The International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced that David Mendoza Sanchez, a triathlete from Mexico, committed an anti-doping rule violation. The violation occurred during an in-competition doping control conducted on April 28th, 2018, during the ITU World Triathlon Series Bermuda.
Mendoza urine sample was sent for analysis to the INRS WADA-accredited Laboratory in Montreal, Canada, in accordance with the International Standard for Laboratories. The laboratory reported an adverse analytical finding for GW501516 and its metabolites. GW501516 is classified as a Hormone and Metabolic Modulator under section S.4.5.1 of the WADA Prohibited List. It is a non-specified substance, the use of which is prohibited at all times.
On May 28th, 2018, ITU sent the Athlete a Notice of a Possible Anti-Doping Rule Violation. This Notice explains the possible charge, provisionally suspends the Athlete pending resolution of the matter and provides the Athlete with a myriad of disciplinary rights and options, including the possibility to promptly admit the anti-doping rule violation.
Soon thereafter, by way of various written statements, the Athlete promptly admits the anti-doping rule violation and waives the analysis of his B sample.
The Athlete does not know how the substance entered his system. He speculates that it was from a vitamin B complex he ingested the night prior to his test upon falling ill and pleads his innocence; but he does not contest the finding of GM501516 in his urine sample.
WADA agrees to ITU’s proposed 6-month reduction of the mandatory 4-year period of ineligibility stipulated.
Mendoza submitted various statements to ITU in which he requested a further reduction of sanction based on his allegation of having no significant fault for the anti-doping rule violation. However, he didn’t submit credible exculpatory evidence in support of this claim and no probable explanation as to what could have caused the adverse analytical finding other than stating it was likely the result of contamination. He does not fulfill his burden of proof of establishing how the substance entered his system under the ITU ADR.
Mendoza is therefore suspended from competition in any sport at any level for three years and six months. He will be free to resume competition November 28th, 2021.
ITU is the world governing body for the sport of triathlon with over 170 affiliated national federations worldwide.
ITU is concerned about athletes health and well-being when they pollute their body with drugs. ITU is strongly committed to making sure that Triathlon remains a clean sport and that our athletes are competing on a level-playing field. We realize how important are both, in-competition and out-of-competition tests leading up to the Olympic Games and ITU is committed to finding any athletes who do not respect the rules.