- Sport: Athletics
- Issue: Arbitration
- Type: Anti-Doping
- Tribunal: Joëlle Monlouis, Eduardo Amorim, Tom Murray
- Decision date: 05 December 2023
- Outcome: 4 years ineligibility
A decision in the case of World Athletics (WA) against Ahmed Abdelwahed has been issued by the Disciplinary Tribunal.
On 22 March 2023, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) issued Mr Abdelwahed, an Italian athlete, specialized in steeplechasing, with a Notice of Charge for committing Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADVRs) for both the Presence and Use of Meldonium. He tested positive for Meldonium in the Sample provided In-Competition, on 19 August 2022.
The Disciplinary Tribunal, comprising of Ms Joëlle Monlouis (Chair), Mr Eduardo Amorim, and Mr Tom Murray, stated that the controversy was not whether the Athlete committed the ADRVs, but whether the Athlete, who bore the burden of proof, had established that the presence of Meldonium was due to the biotransformation process of a supplement taken (Mythoxan Forte). The Athlete argued that he did not take Meldonium intentionally, and stated that the Mythoxan Forte supplement ingested was the cause of the Adverse Analytical Finding via a biotransformation process demonstrated by his expert witnesses. The AIU denied the biotransformation theory due to being unspecific and highly unlikely.
After hearing expert evidence on both sides, the Tribunal concluded that the Athlete was unable to establish that he had not committed an ADRV, as the Tribunal found that the Athlete did not demonstrate with convincing evidence that the presence of a Prohibited Substance was caused by a biotransformation of unspecified components of the supplement taken.
The Disciplinary Tribunal thereby determined that Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) had been established pursuant to Rule 2.1 and Rule 2.2 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules. A period of Ineligibility of four (4) years. The period of Ineligibility commenced on the date of the decision, 5 December 2023, but credit was given for the period Mr Abdelwahed was provisionally suspended, therefore running from 7 September 2023. Further, Mr Abdelwahed’s results at the 2022 European Championships and since 19 August 2022 were disqualified.
Sport Resolutions is the independent secretariat to the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal.
A copy of the full decision can be accessed via the related links tab on the right-hand side.