Analysis of Bernard Lagat B Sample returns negative result
Wednesday 1 October 2003
Monaco - The analysis of the B sample of Kenyan middle distance runner Bernard Lagat has failed to confirm the initial result of the anti-doping test conducted in Tubingen, Germany on 8 August 2003, where the analysis of the A sample returned an adverse finding for Erythropoietin (EPO).
The analysis of the B sample was conducted by the IOC-accredited laboratory in Cologne, Germany on 29 September and did not corroborate the original result. Consequently the athlete is able to compete.
Following the original finding, the athlete had been withdrawn for the national team for the 9th IAAF World Championships by the Kenyan Federation.
28 years old, Bernard Lagat is a leading 1500 metre runner with a personal best at that distance of 3:26.34 and was the winner of that event at the IAAF World Cup in Athletics in Madrid in September 2002. In 2003, he came second behind Hicham El Guerrouj at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Wow, some good news on the doping front for once! I don't want to say, "I told you so" to anyone who used Lagat's A positive to make blanket accusations against Kenyan distance runners, so I'll just use this opportunity to plead that we all just move on.
Lagat is clean, as are virtually all Kenyan distance runners.
>Does nothing to take the unjustified stain off
>Lagat's name of course. Nor does it get him the
>WC medal (and major cash) he lost.
Looks like you might get your wish: this from his statement on the front page
<<I have suffered economically from not being able to pursue my profession as I would have anticipated and I remain concerned over the way in which this matter entered the public domain. These are issues I will be discussing with my Heidelberg lawyers Dr Michael Lehner and Wolfgang Kreissig in the near future but it would be premature to say specifically what course of action I will be following.>>
I'm feeling awful because I'm one of those people who thought in my mind that he was guilty. I really have learned a valuable lesson here and I will always remember this as I make opinions about other people. I really do hope that as an athlete he can continue to progress and the stress of this situation not continue to weigh heavily on him.
I understand that Lagat is in the clear, but what exactly does a negative B sample mean? Was there something in the A sample? Or was an error made in the testing of the A sample? Does a negative B sample ALWAYS override a positive A sample? Surely each case where this happens should be investigated and treated as separate cases?
Personally, I'll wait until I hear more about the case before judging Lagat. Still, there are definitely some people who are going to view Lagat with suspicion from now on. Look at Diane Modahl - she spent her every last penny on protesting her innocence (and won her case), yet some people still view her as being suspicious. It's the classic, pessimistic view (often seen in track and field) of being guilty until proven innocent.
>Am I missing something obvious here? How can you
>have the same pee pop positive and then negative?>>
Because there's no magic machine into which you stick a sample and ask it, "is there bad stuff in here?" and it tells you yes or no. It's a sophisticated scientific process requiring human involvement and humans make mistakes.
The IOC routinely checks its accredited labs for accuracy, sending through dummy samples for which it knows what's up. Labs have been bounced from the roster both for missing positives that were there and for finding positives that weren't (talking all kinds of substances, not EPO in particular).
Given the newness of the EPO test, Lagat's questioning of the whole thing may indeed hold water.
I assume that's pronounced like in douche-bag, right? Please explain why it's "more likely" that a doper got off? What's your scientific basis for deciding that if one of two samples is wrong it's the B one? More likely you can't even spell science and are just another troll.
<<B sample always wins. Well actually... if either
of the two samples is negative then the test is
negative. If both are postive then the test is
If so, then it seems like it would be in the best interests of all parties (athlete, national federation, iaaf, wada, etc...) to test the B sample immediately. Or, at a minimum, the athlete should be allowed to request an immediate retest of the B sample.
Yeah, that's what I always tell my clients: forget due process and your right to have an attorney present. Tell them just to rush that B sample right through and get back to you, eliminate all that worry of hanging around wondering what's going to happen.
Sorry, I wasn't asying that it should be done haphazardly and without due process. Just that it could have been done a lot quicker without the sacrifices
However, why was there such a delay? Did the IAAF cause the delay? Or, did Lagat and his attorney cause the delay?
The positive A sample cause Lagat to miss the WC's and probably cost him some money. If he was confident that there was a mistake the first time around, why wouldn't he want to fast-track the second test?
This was all answered by gh earlier in another Lagat thread:
<<It's not any testing procedure that's holding up the Lagat case, far as I know.
I don't have a copy of the Doping Protocol at hand, but as I recall, when it comes to the B sample (unlike the A, which is done by faceless techs in a lab somewhere), the accused can be there, and/or can his representatives (federation, agent, manager, lawyer, his own doctor, whatever). And the people doing the accusing have to have all their people in place also.
Getting all these people together when they're from multiple countries can't be done overnight. Need to work out a mutually acceptable schedule. I THINK I heard that the Lagat B hearing is on the 29th.>>
Since no test can be 100 percent perfect, it's unfortunate that Lagat's test happened to be the "1 in a million" tests that come up a false-positive. I suppose it's the price you pay for being a world-class athlete.
But, with the WC's a few weeks away, it seems like the process could moved a lot faster. Especially if Lagat wanted it to move faster. No, I'm not saying it could have been done over night. But, could the B sample have been tested (with all the right people there) within a week? I would like to think so.
I wonder who calls the shots regarding the 2nd test? Does the athlete have any say regarding the timing, or does the IAAF/WADA schedule a time at THEIR earliest convenience?
Did they find any trace of EPO in is B sample? Was it just merely under the allowable levels. These things we will never know (uless someone sit on the results for ten years and then decides to tell all)
The guy got lucky this time. I highly doubt we will see another 3:26 from him
As Linford Christie said, use blood tests. Urine testing is cheap and I am sure many athletes have been wrongfully banned. Even one athlete given a 2 year ban is a mistake and a probable lost career. More accurate testing methods must be used in the future. The current testing devices are apparently so accurate that a grain of salt could be detected in a swimming pool. However the A and B samples came from exactly the same specimen, this highlights the current testings faults. Innocent athletes are getting banned and juiced athletes are getting off, stricter testing has got to be used before athletes start regarding the powers as a joke.
<<Is a false negative on the B test a possibility?>>
Sure it is, just as a false negative was also possible on the A test. However, I'm guessing a false negative is even RARER than a false positive. So, the B test comes back negative -- it's time to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Drug testing is never going to be perfect. If Lagat is not using, then he's an innocent victim of a not-perfect system. If Lagat was using, then he got lucky and if he's smart he'll stop using. If not, he'll get caught eventually.
actually, urine tests are the more expensive ones (see letsrun's article on don catlin, head of the UCLA lab). as someone who has spent a bit of time with kip, i hope this is just a mistake (the false positive "a") and he really wasn't doping. it does make me feel slightly better to hear this news, but also can't help but wonder about theories like, "could the time lapse between a and b sample testing produce different results?". i guess we'll never know, though we'll probably have a good idea if he never comes close to 3.26 again.
be careful what you ask for. Athletes will probably be seeing blood tests in the very near future ( i have that from a very good source) and also there is the hair folicle testing procedure. Very accurate, but prohibitively expensive given the numbers of athletes to test.
The problem that I continue to see is that IAAF publicizes or somehow cons the athlete into public disclosure prior to the actual b sample testing and then uses any incriminating statement made in response to the IAAF leak, against the athlete in subsequent determination (see the Kelli White case).