Here’s a heartbreaking story from the world of competitive swimming.
Here’s the problem. Cox states “I had never heard of this substance prior to receiving the test results.” A biochemist who reviewed her case compared the detected amount to “a pinch of salt in an Olympic size swimming pool” – a trace amount that would have provided no performance benefit.
A FINA Hearing Panel (the international water sports federation) found Cox to be “an honest, very hardworking and highly credible athlete who is not a ‘cheat.’” Because of this, they reduced her suspension from four years to two years. However, FINA upheld the sanction because Cox could not prove a “likely source” of the substance.
Where else would the Trimetazidine have come from? Cox believes she ingested trace amounts of the substance from drinking tap water in Austin, Texas. Numerous studies have warned about the increasing presence of discarded and excreted pharmaceuticals in our drinking water, though Trimetazidine has not specifically been identified.
This blog takes no position on what actually happened. A study of Cox’s tap water came back clean, which FINA says “is not conclusive enough to prove or disprove contamination.”
What I will say is that Agilent provides testing and analysis solutions for environmental labs and sports doping labs. Agilent equipment is used by both WADA-certified U.S. labs. SMRTL uses Agilent GC/MS and QQQ GC/MS systems. UCLA uses Agilent GC and single-quad MS systems.
For more information go to:
- Madisyn Cox (SwimSwam)
- 2017 World Champion Madisyn Cox Given 2-Year Doping Suspension (SwimSwam)
- Trimetazidine (DrugBank)
- Prohibited List (World Anti-Doping Agency) (PDF)
- Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)
- Drinking water contaminated by excreted drugs a growing concern (CBC)
- Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory
- UCLA Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
- Agilent Gas Chromatography
- Agilent Mass Spectrometry
- Agilent Environmental Solutions
- Agilent Doping Control Solutions