World Athletics: Mo Katir, provisionally suspended for violating the location regulations in doping controls three times | Sports

In its first issue of the year, the prestigious North American magazine Track and Field News publish the ranking of the best in the world based on the previous year’s test. On the 2023 list, only one Spanish athlete appears as the best in his event. It’s 5,000m. It’s Mo Katir, who has just been provisionally suspended for skipping three doping controls (he was not where he should be at the time he had indicated) in a period of 12 months. The World Anti-Doping Code (CMA) states that such a violation is equivalent to a positive result for the presence of a prohibited substance in the body and can be punished with a suspension of up to four years.

“Since I do not agree with the decision taken by the AIU (the anti-doping agency of the international federation, WA), I am preparing to appeal to it in order to be able to compete during the processing of the procedure,” says Katir in a statement in who, anticipating official organizations, made public the news of his suspension. However, his determination, which appeals to that of the Nigerian athlete Tobi Amusan, world record holder in the 100m hurdles, suspended for skipping three controls and, despite this, disqualified by her federation to compete in the World Cup in Budapest, may clash with the firmness of the Spanish federation in a year full of great competitions in which Katir should be the star. Although he had just announced that he was giving up competing in the Indoor World Championships in Glasgow (March 1-3), Katir had set his goals for the summer, at the European Championships in Rome and the Paris Games.

In a statement, the Spanish Athletics Federation has indicated that as soon as it received notification from the anti-doping unit of the international federation, WA, of the opening of Katir’s file, it had proceeded to suspend his license. “An athlete provisionally suspended or with an open doping file does not meet the eligibility criteria,” reminds the federation. According to this rule, even if Katir obtained a precautionary suspension of the sanction, the best Spanish athlete, the best hope for a medal, would not be eligible to participate in either the Europeans, in June, or the Games, in August, unless in an unusual demonstration of speed, the federation’s anti-doping court ruled in his favor in a few months. A precautionary suspension would only give him the right to compete individually in the rallies that he was invited to.

Katir has put his case in the hands of Borja Osés, a lawyer who knew how to deal with and obtain a declaration of innocence for the athlete, in a similar case, that of the middle distance runner Adel Mechaal, with three location problems as well. Before the 2016 Rio Games, Osés managed to get the Spanish Olympic Committee to allow him to compete, since at that time the international federation had not decreed a provisional suspension. In January 2017, Mechaal was banned for 15 months. He appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), which in a true lightning operation decided that there was no reason for sanction in his three no shows. Mechaal was thus able to compete in the World Championships in London in August. The reaction of Mechaal, whose relations with Katir were never great, was not exactly empathetic towards his teammate and rival on the courts. “[La AIU] He does his job very well. It is a serious and correct organization,” said Mechaal after winning (7m 43.60s) in the 3,000m at the Valencia rally. “Katir’s case is not like my case, which depended on the AEPSAD [la agencia española antidopaje], which leaves a lot to be desired and takes away credibility from us athletes. “What happened today is good news for athletics.”

Miguel Ángel Mostaza, the manager of the athlete who, at 25 years old, holds the European record of 5,000m (12m 45.01s) outdoors and won the silver medal in the distance World Cup, surpassed only by tenths by Jakob Ingebrigtsen in Budapest last summer explains the situation as a problem of “mistakes”, sometimes forced by the complication of the localization method, centralized by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the Adams system, in which they must indicate quarterly exactly where they will be each day and each hour. Changes in plans, unforeseen trips or last-minute decisions must be constantly updated with messages from your mobile phone. Although athletes receive warnings when controllers call their home or the place where they should be and are not there, and everyone knows that the third absence means a suspension, many make mistakes once again.

“We are not facing a file of violation of doping rules for the use of prohibited substances or methods, or even for evading out-of-competition controls. “This is a simple file derived from the completion of data on the Adams platform that could have generated location errors,” says Katir, trying to minimize the seriousness of his situation. The third no show It happened in October, when he was training on a track near his home, in Mula (Murcia), at the time when the controllers rang his doorbell. “In some of the reported location failures, I was available at the place, date and times provided by me.” Although Katir, born in Morocco, has lived in Mula since he was four years old, he only spends a few days of the year in his house. His most common residence is high altitude training centers, mainly in the Sierra Nevada, in Font Romeu (French Pyrenees) or in Ifrane, in the Moroccan Atlas.

Katir had started the year with an extraordinary mile race at a meeting in Normandy. He won with a mark of 3m 51.91s, just 12 hundredths behind Mario García Romo’s Spanish record. When the news of his suspension broke, he was in Valencia, where on Wednesday night he was scheduled to participate in a 5,000m test on a 200m track in which he would try to beat the European record (12m 57.08s) of the British Marc Scott. . Without his leading lady, the race was finally suspended.

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