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AIU bans Santos and disqualifies his ‘World Junior’ Title

AIU bans Santos and disqualifies his ‘World Junior’ Title

Luguelín Santos has been banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for three years for age-manipulation violations at the IAAF World Junior Championships (Barcelona 2012); his three-year period of ineligibility running from 11 March 2023 to 10 March 2026.

The Dominican Republic athlete – the 400-metre gold medallist at the event (now known as the World Athletics U20 Championships) – admitted to competing in the 2012 age-group championships with a passport showing a falsified date of birth – 12 November 1993 – when in fact he born on that date in 1992. Thus, he was ineligible to participate in the World Juniors 2012 which, based on the 2012 Competition Rules, required junior athletes to be aged 18 or 19 on 31 December of the competition year.

Our ongoing investigations have been unearthing a disturbing level of cheating, through age manipulation, which has distorted results of junior athletics competitions at the highest level. In this instance, a World Junior champion was wrongfully crowned, and the rightful winner was denied his moment of glory,” noted AIU Head Brett Clothier.

Beyond that, age manipulation is challenging us to confront serious issues, including embedded cultures which are teaching youth inappropriate values, as well as providing the means for athletes’ ages to be altered in national documents, and ultimately celebrating ill-gotten victories. The AIU stands firmly against such actions and will pursue all such alleged violations vigorously.”

Santos, now aged 31, was charged with three violations of the World Athletics (formerly IAAF) Competition Rules 2012-2013: Rule 141 (participating whilst not eligible); Rule 9.6 (engaging in corrupt practices in relation to Athletics) and Rule 9.10(c) (failing to report any approaches or invitations to engage in conduct that would amount to a violation of Rule 9). He was also charged with violating Articles C.4 and C.6 of the IAAF Code of Ethics, in force from 1 May 2012, by engaging in corrupt practices relating to the sport of Athletics under Rule 9 of the Competition Rules. His fifth charge related to violating the Integrity Standard set out in Section 3.3.1 of the World Athletics Integrity Code of Conduct, in force from 3 April 2017, for failing to act with utmost integrity and honesty at all times in entering International Competitions from 3 April 2017 onwards using a falsified document.

From 2010 to 2017, Santos declared 1993 as his birth year for competitions. However, in February 2018, he declared his birthdate was 12 November 1992, based on a passport issued in 2018. The athlete continued using his 1992 birthdate throughout 2018. A 1992 birthdate meant that on 31 December 2012, Santos would have been 20 years old and thus ineligible to compete as a “junior” at the World Junior Championships 2012. When confronted with this assertion by the AIU, the athlete revealed that, on instructions, he had obtained a ‘special passport’ issued by the Dominican authorities which gave his date of birth as being 12 November 1993, contrary to his actual date of birth of 12 November 1992. Santos also told the AIU that he had been directed to use the ‘special passport’ with the false birth year (1993) for competitions, but the genuine passport (birth year 1992) for all other official purposes.

Santos admitted using the ‘special passport' for entry into the World Junior Championships 2012 though he was over-age and ineligible and provided supporting documentation to the AIU to verify his claim. On 8 July 2022, the AIU provisionally suspended Santos and, on 22 December 2022, issued him with a Notice of Charge regarding the alleged violations.

On 13 January 2023, Santos signed an admission and acceptance form regarding the violations in the Notice of Charge and, on 28 June 2023, the athlete further confessed to participating in a competition whilst ineligible on 11 March 2023. The three-year period therefore starts anew on the date of his participation whilst ineligible, i.e. on 11 March 2023, and will now end on 10 March 2026. He has accepted these consequences and waived his right to have them determined by the Disciplinary Tribunal at a hearing.

While this sanction disqualifies Santos’ gold-medal result at the World Junior Championships in July 2012, it does not affect the silver medal which he claimed in the 400 metres at the London 2012 Olympic Games the following month.

This historic case was adjudicated under Rule 22.2 of the IAAF Competition Rules 2012- 2013 which states the athlete shall be disqualified from the competition and forfeit any titles or other awards from that competition,” explained Clothier.

However, unlike with sanctions for doping violations, there was no 2012 rule that provided for the disqualification of future results in age-eligibility cases, so there is no basis on which to annul his Olympic result as that was not an age-group event and no violation was committed there.”

