CMAS International, one of the agencies that govern records in Freediving, has announced on Facebook that they have received notification from Vertical Blue organizers of the doping allegations against Croatian athletes Vitomir Maricic and Petar Klovar and have launched an investigation.
Staff searched Maricic and Klovar bags on arrival at Vertical Blue 2023, and they were found to have four known Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) in their possesion. A World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) official from Nassau then administered a drug test on both athletes – the results of which won’t be known for a few weeks.
The athletes were found to have broken Vertical Blue rules around banned substances and have been removed from the competition and banned for life from competing at VB.
Vertical Blue organizers have shared with DeeperBlue.com the official policies, rules, and procedures, as well as the anti-doping form all athletes must sign on registration. The anti-doping rules state that:
“If any known PED is discovered in an athlete’s luggage (or in the luggage of their traveling companion) for which none of the traveling party holds a current prescription, then that athlete will be considered by VB as having failed a drug test, and treated as such”
It is under this clause that the athletes were banned from VB and announcements have been issued, not a failed WADA drug test. Once the official results from the WADA anti-doping tests have been announced, there may be further announcements from both Vertical Blue and CMAS.
Vertical Blue stands firmly against doping of any kind to preserve the integrity of our beautiful sport.
DeeperBlue.com contacted Maricic and Klovar for comment, and they provided the following statement:
“We can confirm that all the allegations made by Mr. William Trubridge against us are untrue and unfounded. We have also been subject to undue process and serious procedural irregularities. Our lawyers are working towards an appropriate response.”
This story seems far from over.