Jan 11, 2014 Sports
GAPF investigation ongoing, athlete will be asked to repay IPF imposed fine
By Franklin Wilson
President of the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) Peter Green has stated that banned lifter, Under-18 Sub-Junior World Champion, Gumendra ‘The Golden Boy’ Shewdas is no ‘drugs cheat’.
Green made those comments at a federation convened press conference yesterday at Basic Beauty Salon and Spa, North Road, to update the media on Shewdas’ two year ban which was instituted by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) after the athlete failed an in competition doping control test.
Sharing the head table with Green was PRO Denroy Livan, who was Shewdas’ Manager at the World Championships held in Killeen, Texas last August where the test was conducted.
The powerlifting boss emphatically stated that the federation will not condone any form of doping whether intentional of unintentional.
“It is the view of this president that Gumendra Shewdas did not take stimulants intentionally. These things happen. The IPF has stated that he is ineligible to compete in any competition local or international for the next two years and this will be until October 2015.”
Green further stated that many of the IPF champions have been this route and are now being monitored by the WADA and the IPF in their registered testing pool, Shewdas has now joined this register.
“This means that since he has shown the willingness and strength to say that he will continue with powerlifting despite the setback, the IPF will be working along with the local federation to rehabilitate this lifter and to ensure the other powerlifters and other athletes are made more conscious and aware that supplements in any form should not be ingested, you ought to go the natural way.”
Decisions of the GAPF
The federation, Green informed, has come up with a number of decisions as a result of this set back.
“One, there will be no international participation by any of our lifters this year until we have ascertained the level and kind of supplements being taken by the athlete and with assistance of the Guyana Olympic Association through Dr. Karen Pilgrim will conduct seminars to make athletes and coaches more aware.”
The local body has been doing some amount of sensitization over the past few years but for some reason or the other Green noted, they’ve not have the sort of awareness and response from lifters and coaches.
The GAPF’s investigation of the matter, Green reported, was ongoing: “As you know, all of a sudden allegations are coming out of the woodwork, hearsay evidence. We can’t rush our investigation we have to take our time. I am hoping by the end of the month to put all this to rest.”
On the issue of the euro $2,000 fine which amounts to $560,000 that the GAPF must pay to the IPF, Green informed that he was able to lobby the IPF to increase the time allotted to pay from three (3) to twelve (12) months.
However, no invoice has been received from the world governing body in relation to payment, to date.
“At this moment, the spotlight is on both coach and the young man, the IPF has advised us that because they have no way of recovering money from athletes personally, they impose it on the federation with the expectation that the federation would be reimbursed by the lifter. We are going to ask Shewdas to repay the fine and if found culpable, the coach will be sanctioned the severity to be decided by the executive upon the receipt of the report.”
While noting that the misfortune through Shewdas is not an embarrassment and a scandal as is being claimed, but rather a tragedy, Green said that the WADA must assist the federation with its sensitization plans for athletes and coaches.
Rather than compare Shewdas with a professional athlete in the form of Lance Armstrong which is sad, Green said that persons should rally behind their fellow countrymen and women.
It was reported that some 25 athletes and four national federations have been suspended in 2013 for doping violations by the IPF.
“The anti doping fight is serious. The GAPF in its fight has limited resources, right now even without the fine imposed we were in red when we came back from the Pan American championships.”
Guyana has been under the spotlight, Green informed, since 2008 and not now as a result of Shewdas’ issue.
“Of the several Guyanese athletes that have been tested over the years including John Edwards, Winston Stoby, Randolph Morgan and Vijai Rahim who, though he got a silver medal was chosen for testing, none has ever tested positive.”
Methylhexaneamine, a performance enhancing substance as is Oxilofrine were both found in Shewdas’ urine sample which was tested at the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Cologne, Germany.
The certificate of analysis confirming the adverse analytical finding was received on September 20, 2013 by the IPF from WADA indicating the presence of Methylhexaneamine and Oxilofrine which are Prohibited Substances and both Stimulants (S.6) according to the WADA Prohibited List and the IPF Anti-Doping Rules.
Commenting on the time it took the federation to inform the public, Green stated that the GAPF was all along in contact with the world governing body and had to respect the confidentiality of matter until all the requisite information was had and the matter was closed by the world body.
The first official letter to the GAPF in relation to the issue was received on October 21, 2013 informing of a possible anti doping rule violation by Shewdas. As a result of this, he was temporarily suspended from the said date.
The findings were passed on to the IPF Doping Review Panel which further investigated the matter having also requested additional information from Shewdas and the GAPF that could have assisted them in the investigation.
The athlete was given 10 days to respond to the IPF and in his response, which was endorsed by his Coach, Egbert Jackson, he said that a few days prior to the competition, he developed a cold that was not going away and his grandfather gave him a tablet to get rid of the cold. Upon examining the table after it was used, Green said that it was discovered that it contained a substance known as Geranium 20 which is found in many dietary supplements and is not a product manufactured to treat nasal congestion.
Green noted that the athlete is ultimately responsible for what he ingests: “The IPF Anti Doping Panel endorsed that statement and said, regardless of whether it is given to you by grandfather or grandmother or whatever; you are ultimately responsible for what you take.”
On November 12, 2013, in conformity with the IPF procedure, Mr. Shewdas and The GAPF were notified of the anti-doping rule violation. The document sent outlined the documentary hearing procedure.
Shewdas had 21 days in which he could have contested the matter but didn’t do so as advised. Further, the athlete’s decision to waive the testing of his B sample analysis was conclusive of an anti-doping rule violation according to the IPF.
Based on the findings of the IPF Doping Hearing Panel investigation, a further letter was dispatched to the GAPF on November 26, 2013 containing the judgment. It also informed that Shewdas had 21 days in which to appeal the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland based on IPF Article 13.2.1.
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