One of the international bodies governing records and competition in Freediving – CMAS – has issued a statement surrounding the Croatian athletes at the center of the alleged doping scandal from Vertical Blue.
Vitomir Maricic and Petar Klovar were found to have Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) in their luggage upon arriving in the Bahamas for the Vertical Blue competition. They faced an immediate ban by competition organizers.
CMAS has provisionally banned the athletes pending the conclusion of an investigation and meeting of the CMAS Board of Directors on 23rd September 2023.
Both Maricic and Klovar have continued to deny all wrongdoing on social media.
When asked to comment, Klovar told DeeperBlue.com:
“Nothing to comment for now. Our lawyers will speak for us.”
Maricic provided the following statement to DeeperBlue.com:
“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.”
In addition, CMAS has also moved to ban the use and possession of any drugs, medications, or supplements which contain benzodiazepine and sildenafil active ingredients.
The CMAS statement on Instagram stated:
“Following the events occurred on occasion of the Vertical Blue 2023 round in Bahamas, and without prejudice of the sanctions imposable under the WADA Code, CMAS has set in motion a disciplinary procedure in respect of the Croatian athletes Vitomir Maricic and Petar Klovar for violation of CMAS Code of Ethics.
The two athletes have been provisionally suspended, effective immediately, from any sport activities within CMAS, pursuant to the article 10.2 of CMAS Statutes.
Such interim measure shall be effective until review by the CMAS Board of Directors meeting, scheduled to be held on 23rd of September 2023, based on the findings of the said investigation.
In addition, CMAS has resolved to provisionally ban the use and possession both in or out-of-competition of any drugs, medications, or supplements which contain benzodiazepine and sildenafil or any similar molecules or active ingredients, until a full scientific report is delivered in this respect by the competent CMAS commissions.”