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FIS MEDIA INFO: Sapporo 2007 - 6 start prohibitions issued due to too high haemoglobin values
Sapporo, 22nd Feb, 2007/ -- In the course of the pre-competition blood testing carried out by FIS in Sapporo whereby all Cross-Country and Nordic Combined Athletes will be tested prior to their first competition at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the following athletes have yesterday been issued with a start prohibition for five consecutive days due to too high haemoglobin values:
This prohibition from participating in the competition(s) is not a sanction, but is considered to serve to protect the health of the Athlete. Consequently, no disciplinary measures will be taken. In the two days of testing, 326 Athletes have been tested. The total number of Cross-Country and Nordic Combined Athletes participating in the 47th FIS Nordic World Ski Championships is 313 and 67, respectively.
A start prohibition results from the process that is defined in the Article B.4.2 of the Procedural Guidelines to the FIS Anti-Doping Rules:
“If an Athlete shows a haemoglobin value that is equal to or exceeds the values of 16.0 g/dl for ladies and 17.0 g/dl for men the above values after the two consecutive measurements, the Athlete or Team Official will be notified by the representative of the Jury that he/she is not allowed to start any competitions for five consecutive days, including the day on which the test took place: e.g. if the blood test takes place on Monday the Athlete will not be permitted to start again until Saturday (and then only subject to the results of a new blood test, see FIS.B.4.5)."
In cases where Athletes have normal (natural) haemoglobin values that are equal to or exceed the limits of 16.0 g/dl for ladies and 17.0 g/dl for men they are required to provide certification for review by a specialist appointed by the FIS before the start of each season, latest by 1st September.
This certification must come from an officially recognised Haematological Department and contain the Athlete's full history and haematological profile from an early age in life. The application must include a proof of high red cell mass, haemoglobin concentration and related blood variables from childhood and/or in the immediate family. Evaluation is to be undertaken by a specialist in haematology for the disease polycytaemia vera. The above documentation should be complemented with repeated blood testing over the period of one year with proof of not being at altitude at the time of the haemoglobin test.
Approval is valid for one season only and updated documentation is required for every season an application is submitted.
For the 2006/2007 season, 11 athletes have been granted a dispensation from the FIS Hb rule for the entire season, amongst which some of them are granted only for competitions taking place at an altitude of more than 1000 metres above sea level and 1 additional athlete has been granted a temporary dispensation valid for a defined period of time including championships in Sapporo. In addition for all the athletes granted a dispensation an individual upper limit applies, if the values are equal to or above this limit they will nevertheless receive a start prohibition.