals no (via Adobe Reader v8.0) instances of the word, nor is 'unusual' to be found in the context of the above citation of CODE 2007 Article 7.3;

  • There exists no definition in the ISL rev. 4.8 of July 2007, and the definition provided in the CODE rev3 is meager: “Atypical Finding: A report from a laboratory or other WADA-approved entity which requires further investigation as provided by the International Standard for Laboratories or related Technical Documents prior to the determination of an Adverse Analytical Finding.”;

  • The end of this new Article parallels sufficiently the existing wording from WADA CODE 2003, Article 7.1, as to the results management process, although WADAwatch has already put WADA and its laboratories on notice that there is a serious breach in the legal sense, by not offering words that control how to deal with any deficiencies in laboratory work, here encompassed in the singular word 'departure';

  • WADA still has nine days to prepare a proper text for these documents (until 15 November, and the opening of the Madrid World Conference on Doping in Sport).

Thus as we wind down to Madrid, WADAwatch again provides in-depth analysis of the incompleted work to be performed for WADA to maintain its dignified position in the world of anti-doping in Sport.

Watch WADA!!


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