Invictus Athletes from Champania at the 2022 Summer Invictus Games
|Invictus Athletes from Champania at the|
2022 Summer Invictus Games
|in Verlois, Gaullica|
11 July – 1 August 2022
|1990 • 2018 • 2022|
Invictus Athletes from Champania (AIC) is the International Invictus Committee's (IIC) designation of select Champanois athletes permitted to participate in the 2022 Summer Invictus Games in Verlois, Gaullica. The designation was instituted following the suspension of the Champanois Invictus Committee after the Champanois doping scandal, where the Global Anti-Doping Agency (GADA) banned Champania from all international competitions for 6 years. The agency cleared individual Champanois athletes to compete neutrally under the title of "Invictus Athletes from Champania."
Under the ruling, the Invictus Athletes from Champania team must present itself as a "neutral team," and athletes are barred from displaying anything related to Champania. Likewise, the Invictus Athletes from Champania uniforms are barred from using the colors of the Champanian flag, utilizing symbols associated with Champania, and using the word "Champania." The usage of the Champanois flag and national anthem is also banned, with the Invictus Athletes from Champania competing under the International Invictus Committee flag and use a politically neutral song at medal ceremonies.
In 2015, the Etrurian public broadcaster ARE published a documentary detailing a wide-array of allegations that Champania continued to organize and maintain a state-run doping program, which directly went against decades of claims by the Champanois government of it being discontinued in the 1980s. The documentary alleged that Champanois athletes were supplied performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) such as meldonium and trimetazidine, both of which were banned by GADA in 2012. In July, 2015, the GADA published a report about Champanois testing irregularities and the International Athletics Federation (FAI) banned Champanois athletes indefinitely from competing in world track and field events "until a more thorough investigation can be conducted." In March 2016, Gaullican newspaper Le monde published an article detailing more allegations, which included personal accounts by Dr. Jeremèis Fortet, the head of the Champanois anti-doping laboratory from 2002 until his defection to Gaullica in 2011. Fortet alleged that a state-run doping program was "still in effect," and that the State Protection Authority, the principal security agency of Champania, is "actively involved in the tampering of results and cover-ups."
Following the publication of the Le Monde article, GADA launched an official investigation, and in January 2017, a private commission published their results which found "without any reasonable doubt" the Champanois Anti-Doping Agency (CHADA), Office of Arts, Sport, and Culture, and State Protection Authority were all complicit in "operating for the protection of doped Champanian athletes" within a "state-directed failsafe system." The commission confirmed it was used on at least 600 positive samples between 2012 and 2017, but was "likely substantially higher" due to limited access to Champanois records. In August 2017, a lab technician at a GADA-affiliated lab was caught manipulating test results and later admitted to taking a bribe from a Champanian official.
On 14 November of that year, the International Invictus Committee announced the Champanois Invictus Committee had been suspended from participating in the 2018 Summer Games held in Spalgleann, Caldia with immediate effect. Athletes who had no previous drug violations and a consistent history of drug testing were to be allowed to compete under the Invictus Flag as an "Invictus Athlete from Champania" (IAC). Under the terms of the decree, Champanois government officials were barred from the Games, and neither the country's flag nor anthem would be present.
Athletes that are allowed to compete are selected from a pool put forth by the Champanois Invictus Committee. Selected athletes must meet pre-games conditions such as further pre-games tests and reanalysis from stored samples. Once these conditions were met, they were formally invited by the IIC to compete as a "neutral athlete."