IAAF seeks to restore order in drug hearings chaos

With the Sydney Olympics just weeks away, track and field's world governing body meets on Wednesday to consider the fate of athletes awaiting doping hearings.

With the Sydney Olympics just weeks away, track and field's world governing body meets on Wednesday to consider the fate of athletes awaiting doping hearings.

The International Amateur Athletic Federation called an extraordinary meeting of its decision-making council to deal with several pending drug cases before the Sydney Games, which start on September 15.

The IAAF hopes to create a policy to standardise the treatment of all pending arbitration hearings. The council is also expected to deal with a few individual cases, such as those of 1992 Olympic 5,000-metre champion Dieter Baumann of Germany and high jump world-record holder Javier Sotomayor of Cuba.

Baumann, banned for two years for a positive nandrolone test last fall, was cleared two weeks ago by the German federation's legal panel, which ruled there had been irregularities in the taking, storage and transport of his urine samples.

But the IAAF wants to re-examine the case and could still prevent Baumann from competing in Sydney.

Baumann insists he was innocent, claiming he had been the target of a plot when traces of nandrolone were found in a toothpaste tube he supposedly used.

"This case will probably be discussed," IAAF spokesman Giorgio Reineri said. "If the IAAF receives written recommendation of the German federation's doping board in time then it can rule to close the case or send it to arbitration."

A two-time world titlist and the 1992 Olympic champion, Sotomayor was stripped of his gold medal in the high jump at last year's Pan American Games after testing positive for cocaine.

Five weeks ago, a three-person IAAF arbitration panel overturned a ruling by the Cuban Athletics Federation that allowed Sotomayor to continue competing domestically and in other non-sanctioned meets. The IAAF suspended him from all competition until July 31, 2001.

Sotomayor denied using drugs, while Cuban President Fidel Castro and the country's athletics federation claimed his urine samples had been manipulated.

"The only thing left to do is for the athlete or the federation to request the council to consider the special circumstances," Reineri said. "To ask them for a kind of a pardon - or grace - because you have a good record all your life. That can be done."

The IAAF's doping commission probably won't rule on the case of British 400-meter runner Mark Richardson, who tested positive for nandrolone.

Richardson was cleared by UK Athletics after its nandrolone panel concluded that a combination of exercise and apparently legal dietary supplements could result in a failed test.

"It could be too soon after the UK Athletics hearing for the IAAF to have properly examined the case and decide whether or not to send it to arbitration," Reineri said.

Currently, if the IAAF sends a case to arbitration, the athlete involved is immediately suspended until the hearing takes place.

But ahead of the Olympics, a suspension can cause serious problems, since athletes are in danger of missing their national Olympic trials as a result. An athlete kept out of the Olympics could later be found innocent of doping charges.

Hoping to avoid litigation and to "guarantee the rights of the athletes," the IAAF suggested it could step back from its hardline stance on provisional suspensions - or step it up.

"We want to make sure that either all those athletes compete, or none of those athletes compete," Reineri said. "The IAAF wants to decide on a policy for all the cases, to avoid double standards for athletes.

"Some cases are still not resolved and it would be difficult to have all the remaining arbitration hearings before the Sydney Olympics."

The IAAF could decide to temporarily lift suspensions for athletes still awaiting arbitration hearings until after the games.

However, this means athletes later found guilty of doping charges would be stripped of any medals won at the Olympics.

The IAAF could also decide that no athlete awaiting a hearing be allowed to compete in Sydney. Again, that would be a major risk if those athletes are later exonerated.

Nandrolone, an easily detectable drug, has been at the center of controversy this year, following a rash of positive tests around the world that produced a total of 343 positive cases across all sports.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?