Posted by Editoress on 01/23/14
Earlier this week, on Monday,, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) reported that Canadian road professional Sebastian Salas had accepted a two year suspension for the infraction of Tampering with Doping Control [see daily News - Sebastian Salas Suspended for 2 Years].
After the sanction was released publicly, Mr Salas posted on his Twitter account [@SebSalas] that “there is way more to the story. 140chars is not a lot.” He also did an interview with a local television station [see Here], where he said that he left the Gastown GP to deal with a medical emergency with his pregnant wife.
Canadian Cyclist tried to do an interview with Mr Salas after contacting him by telephone, but he declined, saying “maybe in a couple of days”. He has not responded to requests since then.
The CCES has now taken the unusual step of issuing a further statement on the violation and sanction to explain their actions for the rather rare charge of tampering, which is different from merely missing a test, and involves the possible tampering with a sample or fraudulent actions to subvert the testing process or results. The CCES also revealed that Mr Salas initially planned to take the case to arbitration, before deciding four days prior to the hearing to instead waive the hearing and accept the sanction.
There was also a statement made by Cycling Canada president John Tolkamp that the sample which was provided by Mr Salas after he was left unsupervised for two hours [note: Salas says 90 minutes] was unsuitable for testing, suggesting that the CCES felt that the process could have been subverted to avoid an adverse finding. However, Cycling Canada has issued a statement that comments made by Mr Tolkamp were related to submissions for the arbitration process, and therefore the arguments were unproven. Cycling Canada has issued a clarification, which we have posted below the CCES statement.
Below is the full text of the CCES statement:
The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) today released further details regarding the anti-doping rule violation against Canadian cycling athlete Sebastian Salas. On January 20, 2014, the CCES publicly disclosed an anti-rule violation for Tampering* which took place at the 2013 Gastown Grand Prix and the corresponding two-year sanction against Mr. Salas.
In light of recent public comments by Mr. Salas and others, CCES wishes to provide the following details regarding his violation of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP):
• The athlete received an anti-doping rule violation for Tampering. Pursuant to the CADP, a Tampering violation can result when an athlete subverts any part of the doping control process. Tampering is not restricted to the manipulation of an athlete’s sample. Mr. Salas’ violation of Tampering involved, and the CCES was prepared to prove, (i) that the athlete avoided formal notification after he knew he was selected for doping control and sample collection and unilaterally decided to leave the event venue, and (ii) the athlete remained unchaperoned for about two hours after he knew he was selected for doping control and prior to providing a urine sample.
• Mr. Salas did not make contact with the CCES Doping Control Officer to ask permission to leave the event venue - while being accompanied by a chaperone. Once there is subjective knowledge that a sample must be provided, remaining constantly chaperoned is a fundamental component to the integrity of the doping control process. The CADP has provisions to accommodate exceptional circumstances should they occur during the doping control process. None was raised by Mr. Salas at the time he learned that he was subject to doping control.
• Following the competition, the CCES commenced an initial review regarding the athlete’s behaviour. The athlete was requested to provide an explanation regarding why he chose not to comply with the doping control process. The athlete provided varied explanations to the CCES, none of which satisfied CCES that a Tampering violation should not be asserted.
• As a result, the CCES asserted an anti-doping rule violation for Tampering against Mr. Salas. The CCES does not have the authority to determine violations under the CADP. These cases must proceed to independent arbitration unless the athlete waives his or her right to a hearing and accepts the sanction. Mr. Salas initially indicated that he would like to proceed to arbitration. The hearing process commenced, submissions were filed and the hearing was scheduled in early January 2014. Approximately four days prior to the hearing, the athlete (who was represented by legal counsel) chose to admit the Tampering violation, accept the standard two-year sanction and waive his right to a hearing.
*Tampering: Altering for an improper purpose or in an improper way; bringing improper influence to bear; interfering improperly; obstructing, misleading or engaging in any fraudulent conduct to alter results or prevent normal procedures from occurring; or providing fraudulent information to an Anti-Doping Organization.
Cycling Canada Correction of Comments on Salas Anti-doping Rule Violation:
Following a release today by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) in relation to the Sebastian Salas anti-doping rule violation for Tampering, Cycling Canada offers this correction.
Cycling Canada regrets any misunderstanding comments made by our President, John Tolkamp may have caused related to the Sebastian Salas anti-doping rule violation.
The comments were based on arguments contained in the submissions prepared for the hearing. None of these arguments were proven before the arbitrator.
The athlete chose not to go to a hearing and admitted the infraction and accepted the sanction.
We now understand that CCES’ primary position would have relied on the athlete’s failure to report to doping control and not manipulation of the sample.
Further particulars regarding the violation should be directed to the CCES.
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