#OpOlympics

Berlinger & Co. AG Hastily Tried to Conceal
the Problem with BEREG-kit Geneva 2018-04-27

Greetings citizens of the world.

Fancy Bears’ HT continues to monitor the scandal over Berlinger & Co. AG. The Swiss company was the leading international supplier of defective BEREG-kit security bottles for human doping controls.

Mass media represent Berlinger & Co. AG as an honest and reputable company. Recently, it has even taken a decision to withdraw from the doping control kit business because of the scandal with BEREG-kit Geneva bottles. But is this company as decent as it pretends to be?

There is no place for remorse and honesty in the world of monopoly and big money. Since the 1990s, Berlinger & Co. AG has been the leading supplier of anti-doping sample systems and manufacturer of temperature monitoring technologies. Since the beginning of the 2000s, almost all doping tests have been carried out with the help of Berlinger & Co. AG products.

WADA cooperated with Berlinger & Co. AG directly. The level of confidence was so high that WADA, in fact, transferred the quality monitoring functions to the company. Everything was smooth till January 2018, when a laboratory in Cologne said there was evidence the BEREG-kit Geneva security bottles were “susceptible to manual opening upon freezing of a sample.”

We gained access to the e-mail correspondence between the Swedish Olympic Committee and Berlinger & Co. AG representatives. The company hastily tried to conceal the problem with the bottles by all available means. A special group to assess the possible implications and reduce possible damage was immediately created. This group sent e-mails to WADA, IOC and South Korean anti-doping officials accusing everybody except Berlinger & Co. AG. Even anti-doping control officers were blamed for not closing tamper-evident bottles correctly. Despite “a small number of reports”, the problem affected hundreds and even thousands of samples. Moreover, the company strictly recommended watching the video that detailed the correct bottle closing procedure. Do they really think the anti-doping control specialists are not good at following the instructions, which are included in every kit in printed document form?

What about sports officials? How did they react? Quite ordinary indeed. It may seem nothing has happened. European Athletics’ official Pedro Aguiar Branco in an e-mail correspondence with Swedish Anti-Doping Agency employee Jan Engstrom, Richard Briscoll and Lausanne Research Institute member Tiia Kuuranne reluctantly talks about warning Doping Control delegates over the situation with BEREG-kit Geneva. They allegedly need to wait for further instructions and Berlinger & Co. AG statements. We think that sports officials were absolutely aware of the scale of violations, but they ignored the problem.

After the laboratory in Cologne released the statement with hard evidence the BEREG-kit Geneva security bottles were susceptible to manual opening upon freezing of a sample, Berlinger & Co. AG withdrew the BEREG-kit Geneva special security containers and replaced them with the old-type bottles.

Close ties between sports officials and business are not a secret. The question is how the doping test results can be used as solid evidence of guilt while samples are collected and stored in bottles of highly questionable quality. The company’s withdrawal from the doping control kit business, in turn, should be seen as a sign of incompetence. The company, in fact, admits that all the special containers used during a few last Olympics do not comply with the declared standards of security.

Thus, any sample could be opened and tampered with. The effectiveness of the entire global anti-doping system headed by WADA is under question. Samples of clean athletes could be easily manipulated in order to eliminate competitiveness. In this situation, the legitimate reaction of an athlete accused of doping would be challenging the doping results in court.

The next step should be a collective claim made by the athletes against the Berlinger & Co. AG, as the manufacturer did not ensure the proper quality of its products. The company’s incompetence negatively affected athletes’ reputation and careers. The requirement to wipe out the entire bank of doping samples, taken with the help of Berlinger special kits, could become a completely logical result.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

Anonymous – #OpOlympics