The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced it has imposed a six-month ban on Sergio Silva, a duathlete from Portugal, after committing an anti-doping rule violation in an in-competition doping control test at the 2011 Gijon ITU Duathlon World Championships in Spain.
The ban will end on 9 May 2012 and prohibits Silva from entering or participating in any competition or activity authorised by ITU, its National Federations (NFs) and/or any other signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code.
Silva’s anti-doping rule violation was a result of the presence of demethylpentilamine (DMPA), also known as methylhexaneamine (MHEA). DMPA is a stimulant and a prohibited substance according to the WADA Prohibited List and the ITU Anti-Doping Rules.
Silva provided a sample, collected in-competition at the 2011 Gijon ITU Duathlon World Championships on 24 September 2011. The certificate of analysis confirmed the adverse analytical finding was received by ITU from the WADA-accredited National Anti-Doping Laboratory in Madrid, Spain and indicated the presence of DMPA.
On 19 January 2012, the Madrid Laboratory reported the analysis of the B sample confirmed the finding of DMPA (MHEA) in Silva’s A sample, resulting in an anti-doping rule violation in accordance with Article 2.1.2 of the ITU Anti-Doping Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code.
Silva appealed for leniency provisions on the basis that the finding of DMPA in his sample is the result of his ingestion of Top Fuel Launch, a dietary supplement prescribed by his nutritionist who erroneously confirmed it did not contain any prohibited substances; but which in fact contained important quantities of Geranium Oil also known as dimethylpentylamine (DMPA).
The ITU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel concluded that the documentation and evidence provided by Silva was persuasive and that he took the substance inadvertently with no intent of enhancing his performance. However, the panel also felt Silva must also be held to the same standard as all other athletes. He was warned on the dangers of supplement use, relied on the flawed advice of his nutritionist and did not research further into the reference to DMPA on the supplement’s label.
After reviewing all the facts of this case and carefully deliberating on all the issues, the ITU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel concluded the mandatory 2-year sanction for a first anti-doping violation under article 10.2 of the ITU Anti-Doping Rules can be reduced. The panel decided that Silva did commit an anti-doping rule violation and shall be suspended for 6 months.
As a result, Silva will forfeit his gold medal and all ranking points from the ITU Duathlon World Championships and must return all prize money.
It is the panel’s hope that this case will prompt all triathletes to not only become aware of their responsibilities and obligations under ITU Rules and the WADA Code but to take them seriously by being aware of everything they ingest and by avoiding the use of dietary supplements.
The decision of the ITU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel is final but may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by Silva, the Portuguese Triathlon Federation or WADA.
ITU is strongly committed to maintaining the integrity of the sport by ensuring athletes are competing on a level-playing field by abiding to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code to help keep triathlon clean. ITU Anti-Doping Rules are written in compliance with the WADA Code. For a National Federation (NF) to be affiliated with ITU, it must abide by the WADA Code and ITU Rules.