The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has stated that accredited laboratories should not be commenting on pending cases.
The assertion came from the WADA Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Frederic Donze, on Tuesday, following a media report that quoted two senior officers of the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) here, commenting on the ongoing dope ‘positive' cases against a dozen sportspersons.
“Generally speaking, WADA-accredited laboratories should not comment on any pending case and ought to refer questions about particular banned substances and methods to WADA, which is responsible for preparing the annual Prohibited List,” said Donze in an e-mail communication.
Several sportspersons, preparing for the Commonwealth Games, had tested positive in recent days for stimulant methylhexaneamine which is a ‘non-specified' substance in the WADA prohibited list 2010.
The NDTL officers have expressed their opinions on several points related to the ongoing cases including testing methodology adopted in the Delhi lab for methylhexaneamine, its availability in nasal sprays and drops as well as in geranium oil that could be used in massage oils.
To a question whether methylhexaneamine had any medicinal properties and whether it was available in nasal drops and sprays, Donze said: “Methylhexaneamine was sold as a medicine until the beginning of the 1970s and has known medicinal properties. To WADA's knowledge, the substance has not been sold as a medicine since the 1970s.”
Has it been used as an edible oil or is it a cooking oil, according to WADA's knowledge, research and assessment before it was included the substance in the prohibited list?
“WADA is not aware of any such use. This being said, every year in April or May, WADA sends a draft Prohibited List for the following year to all its stakeholders for consultation.
“WADA expects that stakeholders express any local or global concern they may have in relation to any substance or method before the draft List is further discussed by WADA's scientific committees and ultimately by WADA's Executive Committee in September,” said Donze.
Unwittingly or otherwise, many of the opinions expressed by the NDTL scientists have given hope for the sportspersons charged with anti-doping rule violations as they prepare their defence.
Of particular benefit could be the suggestion that geranium oil if used for massage could get absorbed through the skin and turn up as a ‘positive' test for methylhexaneamine.
Donze cleared the air about methylhexaneamine being a new entrant in the prohibited list. Methylexaneamine was considered a stimulant under the ‘open' category earlier, though not specifically mentioned in the list, he said.
A variety of unlisted substances were deemed to be included in the list with the wordings at the end of the list that stated… “with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s)”.
Donze said starting at least in 2004, when WADA took over from the IOC the responsibility of preparing the annual prohibited list, this had been the practice.
“It (methlhexaneamine) is now namely included in the 2010 WADA Prohibited List under “non specified stimulants” after the anti-doping community noticed evidence of abuse of this substance in sport.
“Generally speaking, anti-doping rule violations involving non specified substances are likely to result in more serious sanctions than specified substances,” he said.