OVTCHAROV’s doping case is closed: DTTB arguments
16/10/2010 – The Executive Committee of the German Table Tennis Association (DTTB) has unanimously decided to close Dimitrij OVTCHAROV’S doping case. The board has immediately cancelled the suspension of the 22-year-old German international. T
16/10/2010 – The Executive Committee of the German Table Tennis Association (DTTB) has unanimously decided to close Dimitrij OVTCHAROV’S doping case. The board has immediately cancelled the suspension of the 22-year-old German international. The DTTB analyzed all circumstances and evaluated numerous statements of anti-doping experts, among them Prof. Dr. Wilhelm SCHANZER, head of the Institute of Biochemistry (IOC/WADA accredited Anti-Doping Laboratory) at the German Sport University Cologne. The conclusion: OVTCHAROV has not culpably violated the Anti-Doping rules.
“As a matter of fact there are various records regarding the abuse of Clenbuterol in livestock breeding in China – stated Prof. SCHANZER. – The most probable explanation, from my point of view, is that the athlete ingested the very low amount by contaminated food”. Various other evidence supports Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. A hair sample of Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, recommended by Professor SCHANZER and voluntarily offered by the athlete, gave absolutely no clue for Clenbuterol, which would have been found in the hair if taken in a high dose or for a longer term.
Additional four athletes of the DTTB, who had also participated at the China Open, were tested, unannounced, on August 24, one day after the dope test of OVTCHAROV. Their results were all negative. On behalf of NADA, supported by DTTB and with the intention to check the credibility of contamination which OVTCHAROV suspected, the respective samples – after the positive result for Dimitrij OVTCHAROV became known – were tested again for Clenbuterol, using a much more sensitive and normally, in practice not applied method of measuring. This additional test should prove if traces of the phenomenon Clenbuterol could possibly be found with the other participants of the China Open. This analysis actually showed such traces of Clenbuterol in a hardly measurable, extremely low area of concentration (2.5 pg/ml, 5 pg/ml, 7.1 pg/ml and 10 pg/ml). These four samples do not fulfil the relevant criteria of the so called “Adverse Analytical Finding” and therefore, due to the minimal quantity, cannot justify the suspicion of doping. NADA confirmedthis in their letter to the DTTB dated September 27.
In Dimitrij OVTCHAROV’s urine sample from August 23 the Institute of Biochemistry in Cologne detected the anabolic substance Clenbuterol. On August 22, Ovtcharov returned from a trip to the China Open (August 16 to 22). According to experts the low amount of Clenbuterol in his sample (75 pg/ml) prefigures that he ingested the substance at most five to six days before the urine control – i.e. in China, on his way to China or on his way from there.
As a positive urine sample is an objective violation of the Anti Doping rules, the DTTB focused on evaluating whether Ovtcharov ingested the substance on purpose or not. The Executive Committee believes he did not.
“We ourselves analyzed the case uncommittedly and in addition had it analyzed by neutral, scientific bodies. We took our decision to the best of our knowledge based on our responsibility,” said Thomas WEIKERT, President of the German Table Tennis Association. “I have always fought doping and any kind of deceit in sports,” added Hans Wilhelm GAB, Honorary President of the DTTB. “To fight doping we have to investigate as deeply as possible but we must consider the individual case, too. It would be unethical if we had condemned Dimitrij OVTCHAROV even though anti-doping experts and much evidence supports the theory of contaminated food”.
(by Simone HINZ, courtesy of DTTB)
Photo: Dimitrij OVTCHAROV with DTTB Honorary President Wilhelm GAB