15 Feb 2023
In February 2022 the International Testing Agency (ITA) on behalf of World Athletics reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Bahamian swimmer Joanna Evans after her sample tested positive for the prohibited substance Clostebol.
Following notification a provisional suspension was ordered and the Athlete filed a statement in her defence. She refused to accept a sanction of 3 years proposed by the ITA and the case was referrered to the FINA Doping Panel.
The Athlete accepted the test result, denied the intentional use of the substance and requested for a reduced sanction. She explained that the source of Clostebol was the Trofodermin cream that she had used for her injuries purchased in September 2021 in a pharmacy in Napels, Italy.
She had used this creme for 3 months and was unaware that it contained Clostebol because she expected that this cream was similar to the Trofodermin creme available over the counter in the United States. She acknowledged that she had not checked this product for prohibited substances before using.
For the ITA NADO Italia conducted an investigation into the purchase of this creme. It determinded that the pharmacy in Napels had no record of the purchase of Trofodermin creme in September 2021. Also it was mandatory in Italy that the Trofodermin creme contains a Doping pictogram including a warning and a leaflet.
FINA contended that the Athlete failed to demonstrate that the violation was not intentional, nor the source of the prohibited substance. She could also not establish with corroborating evidence that the Trofodermin creme was purchased in the pharmacy in Napels, neither that it was purchased in September 2021.
The Doping Panel finds that the presence of a prohibited substance has been established in the Athlete's sample and accordingly that she committed an anti-doping rule violation.
In view of the evidence the Panel deems that on a balance of probabilities that the Athlete has established the source of the prohibited substance. The Panel also finds that the Athlete has demonstrated with evidence that the cream only was used for the treatment of her injuries.
Considering the Athlete's conduct in this case the Panel concludes that she acted with significant negligence due to she failed to check properly the ingredients of the Trofodermin creme whereas recently she had received anti-doping education.
Therefore the FINA Doping Panel decides on 15 February 2023 to impose a 2 year period of ineligibility on the Athlete, starting on the date of the provisional suspension, i.e. on 14 February 2022.