The World Athletics Championships have not yet started on the American track in Eugene when a case shakes the French team. Mouhamadou Fall, the only tricolor sprinter qualified individually in this competition, learned on Thursday July 7 from the French Athletics Federation (FFA) that he had received a notification from the French Anti-Doping Agency. (AFLD), a day earlier, for a third alleged breach of its whereabouts obligations in the last twelve months.
Franceinfo: sport has had confirmation that the athlete was the subject of a “no-show” (absence at the time of the passage of the anti-doping controller) and two defects in the location obligation. Athletes must log their trips in the Adams software, a sensible online management tool “simplify the administration of day-to-day anti-doping operations for athletes”according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Mouhamadou Fall received a first email from the AFLD on April 1, for not having registered in the allotted time – that is to say before March 15 – where he would be in the second quarter of the year 2022 (April June). On May 8, the French sprinter was not there when an anti-doping controller passed and was therefore given a “no-show”. The third email concerns a new alleged breach of its whereabouts obligations for the third quarter (July-September).
If the triple infraction is confirmed, in accordance with the sports code, the athlete faces a two-year suspension. “Depending on the circumstances, it may be reduced, but the sanction may not be less than one year”, specifies Pierre-Olivier Rocchi, lawyer at the Paris bar, specializing in the fight against doping. However, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, any reduction becomes impossible when, in view of the constituent elements of the file, a desire to escape controls is detected by the Agency.
From the notification of the AFLD, the athlete has fifteen days to justify himself. Once this period has elapsed, the Agency may decide whether or not to take legal action against the athlete. “The athlete in question has every interest to send its observations to the AFLD, otherwise the institution will investigate in a non-contradictory manner”, notes Pierre-Olivier Rocchi, who points out that the investigation can last several months.
If the suspension of the athlete is immediate during a positive doping control, in the case of “no-show” or whereabouts failuresthis is optional. “The decision is up to thePresident of the AFLD. Before pronouncing a provisional suspension of the athlete, it must have offered to hear it”, details the lawyer.
Contacted, the French Athletics Federation clarified Friday evening “that to date, Mouhamadou Fall’s participation in the world athletics championships in Eugene has not been called into question, unless otherwise notified by the AFLD”. For its part, the Agency did not respond to our requests. The French sprinter is due to enter the competition in the 200m heats on Monday July 18 (Tuesday 19, at 2:05 a.m. Paris time).
Centerpiece of the 4x100m relay, it could be aligned in the series (July 23, 3:05 a.m. Paris time) or preserved for the final (July 24, 4:50 a.m.). However, if the athlete were to be suspended, including a posteriori, all of his performances at the Worlds could be cancelled.