CAS 2003_A_484 Kicker Vencill vs USADA - Final award

11 Mar 2004

CAS 2003/A/484 Kicker Vencill vs USADA

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On 23 June 2003 the North American Court of Arbitration (NACAS) decided to impose a 4 year period of ineligibility on the American swimmer Kicker Vencill after his A and B samples tested positive for the prohibited substance 19-norandrosterone (Nandrolone).

Hereafter in July 2003 the Athlete appealed the NACAS decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The Athlete requested for a reduced sanction on the basis of No Significant Fault or Negligence.

The Athlete argued a number of issues in support of his appeal, ranging from questions concerning the chain of custody of his sample, alleged violations of his right to be present for the testing of his B sample, supposed inaccuracies in the results reported by the UCLA Lab and allegations to the effect that the low concentration of 19-norandrosterone found in the athlete's sample is consistent with
endogenous production as opposed to exogenoμs administration or ingestion of a prohibited substance.

The Panel finds that there is no question that the Athlete is guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation and he failed to establish that the chain of custody of his sample was anything other than intact.
The Panel concludes that the laboratory analysis was correctly conducted, the Athlete’s samples had not deteriorated or been contaminated and the proper laboratory procedures had been followed.

The Panel accepts that the violation was not intentional and that laboratory analysis revealed that the supplement in question was contaminated. However the Athlete showed also a total disregard of his positive duty to ensure that no prohibited substance enters his body. As a result the Panel holds that the Athlete’s Fault or Negligence in the circumstances is exceptionally significant in relation to the doping violation.

Therefore the of Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 11 March 2004 that:

1.) The jurisriction of the CAS is affirmed;
2.) The appeal filed by Mr. Vencill on 14 July 2003 is dismissed;
3.) Save for the applicable period of ineligibility as specified in paragraph 4 below, the decision in this matter issued by the North American Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel dated 23 June 2003 is upheld;
4.) Kicker Vencill shall be declared ineligible for competition for two years commencing as of 22 May 2003:
5.) The Court Office fee of CHF 500 already paid by Mr. Vencill shall be retained by the CAS;
6.) Each party shall bear its own costs.

A false start in the race against doping in sport: concerns with cycling's biological passport

1 Nov 2011

A false start in the race against doping in sport: concerns with cycling's biological passport / Nicolas Hailey. - (Duke law journal 61 (2011) 2 (November) ; 393-432).

  • PMID: 22069854


Professional cycling has suffered from a number of doping scandals. The sport's governing bodies have responded by implementing an aggressive new antidoping program known as the biological passport. Cycling's biological passport marks a departure from traditional antidoping efforts, which have focused on directly detecting prohibited substances in a cyclist's system. Instead, the biological passport tracks biological variables in a cyclist's blood and urine over time, monitoring for fluctuations that are thought to indirectly reveal the effects of doping. Although this method of indirect detection is promising, it also raises serious legal and scientific concerns. Since its introduction, the cycling community has debated the reliability of indirect biological-passport evidence and the clarity, consistency, and transparency of its use in proving doping violations. Such uncertainty undermines the legitimacy of finding cyclists guilty of doping based on this indirect evidence alone. Antidoping authorities should address these important concerns before continuing to pursue doping sanctions against cyclists solely on the basis of their biological passports.

Sports doping : Racing just to keep up.

15 Jul 2011

Sports doping : Racing just to keep up / Ewen Callaway. - (Nature 475 (2011) 7356 (21 July) ; p. 283-285)

  • PMID: 21776058.
  • DOI: 10.1038/475283a

Anti-doping researchers are looking for new ways to catch cheaters. Can a biological passport help to save the sport?

Gene doping [2006]

1 Apr 2006

Genetische doping / H.J. Haisma, Olivier de Hon. - (Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Klinische Chemie en Laboratoriumgeneeskunde 31 (2006) 1 : p. 261-263)

Genetische doping zal zeer waarschijnlijk binnen 5 jaar zijn intrede doen in de sportwereld. Bepaalde genen kunnen de sportieve prestatie immers verbeteren. Deze genen worden thans onderzocht in klinische studies voor de behandeling van ziektes. Het niet-therapeutische en ongecontroleerde gebruik van gendoping door sporters kan resulteren in gezondheidsschade.
Preventieve maatregelen om het gebruik van gendoping te voorkomen zijn dus noodzakelijk. Een uitvoerig voorlichtingsprogramma t.b.v. de sportbegeleiders en de sporters zelf, een evaluatie van de huidige regelgeving en de ontwikkeling van een geavanceerde detectiemethode op basis van proteomische technieken lijken de meest veelbelovende preventieve maatregelen.

Gene doping : of mice and men.

20 Jan 2009

Gene doping : of mice and men / Hassan M.E. Azzazya, Mai M.H. Mansoura, Robert H. Christenson. - (Clinical Biochemistry 42 (2009) 6 (April) ; p. 435-441)

  • PMID: 19272337.
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2009.01.001


Gene doping is the newest threat to the spirit of fair play in sports. Its concept stemmed out from legitimate gene therapy trials, but anti-doping authorities fear that they now may be facing a form of doping that is virtually undetectable and extremely appealing to athletes. This paper presents studies that generated mouse models with outstanding physical performance, by manipulating genes such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) or phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), which are likely to be targeted for gene doping. The potential transition from super mice to super athletes will also be discussed, in addition to possible strategies for detection of gene doping.

