16 September 2021
The ITA reports that on 8 November 2015, during a sample collection mission in Chisinau, Moldova, Dorin Balmus, a Moldovan doctor working for the Moldovan Weightlifting Federation (MWF), acted as the representative for three MWF athletes – Iurie Bulat, Ghenadie Dudoglo and Artiom Pipa – to be tested on that day.
However, subsequent DNA analysis, prompted by an investigation conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Intelligence & Investigation Department, showed that the three athletes had been replaced by so-called “doppelgängers” who were asked to provide clean samples on behalf of the athletes, each undergoing a doping cycle at the time.
The three athletes were later tested positive for a prohibited substance and sanctioned for both the use of the prohibited substance and of the prohibited method of urine substitution. Furthermore, in the documentary entitled “Secret Doping – the Lord of the Lifters”, which was aired by the German broadcaster ARD on 5 January 2020, Mr Balmus confirmed that he used “doppelgängers” during sample collections.
On 22 June 2021, the ITA charged Mr Balmus with ADRVs for tampering and complicity in relation to the events of 8 November 2015 and based on the ARD admission.
In accordance with Article 8.3.3 of the IWF Anti-Doping Rules (IWF ADR), the ITA subsequently issued a sanctioning decision finding that Mr Balmus committed these ADRVs and imposed a lifetime period of ineligibility on Mr Balmus given the nature and severity of the rule violations. In application of this sanction, and of Article of the IWF ADR Mr Balmus shall be prevented from participating in any activity authorised or organised by any signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code in any capacity whatsoever.