The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has dismissed the suggestions made by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko that questioned the method for detecting Turinabol.

In an interview with news agency TASS, Mutko had remarked the method for detecting Turinabol would find the banned substance “even in coffee”. Mutko also commented that the test for Turinabol could not be trusted because it was designed by Grigory Rodchenkov. Testimony of the former director of the Moscow Laboratory sparked the Independent Commission investigation into widespread doping in Russia.

Mutko, who was promoted from Sports Minister to Deputy Prime Minister in October of last year, said a number of athletes have filed lawsuits against the method of Rodchenkov that can detect steroids in the body for far longer. Mutko said most violations are currently detected according to a technology designed by a former head of the Russian lab and added Turinabol tests are his invention.

A WADA spokesperson said Oral Turinabol is a synthetic anabolic steroid developed by a pharmaceutical company and we are not aware of any natural source of Turinabol. The spokesperson added we have tested hundreds of thousands of coffee drinkers’ urine samples over the years without detecting any Turinabol or metabolites of Turinabol.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently disqualified two Russian athletes – Tatyana Chernova and Maksim Dyldin – from Beijing 2008 for failing retrospective tests.  A statement by the International Olympic Committee reads that re-analysis of Chernova’s samples from Beijing 2008 resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substance Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Turinabol). The statement also reads that the Russian Olympic Committee shall notably secure the return to the IOC, as soon as possible, of the bronze medal, the medalist pin, and the diploma awarded in connection with the women’s heptathlon event to the athlete and the decision is effective immediately. Dyldin, a relay specialist, is already serving a four year suspension after refusing to participate in drugs tests. The 29-year-old would be ineligible until 2021.

Both athletes were caught because of new techniques provided by Rodchenkov. Chernova was stripped of the bronze medal she won in the heptathlon event in Beijing; the heptathlete has already been stripped of her 2011 world title and the Olympic bronze medal she won at London 2012 for doping.

A total of 83 athletes have tested positive for Turinabol that is at the centre of the IOC’s retesting of samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 retests across both editions of the Games. Turinabol was also the substance of choice for East German officials in the infamous state-sponsored doping scheme of the country. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) conducted a widespread doping regime, known as State Plan 14.25, during a 20-year period in the 1970s and 1980s prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The widespread doping regime was overseen by the Ministry for State Security, known as the Stasi. It is widely believed that up to 9,000 athletes were part of the program, often being given banned drugs without their knowledge.

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