NEWS UPDATE – IAAF response and UTMB® response re EPO

Many questions have been asked about my initial post (HERE) re the positive EPO case with Gonzalo Calisto at the 2015 UTMB®.

Gladly, UTMB® responded very quickly and issued a disqualification and removal of Gonzalo Calisto from the 2015 UTMB® ranking. It is clearly explained in the press release HERE

Last night I posted a response from Michel Poletti (HERE) when I asked some specific questions. The response from Michel Poletti did make me ask additional questions and today I received a response and clarification from Catherine Poletti.

1. Why are you not informed of a positive test?
Only the “testing authority” responsible for the legal treatment of the results are able to communicate about a period of suspension; the organiser, no more than any other structure, doesn’t have to be informed directly about a positive control during their event.

2. Which authority took the test and on who’s authority?

Once again, the organiser does not have access to this information. The “testing authority”  (= the structure which asks the organisation for the control and thus which is in charge of the legal treatment of the results) is mentioned in the mission order. This information is therefore only known by the doctor taking the sample, and by the athlete himself. In this precise case the ‘testing authority” maybe the country’s National Anti-Doping Agency(AFLD for France), an international federation, the Anti-doping World Agency, or another National Anti-doping Organisation (NADO).

3. Who does Gonzalo Calisto approach to review the test?

Again, it is the classic procedure for an anti-doping test. The laboratory responsible for the analysis of the samples is unknown by the Organiser.

4. Under who’s authority is Gonzalo Calisto suspended from racing?

Under the authority of the IAAF. The jurisprudence says that an athlete suspended by an international federation cannot participate in any other event under the aegis of another international federation. For exemple, Armstrong who was suspended by the ICU was unable to participate in the Ironman circuit which is none the less a private circuit.

Obviously this does raise some questions and it goes back to my post this morning when the IAAF replied to my questions HERE. I say it again, It’s time to lobby for a change and YOU as runners, followers of the sport or whatever capacity you have as a fan need to ensure that we all act now and make sure that the following happens:

  1. Positive tests are confirmed to the athlete asap
  2. Due process is allowed for a B sample
  3. The race, race director and management team are notified immediately
  4. A press release is issued by the race and or organisation
  5. IAAF, WADA, AFLD and so on list and make results public asap

I did also ask the question as to why Gonzalo Calisto is only banned till March 2017 as shown here:


Apparently, the IAAF have confirmed that this is a mistake. “It appears that this is a typo as it was transcribed from the official memo…. The correct start date is March 2016 (with end date in March 2018).  The athlete will have also had any results from the day of the test through to March disqualified as well.”

The IAAF have also confirmed some of the issues as to why the UTMB® was not notified of the positive test: “The main issue seems to have been the non-notification of the event organiser at which the test occurred.  We will follow up with AFLD on that matter.”

Finally, many have asked why it has taken so long (August 2015 – March 2016) for Calisto to be banned and confirmed for EPO doping?

As much as we would like quick results and management processes, unfortunately this is not always the case.  This is especially so when dealing with athletes from countries (in this scenario Ecuador) the relevant authorities may have very limited experience in dealing with the results management for a case such as this. Doping related cases are quite often lengthier than the general public would expect as athletes choose to exercise their rights to various hearings and appeal options.  While this may seem protracted, athletes do and should have their rights protected to ensure this process is fair and subject to appeal.

At this stage it would be good to hear from Gonzalo Calisto and find out his version of events and his thoughts in regard to the positive test and if he feels the process has been correct.

10 thoughts on “NEWS UPDATE – IAAF response and UTMB® response re EPO

  1. “At this stage it would be good to hear from Gonzalo Calisto and find out his version of events and his thoughts in regard to the positive test and if he feels the process has been correct.”
    This is key. His social media silence is not a positive thing.

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  8. Thank you for the insight Ian.

    But it sounds to me that it’s likr the whole world of trail running just discovers the “rules and process” of anti doping.

    The défense of Gonzalo Calisto is zero to me, hé just plaus on institutional mess but does not explain/inform us on anything. The “thick blood” is so bullshit, How thick is my blood ? How thick is Kj’s blood ? That’s nonsense !

    The scandal here is the total absrnse of coordination that let everybody in ignorance and left him free to take part to races.

    One final point is the light and casual take Gonzalo has on his several illegal participations to races ! Such à little respect for rules signs the deed.

    On France à case of “doping” was finally explained by pavot bread and the whole process was “normal”.

    Is it really à first doping positive case ?

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