Mullingar sprinter Steven Colvert was banned for two years as a result of having traces of synthetic EPO in his system in May 2014. Ever since he was informed of the positive test, Colvert has maintained his innocence. A short-documentary has now been released which takes a look at the scientific failures that accompanied his case.
Colvert had just started to emerge as a promising sprinter when the controversy occurred. He was a 200 metres sprinter, national champion and beginning preparations for the Rio Olympics. Colvert appealed the conviction but had to pull out of the European Team Championships. This appeal failed and he was banned for two years.
His case made headlines in 2016 when four Norwegian researchers published a Lab Times article that accused the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited lab in Cologne of making a subjective initial analysis. It also claimed WADA ignored subsequent findings. This lab declined the documentary's request for an interview.
The documentary was made by Loring Films and asks renowned experts about the case while also wondering why samples were destroyed. It includes anti-doping expert Don Catlin who said in his opinion the sample was negative. Questions are then raised as to whether Colvert was given due process and why a second test that was carried out varied so much from the initial one.
Colvert features at the end of the documentary and spoke emotionally about the effect the ordeal has had on him.
It angers me and it saddens me. To a certain extent, I can accept the view people will take because they are putting their trust in IAAF and WADA that they are going to do the right job and in this case, it didn't happen.
It had a huge toil on my mother and my grandfather, it definitely aged him. He's an older gentleman, almost 90 years of age but he never looked it until 2014. My mother, worried sick, constantly worried about me. would I potentially self-harm given the situation I was in and the circumstances surrounding. It was terrible.