Russian agency plans to suspend figure skater over doping document forgery: sources

gsk8

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s anti-doping agency plans to hand Olympic figure skater Maria Sotskova a lengthy suspension for submitting a forged document to explain a doping violation, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

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RemyRose

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Figure skater Maria Sotskova did not notify the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) of her retirement before passing a positive doping test, which led to a 10-year disqualification.

As it became known to RT, the athlete in November 2019 decided to end her career, but did not formalize her retirement from the sport, did not notify RUSADA in writing.

In this regard, Sotskova continued to remain on the RUSADA lists as an active athlete, and in March 2020 they tried to take an out-of-competition doping test from her. The athlete, in a conversation with the doping officers, insisted that she had already retired, but in the end she was forced to do a test that tested positive for furosemide.

According to RT, Sotskova provided a certificate confirming that she was taking the drug for medical reasons, but the clinic did not have a license to issue it. In this regard, the athlete was accused of forgery and was disqualified for 10 years.

Earlier it was reported that the figure skater Sotskova was disqualified for 10 years for forging a medical certificate.

 

Amei

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Oh no, how awful! I'm so sorry to hear that. Pity there's no way to appeal... a 10-year sentence for using medication once she had retired is very harsh.
Its all in the paperwork, as she had not filed her retirement paperwork she was still considered an active athlete and in the 'testing queue' according to some articles she missed 3 tests; if that's true and she was going to retire and that's why she was taking the substance than after the first test request she should have sought the Fed to get whatever documentation they needed to have her removed from being an active athlete and tested.


 
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RemyRose

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Oh no, how awful! I'm so sorry to hear that. Pity there's no way to appeal... a 10-year sentence for using medication once she had retired is very harsh.
She didn't officially retire until July 2020. Prior to this, she was still an active athlete and obligated not to miss 3 tests [1st offense], fail the 4th one [2nd offense] and most certainly not "forge" a document [3rd offense]. She could have received a lesser ban if she had just slammed the door in RUSADA face when they caught her at home on the 4th attempt and filed the appropriate paperwork then but no.....
 

Midian

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But wasn't she receiving some salary from RusFed ? I suppose this might be the reason why she was delaying her "official" retirement.
 

Scott512

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Masha was foolish. Terrible way to end her career. But heres the question is there any chance Russian and their figure skating team get banned from the next winter olympics? Another question is will they be OAR again?

Shame on Putin and his guys for not cleaning this up years ago. Sochi was almost 7 years ago.
 

lappo

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She didn't officially retire until July 2020. Prior to this, she was still an active athlete and obligated not to miss 3 tests [1st offense], fail the 4th one [2nd offense] and most certainly not "forge" a document [3rd offense]. She could have received a lesser ban if she had just slammed the door in RUSADA face when they caught her at home on the 4th attempt and filed the appropriate paperwork then but no.....
A very sad situation... I'm very sorry for her but if this is really what happened she truly should have seek advice from her coach or her federation at the first offense. Doesn't the federation get notified when an athlete miss a test?
 

mrrice

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A very sad situation... I'm very sorry for her but if this is really what happened she truly should have seek advice from her coach or her federation at the first offense. Doesn't the federation get notified when an athlete miss a test?
I agree. Why wasn't she warned that she could still be tested. She's retiring right? How can this effect her? Will they strip her of her medals?
 

LiamForeman

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I wonder if this will keep her from being allowed to coach, if that's what she was hoping to do. Such a shame, but Russia needs a patsy to show how tough they are on 'dopers'. Why not a skater who retired to show how hard they come down on dopers?
 

lappo

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I agree. Why wasn't she warned that she could still be tested. She's retiring right? How can this effect her? Will they strip her of her medals?
I don't think that they will strip her of her medals because the failure on the doping test happened recently... however I read that she could be prevented from coaching and choreographing for the next 10 years, which is what she was studying at university in order to become a coach in the future. If they confirm the sanction, this is indeed a harsh punishment. Hope that someone who reads Russian can provide more informations.
 

drivingmissdaisy

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I wonder if this will keep her from being allowed to coach, if that's what she was hoping to do. Such a shame, but Russia needs a patsy to show how tough they are on 'dopers'. Why not a skater who retired to show how hard they come down on dopers?

Yeah, I'm not sure what the implications are here. Since coaches aren't tested for PEDs, I don't know why that would preclude her from participating in the sport as a non-athlete.
 

Amei

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Yeah, I'm not sure what the implications are here. Since coaches aren't tested for PEDs, I don't know why that would preclude her from participating in the sport as a non-athlete.
2 thoughts on it:
  1. As she has since retired: Its the only form of punishment they can impose unless there is a financial penalty they can levy. It doesn't look good on any agency (regardless of country) if an athlete can simply retire to avoid punishment for violation of the rules. And is RUSADA didn't levy a punishment this is the headline: Russian Olympic figure skater found to have committed numerous doping violations, RUSADA not levying any punishment. Then in the meat of the story probably a couple paragraphs in, it would mention that she had already retired and there was nothing that could be done.
  2. Figure skating is a sport that starts usually very young and an impressionable age, if someone has a record of violating the rules and received no punishment that might not be someone you want impressionable, young athletes to look up to as a coaching figure.