Ethics : Gene doping and sport

5 Feb 2010

Ethics : Gene doping and sport / Theodore Friedmann, Olivier Rabin, Mark S. Frankel. - (Science 327 (2010) 5966 (5 February) ; p. 647-648)

  • PMID: 20133558.
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1177801

Blood doping and its detection

1 Sep 2011

Blood doping and its detection / Wolfgang Jelkmann, Carsten Lundby. - (Blood 118 (2011) 9 (1 September) p. 2395-2404).

  • PMID: 21652677.
  • DOI: 10.1182/blood-2011-02-303271


Hemoglobin mass is a key factor for maximal exercise capacity. Some athletes apply prohibited techniques and substances with intent to increase hemoglobin mass and physical performance, and this is often difficult to prove directly. Autologous red blood cell transfusion cannot be traced on reinfusion, and also recombinant erythropoietic proteins are detectable only within a certain timeframe. Novel erythropoietic substances, such as mimetics of erythropoietin (Epo) and activators of the Epo gene, may soon enter the sports scene. In addition, Epo gene transfer maneuvers are imaginable. Effective since December 2009, the World Anti-Doping Agency has therefore implemented "Athlete Biologic Passport Operating Guidelines," which are based on the monitoring of several parameters for mature red blood cells and reticulocytes. Blood doping may be assumed, when these parameters change in a nonphysiologic way. Hematologists should be familiar with blood doping practices as they may play an important role in evaluating blood profiles of athletes with respect to manipulations, as contrasted with the established diagnosis of clinical disorders and genetic variations.

Current strategic approaches for the detection of blood doping practices

1 Sep 2011

Current strategic approaches for the detection of blood doping practices / Jordi Segura, Rosa Ventura, José A. Pascual. - (Forensic Science International (2011) 213 (10 December) ; p. 42-48)

  • PMID: 21889274
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.07.029


Aerobic sport performance may be strongly influenced by the number of red blood cells available for transport and delivery of oxygen from lungs to muscles. Often, athletes search for an acute increase in red blood cells by means of blood transfusions. This paper reviews the possibilities for detecting such prohibited practice. Flow cytometry methods are able to detect a double population of red blood cell membrane surface antigens, thus revealing an allogeneic transfusion. Other ingenious approaches for total hemoglobin mass measurements or to test for the metabolites of blood bag plasticizers in urine are new trends for facing the detection of autologous transfusions. Steady increase of red blood cell number may be obtained also by erythropoietic stimulant agents such as erythropoietin, analogs and mimetics. The challenge of detecting those substances has stimulated the development of indirect markers of altered erythropoiesis, leading to the consequent development of the hematological blood passport approach, which is gaining legal acceptance.

The athlete biological passport.

19 May 2011

The Athlete Biological Passport / Pierre-Edouard Sottas, Neil Robinson, Olivier Rabin, Martial Saugy. - (Clinical Chemistry 57 (2011) 7 (July) ; p. 969–976)

  • PMID: 21596947
  • DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2011.162271


In elite sports, the growing availability of doping substances identical to those naturally produced by the human body seriously limits the ability of drug-testing regimes to ensure fairness and protection of health.

The Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), the new paradigm in testing based on the personalized monitoring of biomarkers of doping, offers the enormous advantage of being independent of this endless pharmaceutical race. Doping triggers physiological changes that provide physiological enhancements. In the same way that disease-related biomarkers are invaluable tools that assist physicians in the diagnosis of pathology, specifically selected biomarkers can be used to detect doping.

The ABP is a new testing paradigm with immense potential value in the current climate of rapid advancement in biomarker discovery. In addition to its original aim of providing proof of a doping offense, the ABP can also serve as a platform for a Rule of Sport, with the presentation before competition of the ABP to objectively demonstrate that the athlete will participate in a healthy physiological condition that is unaltered by performance-enhancing drugs. Finally, the decision-support system used today for the biological monitoring of world top-level athletes can also be advantageously transferred to other areas of clinical practice to reach the goal of personalized medicine.

Current markers of the Athlete Blood Passport do not flag microdose EPO doping

20 Feb 2011

Current markers of the Athlete Blood Passport do not flag microdose EPO doping / Michael Ashenden, Clare E. Gough, Andrew Garnham, Christopher J. Gore, Ken Sharpe. - (European Journal of Applied Physiology 111 (2011) 9 (September) ; p. 2307-2314).

  • PMID: 21336951.
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00421-011-1867-6


The Athlete Blood Passport is the most recent tool adopted by anti-doping authorities to detect athletes using performance-enhancing drugs such as recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO). This strategy relies on detecting abnormal variations in haematological variables caused by doping, against a background of biological and analytical variability.

Ten subjects were given twice weekly intravenous injections of rhEPO for up to 12 weeks. Full blood counts were measured using a Sysmex XE-2100 automated haematology analyser, and total haemoglobin mass via a carbon monoxide rebreathing test. The sensitivity of the passport to flag abnormal deviations in blood values was evaluated using dedicated Athlete Blood Passport software. Our treatment regimen elicited a 10% increase in total haemoglobin mass equivalent to approximately two bags of reinfused blood. The passport software did not flag any subjects as being suspicious of doping whilst they were receiving rhEPO. We conclude that it is possible for athletes to use rhEPO without eliciting abnormal changes in the blood variables currently monitored by the Athlete Blood Passport.

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