The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has informed Triathlon Australia that it has imposed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation sanction on Australian triathlete, Kirralee Jane Seidel, for elevated levels of testosterone.
The anti-doping test which led to the violation was conducted by the ITU at the Chizhou Continental Cup race in China on 18 May 2013.
A hearing panel convened by the ITU issued a sanction to Ms Seidel which includes disqualification from her first place in the Chizhou event, and a two-year period of ineligibility from competing in triathlon events. Her two year period of ineligibility commenced retrospectively from 2 August 2013 and will continue until 1 August 2015.
Anne Gripper, CEO of Triathlon Australia responded to the decision by the ITU, saying that any anti-doping rule violation is disappointing for the sport, despite its clean record.
“Triathlon is a modern sport with a contemporary culture in which athletes are proud to compete cleanly. Australia has been free of doping issues in triathlon for almost 10 years, ” said Ms Gripper. “But we cannot put our head in the sand and think that triathlon is completely free from doping”
“Ms Seidel has indicated that she regularly uses a particular type of supplement which claims to have performance effects similar to increased testosterone. Given the number of research studies which have demonstrated the prevalence of supplements being contaminated with prohibited substances, this is another unfortunate and salutary reminder to athletes that taking supplements may create a significant risk to their sporting and personal integrity”
Since the release of the Australian Crime Commission report in February this year, Triathlon Australia has taken the lead amongst Olympic sports to develop an Integrity Framework for the sport. Following final consultations, the Framework will be launched and operational early in 2014.
Triathlon Australia recognises and applauds the tough stance taken on doping by both the ITU and the World Triathlon Corporation.
Both organisations are signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code. They conduct rigorous out-of-competition and in-competition testing, which complements the testing and education provided to Australian triathletes by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.