Additionally, he pointed out that Santos’ three-year sanction was determined under the relevant Competition Rule in 2012 (Rule 9) which provided for a range of sanction between two and four years. The AIU sought a four-year ban which was reduced to three years when Santos promptly admitted the charges.

Regarding the delay in announcing Santos’ sanction, Clothier disclosed this was due to ongoing investigations of third-party involvement in this matter, notably relating to the procurement of the ‘special passport’ for Santos.

AIU To Review Amusan Decision

AIU To Review Amusan Decision

A panel of the Disciplinary Tribunal, by majority decision, has today found that Tobi Amusan has not committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period.

AIU Head Brett Clothier has indicated the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is disappointed by this decision and will review the reasoning in detail before deciding whether to exercise its right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within the applicable deadline. The decision is currently confidential but will be published in due course.

Amusan’s provisional suspension has now been lifted with immediate effect.



21 JULY 2021, MONACO: In the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has received 17 referrals for investigation of suspicious qualifying performances. The referrals were from 16 countries and included 31 athletes and five relay teams. As a result of the AIU’s investigations, eight qualifying performances for the Olympic Games were not recognised by World Athletics and the relevant athletes denied a place at the Games. A number of cases have been identified by the AIU for further investigation to determine if fraudulent conduct was involved.

AIU's Testing Focus For Budapest 23 - Protecting The Podium And Blood-Collection Innovation

AIU's Testing Focus For Budapest 23 - Protecting The Podium And Blood-Collection Innovation

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has unveiled an extensive testing plan for the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 – in partnership with the Hungarian Anti-Doping Agency (HUNADO) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) – with more than 1,100 tests combined, for profiling and detection, to be undertaken for the elite event.

On the eve of the Championships in the Hungarian capital, AIU Chair David Howman detailed the highlights of the AIU’s Test Distribution Plan yesterday. The wide range of tests and analyses include up to 600 pre-competition tests (for profiling purposes mainly) in the period 14-24 August at the athletes’ hotels as well as up to 550 in-competition tests (mainly detection tests) at the stadium.

This is one of the biggest and most intensive anti-doping programmes outside of the Olympic Games,” he noted.

We are determined to protect the integrity of the World Championships, in particular the podium, and the scope of testing underlines the level of our commitment to our mandate.”

Urine, blood and Dried Blood Spot (DBS) samples will be collected and analysed for a wide range of substances or methods: EPO and Growth Hormones analyses on urine and blood samples; Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) analyses for steroid doping; and Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) analyses for blood doping and steroid doping. Other analyses such as blood transfusion analyses and analyses for steroid esters will be performed. All samples will be collected by the Hungarian Anti-Doping Agency (HUNADO) and will be analysed at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria. 

We are pleased to have good facilities in which to work; nine testing locations at hotels and two world-class testing locations at competition venues. The AIU appreciates the great rapport and collaboration which it has enjoyed with the LOC for Budapest 23 and we look forward to supporting clean athletes and competition through our important work,” added Howman.

The AIU has been closely monitoring national testing programmes in the lead-up to Budapest, in accordance with Rule 15 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, and has observed that the level of testing of elite athletes has generally increased compared with last year, thanks to the joint efforts of the AIU and National Federations, supported by their National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO). Due to exceptional circumstances arising from the war in Ukraine, the AIU Board has exempted 12 Ukrainian athletes from the strict eligibility requirement under Rule 15 to have at least three out-of-competition tests in the ten months prior to the Championships.

Another key component of the AIU’s mission at Budapest 23 is the continuation of a pilot study, initiated last year in collaboration with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which has been exploring a new and less invasive method for collecting blood samples from athletes for anti-doping profiling purposes. Athletes selected for doping control in Budapest will be asked to contribute to the study by providing an additional sample using the new device. The results will be compared with the routine samples. 

The AIU is constantly looking to innovate and upgrade our technology, and this is a major step in advancing our blood-collection protocols. There were some very promising results trialling the new device at previous events, including this year’s Boston Marathon,” explained Howman.

As for every World Championships, doping control samples collected in Budapest will be transferred to a dedicated long-term storage facility, after the initial analyses have been performed, with the view to re-analyse them in the future, using the latest available detection analyses or methods.