Ruta Meilutyte Facing Potential Doping Suspension for Testing Accessibility Rules

Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 23-08-2014 Berlino sport 32mi Campionati Europei LEN di nuoto nella foto: Ruta Meilutyte LTU Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 23-08-2014 Berlin 32rd LEN European Swimming In the photo: Ruta Meilutyte LTU
Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia Dalberto/Lapresse

Lithuanian Swimming Federation has received unexpected news from the International Federation of Water Sports (FINA) – the International Testing Agency (ITA), who independently runs the Doping Control of FINA athletes, can suspend Ruta Meilutyte for three violations of swimmer accessibility rules in the last 12 months.

Meilutytė is included in the FINA Registered Testers List. In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the Lithuanian Anti-Doping Rules, athletes referred to therein must provide accurate information about their whereabouts and comply with their location requirements. Such information must be provided in the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS).

In this system, Group I athletes (national Olympic teams and recognized national federations) are required to provide their contact details, time and place of training, and one hour per day during which they may be available for testing. This hour must be between 6.00 and 23.00. It is also necessary to specify the place of residence at the end of a given day by email. email address, postal address, race, travel, training information. This location description method is mandatory on a quarterly basis. If circumstances change, the information can be updated at any time.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, all non-race testing is subject to no prior notice.

Ruta Meilutyte was unavailable at the address indicated by the Doping Controllers for one mandatory third time in the last 12 months:

  • Missed test 1: 2018 April 22
  • Missed Test 2: 2018 August 19
  • Missed Test 3: 2019 March 28

According to Article 2.4 of the World Anti-Doping Code. , any combination of three missed tests and / or failures reported by an Athlete on a Registered Testing Athlete within the meaning of the International Standard for Testing and Research shall be deemed to be an anti-doping rule violation within twelve months.

For such violations, according to Article 10.3.3 of the World Anti-Doping Code. In accordance with Article 3, a two-year period of disqualification may be granted, which may be reduced to at least one year, depending on the degree of athlete’s fault. The option of two or one year disqualification provided for in this clause is not applicable to athletes who are replaced at the last moment or other suspicions that the athlete has attempted to avoid testing.

Notably, Australian athletes Thomas Fraser-HolmesMaddie Groves and Jarod Poort faced similar suspensions for missing doping tests. Poort and Fraser-Holmes served one year suspensions in 2017 while Groves was cleared.

Athletes who want to withdraw from active sports or do not plan to compete in the near future have the opportunity not to participate in the presence information system, having previously notified their international federation or national anti-doping organization of the end of their career or break. Ruta Meilutytė did not present such a report.

“It is a pity that our ‘golden fish’ (Ruta Meilutyte) can be disqualified for one year because of such a shameful mistake. This is an excellent example of the fact that even such sports stars have to fulfill their duties as an athlete, the Lithuanian Anti-Doping Agency,” said Director Kristina Jagminienė. “According to the Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency, all Athletes on the list of Athletes registered by the International Federation or the National Agency must complete the ADAMS system. If an athlete is included in the list of registered testers, he / she must be responsible for the ADAMS system, otherwise he / she may be disqualified as it is equivalent to avoiding doping control. With globalization, all athletes are used to test athletes, so any athlete in the world can check the athlete. That is why it is very important for the ADAMS system to be properly and purposefully completed. ”

FINA has instructed Meilutytė to provide clarification within 12 days of receipt of the notification. The swimmer indicated that all three missed tests were her complete fault and she irresponsibly filled in information about the change of location.

If Meilutytė is suspended for a year, the question whether Lithuania will have enough time to meet the standards for the Olympic Games next year and whether it will be able to prepare for them will remain open. The Olympic selection will continue until June 29, 2020 and Olympic Games swimming competition will take place in July 25 – August 2, 2020.

This would also hurt Meilutyte’s chances at competing with the International Swimming League with their “no tolerance” policy on athletes that have served doping suspensions. Fraser-Holmes is not able to compete in the ISL as well as American swimmer Madisyn Cox.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with the Lithuanian Swimming Federation. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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