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Tom Sietas world record attempt (8.58) was noted as pending for several months. Why was this? A simple misstake it seems...

Aida has not been known for prompt information so I feel this text is beneficial for all parties and the freediving community as a whole.

Apnea, Aida and doping
text: Sebastian Naslund/ Sweden June 2005

Aida misstake - puts athlete in an unwanted situation. After Tom Sietas World record in static (8.58, dec-04 Eindhoven) this was found in his urine: 1. Corticostéroide: Prednisone : 27 ng/ml 2. Corticostéroide: Prednisolone : 1,2 ng/ml. As it turned out after a few months - these are all legal levels.

The test was done in a laboratory called “ChemTox Laboratory” (not I.O.C accredited). These two substances are found in drugs for allergies and astma (among other things). They could be usefull for for dealing with equalization problems. Large quantaties are said to give energy - Tour the france cyclists have been accused using these substances.
Sietas asked for the B-sample to be checked (at his own expense) - he has also asked the sample to be sent to another laboratory of his choice. But the Aida disciplinary commity did not agree with this. Tom Sietas has said that Prednisone is naturally produced by your body and that the minimum required performance limit for prednisone regarding to WADA guidelines is 30 ng/ml. The disciplinary was faced with these facts.

In the end after several months someone within the Aida organization found out that the levels of drugs mentioned above was within the permitted levels. His record was approved. Much a do about nothing.

Tom Sietas points out (in a letter to the Aida Assembly) several facts that he thinks is wrong in the Aida anti-doping proceedure. 1) The laboratory is not officially I.O.C accredited. 2) The second sample (B sample) is not allowed to sent to a different laboratory. 3)  In case of a negative analysis of sample B the money will not be refunded.
Tom suggests for the future that Aida should build a fund (or something similar) which pays in case of a negative B-samples.

The disciplinary commission of Aida points out that Aida is not a member of IOC and is not obligied to use IOC laboratories.

The Aida doping policy history
In 2000 Aida started to test athletes for doping (in the Swiss Aida world cup 2000). In the following world cups the winners and a random athlete has had to do the doping test. The test is also obligatory at all world record attempts. So far 114 tests have been made. You basicly pee in a small bottle under supervision of the judges and they have the sample sent to a laboratory. A costly proceedure that costs the organizer or the athlete some 500 euro. The test is divided into two bottles. If the A-sample is found positive (doped) the athlete has the option to pay himself for a test of the B-sample (the other bottle). If that comes up clean (negative) the athletes performance (and name) is clean and the performance is approved.
Four times the A sample has been positive. Three of these athletes payed for the B sample test and was cleared. One third athlete accepted the doping accusation and was penalized.
For instance; the UK athlete Sam Still was also found with "prednisone" in the blood during the Canada World Cup. But was CLEARED by the B-sample. A indication that the system works - or just silly anti-doping rules not suitable for freediving?

Illegal and most likely dangerous
Most things on the IOC doping list are useless for freedivers. But the reason for enforcing it is not only to stop cheating - taking certain drugs while doing extrem apnea can be dangerous, as Bill Strömberg, Aida-international writes:
"... the list is also there for us, as a reference, like a "risk-list" ...we just want to be as safe as possible, and not do any kind of "gambling" when it comes to the safety of our athletes.

There are a few things that probably would help a freediver.
- Diazepam (Valium) and thelike decrease the ventilatory drive response and can decrease the discomfort of hypocapnia.
- Testosterone analogs will improve the efficiency of glucose metabolism and can help you stay consious in spite low O2.
- Different forms of DihydroTestosterone can help adaptation to anaerobic stress.
- Drugs that improve dopamine levels can produce a sense of well-being that could benefit performance (but they can raise metabolism).
- Of course ceratin recreational drugs (cannabis) can help relaxation.
- EPO is one way of increasing hemaocrit levels (and O2 levels). In certain sports its "forbidden" to have hemocrit/hemoglobin levels over 50%. There are a few athletes around the world presently trying to increase this level in a natural way - how Aida will deal with this is a tricky one.