Samples given by athletes who compete in International Skating Union (ISU) events can now be stored for up to ten years and reanalyzed at any time after the governing body strengthened its anti-doping policy in the wake of the damning McLaren Report.
The ISU has decided to implement a “Samples Long Term Storage and Reanalyses” policy, which they believe will allow them to “clamp down on skaters who make use of previously undetectable substances, or skaters who have evaded detection through standard testing”.
It allows them to target specific athletes based on intelligence and will enable them to retest urine and blood samples in the months leading up to major events, including the Winter Olympic Games.
The move from the ISU follows the release of the McLaren Report earlier this week, which revealed the presence of a state-sponsored doping scheme in Russia which spanned as many as 30 sports and was present at their home Sochi 2014 Games.
The report detailed how positive samples were replaced for clean ones through a “mouse hole” in the wall.
It alleged the Russian Sports Ministry “directed, controlled and oversaw” a “unique” method of sample manipulation at Sochi 2014.
Richard McLaren, who led the independent report into allegations made by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, described these samples as “disappearing positives” in his findings, the release of which has intensified calls for a blanket Russian ban at next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
A total of 24 “disappearing positives” were found in skating, the report said.
Following the release of the report, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked all Winter Olympic Sports Federations to seek alternative hosts to Russia for all major events, including World Championships, World Cups or other international competitions.
The ISU is due to host a Figure Skating Grand Prix in Moscow in November and this is now set to be moved elsewhere as a result of the recommendations made by the IOC.
In response to the McLaren Report, the ISU will “carefully evaluate the IP Report and the recommendations of the IOC” and “will proceed with investigations concerning references to ice skating included in the IP Report”.
“The ISU is truly appalled and deeply saddened by the findings of the McLaren Report (IP Report),” a statement from the governing body read.
“The ISU will carefully evaluate the IP Report and the recommendations of the IOC and will proceed with investigations concerning references to ice skating included in the IP Report.
“The ISU also noted that according to the IP Report more evidence is becoming available by the day which the ISU Council will take into account when meeting on September 9 to 11, 2016 to decide the measures to be implemented.”
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz