No Doping Positives: & Other Sums, Barcelona 2013

Photo: Patrick Kraemer

No anti-doping tests taken during and in the lead-up to the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona that ended on August 4 returned positive; FINA releases figures with other stats from the champs

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No anti-doping tests taken during and in the lead-up to the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona that ended on August 4 returned positive; FINA releases figures with other stats from the champs



These days, only the most stupid fail in-competition test.

Even track&field atheletes are cleared in-competition.

I am of the opinion that at least one gold medalist in Barcelona used PED, and I think that is an extremely conservative estimate.

Craig Lord

I think many share your opinion.


And many countries are shockingly weak on out of competition testing. There’s an article on the Sports Illustrated web site now by Jamaica’s new/current head of doping control, who was not happy to discover that their agency performed one. Total. out of competition drug test from all their track & field athletes in the six months before the London Olympics.

Craig Lord

Yes. A big problem and another e.g. of different treatment of different athletes across a range of countries. Such imbalance exists in swimming too


i share your opinion.

Oh, something interesting:
One of the things released Cesar Cielo from a hard doping ban, was because of his history of (a lot) of off season tests and a never miss test.
I read somewhere there is a lot of swimmers with one or two miss tests(three and you are out), but i never saw a list of that.
And i think AT LEAST one swimmer dont went to Barcelona to run away from tests.


Wowwww.. who do you think did not go to Barcelona to avoid the tests?


Can you think of a female sprint free/fly swimmer, a defending champion, who surprisingly didn’t appear on the start lists with no explanation? I suspect that’s who is being referred to here, although I could be wrong…


If you guys are implying a certain Belarusian, she informed well before the Barcelona showdown about her absence:

Craig Lord

I think that history tells us that cheats don’t avoid competition to avoid tests… they avoid competition so that they can be elsewhere up to no good when the rest of the world has its focus on the action they’re missing. And that is not aimed at anyone in particular… just cheats in general. To catch them takes the approach of a criminal pathologist.. those sending the testers needs to think in those terms … and not assume everyone is innocent until proven guilty, which only helps the cheats (that term referring not only to the athlete but all those who assist, persuade and play pygmalion…)


Ah, I wasn’t aware of that, thanks. That was only my guess as to who DDias was referring to.

@Craig I have to agree with some of your previous comments around the varying standard of testing in different countries, and I agree that there is too much focus sometimes on the cheating athlete, and not enough on those who enable/assist with the cheating. It sat very uneasily with me how some former GDR coaches for instance were immediately snapped up by other countries at the same time as those same countries were happily denouncing the GDR’s doping regime.

Particularly when coaches work with under-age athletes, as will often be the case in swimming, if they are found to be actively doping or allowing their athletes to be doped the penalties should be very, very severe.


Yep, I just want to make my stance on this issue clear. Sorry for the following, overly, long post.

As for the fact Beachmouse highlighted above, the conduct of doping control procedures by Jamaican Anti-doping agency prior to the IAAF Worlds, it’s totally unacceptable. Actually, they got a threat of becoming shut out of the most important meets unless the improvement takes place. However, the target of criticism must be officers, not Jamaican athletes. Similarly it’s the officers whom disciplinary actions should be directed to. I know, it’s much easier to unleash frustration at competitors who are ‘enjoying’ only sporadic inspections, but it’s not fair as we can’t be sure whether or not they have helped themselves illicitly. Conversely, it’s fully reasonable to react against the officers for neglecting their duties.

An international sporting community must find new ways to discipline authorities and other persons involved in the sporting world for their misconducts. No matter if it is failing to take care of proper procedures for controlling doping abuse or bashing teenagers publicly and loudly for being too fast at the Olympic Games without evidence of any wrongdoing. Those are the persons who should be banned for life from engaging in the international sporting community.

International criminal law operates the concept of superior responsibility. We need a similar concept to be applied in the world of sport too. To take one example, if the local officials fail to take care of their responsibilities with regard to doping control, and the local procedures fall short of disciplining persons involved properly, the disciplinary actions should be commenced against the members of different international organs who are coming from a country in question. Meaning, basically, the end of their careers in the international sporting community.

Until we bring real and working incentives in to make it right, which is not harsher penalties for athletes, it’s not going to happen. Of course shutting the whole team out of the Olympic games is the incentive. The only problem is, if applied, it’s again excessively directed also to those bearing no responsibility for the problem itself.


Personally I have no illusions about elite sports, swimming included:
The winner takes it all…
Money gets more and more important..
The chances of getting tested positive are at less than 1 % if you are using the state of the art substances

How many times was Marion Jones tested without any result? Like 50 or 60 times?
How many times was Lance Armstrong tested without any result? Doping tests are useless!! And they are not meant to be effective (at least by FINA), they are meant to provide a false sense of security.

And the references to the GDR doping regime do not help very much. The average result in the Barcelona women 100 free final was like 2 seconds faster than Barbara Krause or Kristin Otto. And nowadays the top five swimmers are more muscular than the poor Oralturinabol victims from the 80s.

As long as certain very successful world champions can swim more than 15 times(!) during the week without any sign of fatigue, I don’t believe anything.



I wouldn’t use the improvement in performances as an argument for your view. If one looks back, e.g. via youtube, on the technique applied in the past, it really justifies the improvement what we’ve been witnessing over the last decades. In addition to that expertise in becoming better at sport has increased substantially, i.e. diet, training methods, further professionalization etc.

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