I don't think its out of the norm for suspensions to be all-encompassing of "any official involvement with the sport"
 
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RemyRose

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But wasn't she receiving some salary from RusFed ? I suppose this might be the reason why she was delaying her "official" retirement.
No. She was not on the main or reserve team and Vaitsekhovskaya said on her blog that Maria was receiving no money. She was probably was still on the fence about retiring.

And Maria is in school to be a choreographer not a coach. It's choreography for ballet, not figure skating. So there are options outside of sports. She's already working with her husband and whatever he does for a living.
 

Princessroja

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She didn't officially retire until July 2020. Prior to this, she was still an active athlete and obligated not to miss 3 tests [1st offense], fail the 4th one [2nd offense] and most certainly not "forge" a document [3rd offense]. She could have received a lesser ban if she had just slammed the door in RUSADA face when they caught her at home on the 4th attempt and filed the appropriate paperwork then but no.....
First time quoting on the new forum; hope this quotes right.

Anyway, yes, I know it was her fault for not submitting the right paperwork at the right time. But that's my point. She wasn't prepping for a competition or even training in any way whatsoever. She's apparently moved on with her life. The harm to the sport is exactly 0%--it's not like she's competing and doping for a competitive edge. So to find yourself with a 10-year suspension like this is really a pity. It seems like more of a symbolic gesture than anything else from the fed.
 

sailormoon

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According to TASS, Maria Sotskova missed three doping tests during the year, and furosemide was found in one of her samples. Furosemide is a strong diuretic ('water pill') that may cause dehydration. Water pills are often taken as a weight-loss solution. In 2001, Alina Kabaeva received a one-year disqualification for the use of furosemide. She faces a longer suspension because the clinic that issued a medical certificate to explain the use of the water pill does not have a license.
 
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RemyRose

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First time quoting on the new forum; hope this quotes right.

Anyway, yes, I know it was her fault for not submitting the right paperwork at the right time. But that's my point. She wasn't prepping for a competition or even training in any way whatsoever. She's apparently moved on with her life. The harm to the sport is exactly 0%--it's not like she's competing and doping for a competitive edge. So to find yourself with a 10-year suspension like this is really a pity. It seems like more of a symbolic gesture than anything else from the fed.

She was still an active athlete. Her "not prepping for competition," "apparently moved on with her life" is not a valid excuse. She has to take an anti-doping class yearly like all the other RUS athletes given by RUSADA of all people. So she should know better, ignorance is not a defense. Sorry if I don't drop any tears for her woes.

Ten years is the sum of all her charges, "forgery" being the worse one. Stop at offense 1, at least stop at offense 2, why commit offense 3? Next time, be smarter. And the fed isn't giving her the sentence, RUSADA is.

Like I said, when RUSADA came to her door and found her on the 4th attempt, she should have slammed the door in their faces after she told them she was retired, went to her computer and filed the paperwork. Then she only would have had the 3 missing tests and a refusal but no, she gave a drug sample, which she failed, and proceeded to commit forgery, no matter if it was intentional or not. She dug herself in a hole, now she can serve her sentence when it becomes official.
 

LiamForeman

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First time quoting on the new forum; hope this quotes right.
So to find yourself with a 10-year suspension like this is really a pity. It seems like more of a symbolic gesture than anything else from the fed.

Yes, it is obviously symbolic. Russia can now say to ISU "Look!!! This is how harshly we come down on our athletes that test positive!!!!" Nevermind she has been essentially 'retired' since 2018, considering her results since then were nothing. Maybe they'll catch Leonova too and show their discipline by giving her a 20 year sentence since they are so committed to the integrity of ADA?
 

macy

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According to TASS, Maria Sotskova missed three doping tests during the year, and furosemide was found in one of her samples. Furosemide is a strong diuretic ('water pill') that may cause dehydration. Water pills are often taken as a weight-loss solution. In 2001, Alina Kabaeva received a one-year disqualification for the use of furosemide. She faces a longer suspension because the clinic that issued a medical certificate to explain the use of the water pill does not have a license.
this is really unfortunate. the responsibility of not turning in retirement forms does fall on Masha, but shouldn't the clinic also face some sort of punishment for not having a license? that was not her fault.
 

lappo

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According to TASS, Maria Sotskova missed three doping tests during the year, and furosemide was found in one of her samples. Furosemide is a strong diuretic ('water pill') that may cause dehydration. Water pills are often taken as a weight-loss solution. In 2001, Alina Kabaeva received a one-year disqualification for the use of furosemide. She faces a longer suspension because the clinic that issued a medical certificate to explain the use of the water pill does not have a license.
I don't know if the article explains this, but doesn't the clinic have the license in general or wasn't the medical certificate valid because Maria didnìt have a TUE for that substance? Thank you!
 
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