Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WADA Labs Now Admit Mistakes Were Made in Steven Colvert Doping Conviction

Writing for the WADA labs, Christiane Ayotte, President World Association of Anti-Doping Scientists, has authored a defense of the conviction of Steven Colvert for doping. But buried in her defense is an admission that should all but seal the case for revisiting, if not outright dismissing, his case.

Ayotte writes:
If the laboratory expert was correctly quoted [during the hearing], he made a mistake when he stated that the amount of recombinant was small when compared to the endogenous EPO.
Let's check the transcript, where not one but both WADA lab experts testified that the amount of recombinant EPO was small compared to endogenous EPO.

Phillip Reihlen of the WADA Cologne laboratory stated in his testimony (p. 66 in this PDF, emphasis added):
[Colvert's urine test] leads to a suspicious finding because we see a mixed profile containing mostly endogenous EPO with a small amount of recombinant EPO.
Christian Reichel or the WADA Seibersdorf laboratory stated of Colvert's test results (p. 111 in this PDF, emphasis added):
So what you see actually is this mixture of endogenous EPO and a small amount of recombinant EPO
In the Lab Times critique of the science underlying Colvert's conviction (PDF), the Norwegian scientists argued that the WADA labs presented inconsistent evidence indicating that Colvert had both a relatively small and a relatively large amount of synthetic EPO in his test results.

Ayotte confirms that when she says that her colleague (and actually, colleagues) "made a mistake" in their testimony.

On that basis alone, Colvert's case deserves to be reopened if not outright dismissed. An athlete's career is far too important to be allowed to be destroyed by such a poor and inconsistent application of science. That WADA scientists would defend each other is not surprising, however, at this point any fair-minded observer should be able to see that due process was not granted in the case of Steven Colvert.


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