The problem has been made worse by the appalling advice Kim received from AA which resulted in Kim copping a ban effectively 3 months longer than the mandatory 2 years.
The following is an excerpt from the Victorian Race Walking Club's July newsletter detailing Kim's situation.
KIM MOTTROM - A RESPONSE
I must sadly report that South Australian walker Kim Mottrom has been handed a 2 year drugs related ban by ASADA as a result of
failing a drugs test performed after his win in the 2013 Australian 50km Championship in Melbourne on 15 December 2013.
Here is part of what Kim posted last week:
Hi All, I've just received notification on the outcome of my case with ASADA. They have decided to enforce the full 2 year
ban. Due to the voluntary suspension I accepted, this would run out in March of 2016. Obviously this is absolutely
devastating to me for a number of reasons. Firstly, I tested positive for dextran, a form of sugar but also a plasma enlarger if
taken intravenously. ASADA assert that the only way I could have dextran in my body is via an IV, and not via food.
Knowing I have Crohn's disease, which causes malabsorption of foods, nutrients and minerals, I know that it didn't turn up
in my sample by any means other than food. I know for sure that I didn't have an IV inserted into my body at any time in
the last 18 months. The last time this occurred was when I had a colonoscopy which confirmed the Crohn's diagnosis. I
have spent the last 3+ months collating pages and pages of evidence to support that dextran can be taken in by food. A
quick internet search would confirm that, my medical doctor confirms that, a look at the foods I consumed pre doping test
would confirm that. I can honestly say this has been the hardest process I've ever experienced as it started as a result of
what should have been the greatest achievement in my life. I then had to try and defend something that I knew was nearly
impossible to defend- ASADA says I used an IV, how can I prove that I didn't? It's not like they said I did it at a certain time
and I can tell them where I actually was at that time. I have contemplated suicide multiple times during this process because
of how powerless it has made me feel. The process is set up in such a way that it doesn't take into account that they are
dealing with human lives.
Like Kim, I am devastated by this outcome and I can only say that I fully support him. Some of the pertinent points are as follows
Kim is not an international level athlete and was not even on the ASADA monitoring list.
A review of his racing results over the past 5 years show a steady improvement without any spikes - a standard training
response for any athlete training honestly and consistently.
Realistically Kim did not expect to win last year's Australian 50km championship. The win was only handed to him
compliments of Jared Tallent and Chris Erickson not competing and the disqualification of Ian Rayson. His time of 4:28:12
was actually much slower than he had hoped - he confided to me in the lead up to the race that he was aiming for a time
under 4:20. He was as surprised as anyone when he actually won and found himself in contention for a World Cup spot.
None of this lends any credence to the view that he was knowingly taking a banned substance intravenously.
So what is Dextran - it is a naturally occurring sugar that is used extensively in many products ranging from lollies to ice
cream to sports supplements. It is what is known as a plasma expander and that is why it is banned when present in large
amounts as it can be used as a masking agent for other substances such as EPO (but note that no threshold is actually set by
ASADA - it is purely a toss of the coin on what is acceptable and what is too much). But if Kim was using it for that, you
would expect to see a peak in performance, not a disappointing time. It just does not ring true. You would also hope that the
testing of his urine sample would pick up trace elements of the banned substances (e.g. EPO) that were being masked. This
is not the case here.
ASADA contend he took the dextran intravenously rather than orally due to the high level in his test. But I do not believe
that their test can determine if it was taken intravenously or orally. They are making a value judgement here based on the
amount of dextran in the urine. But there are various medical conditions that can result in increased absorption of dextran
into the bloodstream and Crohn's disease is one of these - and Kim suffers from Crohn's disease.
Kim contends he had two drinks of Rockstar energy drink during the race. So what we have in my opinion is a perfect
1. A high content of Dextran containing drinks prior to the event
2. Dehydration during the 50km walk
3. Increased permeability of the gut due to ulcerative colitis (from Crohn's Disease) thus allowing the large quantity of
dextran ingested to cross the gut barrier to enter the blood stream and thus be measured.
This could have led to a higher concentration of dextran than normally seen or alternatively an extremely high
concentration of dextran.
Past evidence has taught us that instead of plasma expanders to dilute blood to avoid detection of EPO usage it is much
more likely that athletes will use low Intravenous doses of EPO without plasma expanders as their preferred method of
cheating. In any case, there are a lot better plasma expanders than dextran available nowadays for the purpose of diluting
blood. And as such, athletes are unlikely to use Dextran.
From the WADA reports 2003-2013 (the classification was changed in 2005) there have been NO previous positive tests for
Dextran. Kim is the only person in the world to test positive for dextran and be banned for it. Realisitically, he will
probably remain the only athlete ever to test positive and be banned for this substance.
I believe Kim when he says that he did drink some Rockstar energy drinks and, due to his medical condition, mixed with the extremes
of the 50km event, it has lead to a higher than expected urine count.
Alas, none of this seems to have been taken into account by ASADA. Although Kim forwarded medical evidence of his Crohn's
Disease as well as a very comprehensive supporting document from an Adelaide based sports physician, these have not even been
acknowledged in his ban letter, much less clarified or countered with their own evidence or explanation. It is very much a black box
It is an interesting coincidence that ASADA have recently been severely criticised for their slowness in progressing the Essendon
Football Club drugs case. No sooner had this hit the presses than Kim's ban was handed down, some 3 weeks earlier than the ASADA
target date and without any explanation. Coincidence or knee jerk reaction to be seen to be kicking goals?
I must also advise that Kim has made every effort to quickly reimburse all funding he has recently received, all medals he has won in
that period and the $100 that he won as part of the 2013 Australian Racewalking Series. From my perspective, Kim has done
everything right during this whole process but has been badly let down by those higher up the ladder from whom he might have
expected support and timely advice.
To make matters worse, he has now been given a ban of effectively 2 years and 3 months, compliments of Athletics Australia advice.
He was emailed at 12:56PM on Friday 21 March by the designated AA liaison person recommending he should take a voluntary
suspension while the matter was further investigated. The email advised that he had to advise them in writing before 5PM on that day
if he wished to go down this recommended path. He was not advised of any possible ramifications in doing this. With no time to
investigate and a response demanded the same afternoon, he saw no alternative but to write back immediately in good faith and apply
for a voluntary suspension.
Now he finds that his ASADA ban starts from this date (21 March 2014) rather than from the date of the infraction (15 Dec 15 2013). But his first place in the Aust 50km walk on that date has of course been annulled so effectively he has been given a ban of greater than 2 years on very shaky grounds. What the heck is going on here? Elena Lashmanova has been given a 2 year ban dated from the day of her test but Kim gets an additional 3 months!