A Champ gets Banned but the Manufacturer Continues Selling!

Written by on June 18, 2017

Following on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) appeal against the decision rendered on 25 May 2017 by the Independent Doping Hearing Panel, former EFC bantamweight champ Demarte Pena was declared ineligible to compete for a period of four years in June of this year. Added to that, all results obtained by Pena between 11 November 2016 – including the results of 11 November 2016 – and June 2018 have been disqualified.

Now here is the thing!

On the surface of it, Irshaad Sayed – his long-time bantamweight nemesis – and all those other media entities that simply broke the news, have a really damning argument against the former champ……because he is a CHEAT!

The reality of the matter is that there were in fact two South African athletes – from two different sports – that returned a positive test for exogenous testosterone over that period. In both instances, the athletes blamed their positive test on contamination of the same product. The athletes I am referring to are Gordon Gilbert (Cycling) and Demarte Pena (MMA) – both were Brand Ambassadors for Biogen, and both blamed their positive tests on its Testoforte product!

Having read the 45-page Arbitration Award handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), two (2) issues still confound me; firstly, that WADA blatantly ignored the fact that Biogen offered Pena R100,000 for his silence ahead of the CAS hearing and secondly; that the arbitrator would not entertain the conducting of a pharmacokinetic (CPKS) study which could have explained the testosterone anomalies??

In early September, Pena agreed to do a detailed video interview with Ruckus Media as he felt it was time to state his side of the story. Once again in that interview, he reiterated the allegation that Biogen wanted his silence on the matter and in fact we were advised that only days before our video interview, Biogen had sent Pena an ultimatum about discussing any of these matters with any media entities.

Add to this, you need to read the recent article published by Andy Brown from the Sports Integrity Initiative – you can read it here; http://www.sportsintegrityinitiative.com/how-arbitration-failed-gordon-gilbert-demarte-pena/

The damning article, takes the view that despite evidence showing that Biogen could be selling contaminated products, the Arbitration process for banned Cyclist Gordon Gilbert and banned MMA athlete Demarte Pena had failed both athletes as WADA sought to preserve the sport’s perverse anti-doping justice system simply because they did not have the financial means – unlike Chris Froome – to prove that they could have in fact been innocent of deliberately doping.

What is more disturbing about the article is that following on the CAS Appeal Award, Biogen simply placed warning labels on their Testoforte product, advising athletes not to use the product.

In truth, we all know that manufacturers like Biogen do not fully disclose the complete ingredient list on their products for obvious reasons, however when the chance exists that an athlete could be unfairly accused of cheating their way to success then the rules surely have to change and if not, the focus then needs to change.

When will WADA or SAIDS start adopting a similar stance to that of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) who have accepted that athletes can inadvertently dope. As such, arevamped ASADA are set to target importers, traffickers and Chinese manufacturers of performance-enhancing drugs while adopting greater flexibility towards athletes who inadvertently dope.

Look out for the Interview with Demarte Pena by following us on both Facebook and Instagram. Also, at the time of writing this, Gordon Gilbert had reached out so that he could tell his side of this rather bizarre story…….more to come!

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