"It has passed 20 or 30 controls," they say from the surrounding area. Mo Katir, the 5,000m world runner-up. But three times they went to look for him to do one, they did not locate him and the bomb exploded in Spanish athletics: Katir has been "provisionally suspended" by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AUI). The athlete received the news at breakfast in Valencia, where yesterday he was going to run in the International Grand Prix seeking to get closer to the European record of 5,000. From the circle close to the long-distance runner they insist that "From a moral point of view it is not an issue of having taken illegal substances" and that "the problem is the location", although "it is true that it is part of the game and all athletes know it." According to the anti-doping rules of World Athletics (the International Federation) "any combination of three faults in the location within of a period of 12 months constitutes a violation of the anti-doping rules. They consider it, therefore, as a positive. The penalty would be two years, which could be reduced to at least one year depending on the degree of guilt.
"This is a simple file derived from the completion of location data on the ADAMS platform that could have generated location errors," the athlete explained in a statement in which he anticipated the news: it was Katir himself who reported the suspension. "If you are not very attentive and are a little absent-minded, these things happen", they justify from their surroundings. "If you leave five minutes early they can give you a penalty. It's a bit complicated, some athletes make mistakes involuntarily," they insist.
How does ADAMS work?
But how does the ADAMS platform work? It is a system that takes a long time. First there were only controls in competition, then they moved to surprise controls, which were considered very invasive, and this intermediate point was reached for elite athletes of various specialties. The application, say those who have used it, was worse before, but it now has few errors. In it, they have to fill in where they will be for one hour a day, 365 days a year. During that hour they must be reachable so that they can be checked. You can go to check one day a month, two, five, none...
In case of not being there or not opening the door of the house or situations like that, they look for the athlete by calling at least twice, once at the beginning and once at the end, and if they contact him and he comes and does so before the hour has passed , nothing would happen. If they fail to carry out the control, it is considered a foul and the athlete is notified some time later. He is also given a few days to appeal and justify himself if an emergency has arisen due to which he has not been able to be at the place indicated. Therefore, Katir knew that he was on the wire and that he already had two warnings. What athletes usually do is set a typical time of 7 to 8 in the morning, because they are more likely to be at home sleeping or waking up. If they travel to compete abroad, are in concentrations or will not be at home that day, they must enter the application and indicate the time and place where they will be reachable.
"In some of the location failures reported by AIU, I was available at the place, date and time provided by me," defends Katir. He will have to prove this before the sports courts in the appeal he has presented. For now, The Royal Spanish Athletics Federation has moved and has suspended Mo Katir's license.
The athlete was also sanctioned for a similar case. Adel Mechaal, in 2017, although he was later declared innocent by the CAS. In his case, the controls that he supposedly failed were from the Spanish State Anti-Doping Agency, which has been so questioned in recent times. Katir's are from the international organization, in theory more serious and professional. This was expressed by Mechaal himself, who spoke at the Valencia International Grand Prix. "My case was with the AEPSAD, now called CELAD, who work horribly. I hope they change and that perspective is changed because it takes away credibility from all of Spanish sport behind closed doors. Having a national agency that works so badly is bad for athletics Spanish. Katir's thing is AIU, which I trust does its job very well, they are an independent, serious, correct organization and that is the great variant." Other athletes could not prove that there was a mistake. The 100m world champion Chris Coleman He was sanctioned and missed the Tokyo Olympics. The Danish cyclist Rasmussen, the same in 2007, in one of the Tours that Contador won. Justice usually goes slowly and There are less than six months until the Paris Games. Katir wants to request a precautionary suspension to continue competing until there is a ruling. The Murcian athlete sent some hot tweets, which he later deleted.
In them he reiterates that he is innocent, that the IUA has carried out 120 checks on him and he always tested negative, that it is an administrative error and that he has never taken the easy way out. "You are destroying me and you are only going to lose an athlete like me, you are only going to make me go to a country that has never loved me and have to run with them [Marruecos, su país de nacimiento], just because I had an administrative failure. I'm going to disappear, when you see that I have never cheated and all the rulings they have given me are unfair, here I will see who really loves me and who doesn't (goodbye), "he concludes.