WADA to cut back anti-doping activities

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11/19/2012| 0 comments
by Mark Watson

WADA to cut back anti-doping activities

Cyclists and other athletes to be banned for up to four years starting from 2015, advocates WADA President John Fahey and calls for additional funding to be provided to WADA to prevent cutbacks in anti-doping activities.

WADA is calling for the standard ban duration for first time doping offenses to be increased from the current two years to a total of four years. The proposition is featured as part of a new draft code package which is set to be reviewed in December this year, but would not take effect before 2015, thus providing unethical athletes the opportunity to carry on with their actions for more than two additional years, thereby risking only a two year ban.

"It is clear ... that there is a strong desire in the world of sport, from governments and within the anti-doping community, to strengthen the sanction," Fahey said in a statement issued by WADA earlier today.

"This second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organizations to impose lifetime bans," the statement added.

The second draft code significantly increases the sanction apparatus for serious doping violations involving anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents, trafficking and further illegal methods.

In addition to the need for a strengthening of the sanctions, Fahey also reiterated the need for additional funding to be supplied to WADA in order for the agency to be able to strike down on doping offenders and masterminds in an effective and successful manner in coming years. Politicians and governments call for WADA to strike down on doping offenders more effectively and strengthen the sanctions, but fail to provide the necessary funding.

"While we appreciate that economies across the world continue to struggle, this freeze is not ideal for the fight against doping," Fahey explained.

"WADA has dipped into reserves over the last two years to cover shortfalls for its operating costs. If funding continues to remain the same then the agency will be forced to cut back its activities."

On November 10 WADA issued a press release emphasizing how the agency had been helpless in the fight related to the Lance Armstrong doping matter.

"In 2005, when WADA became aware of the information relating to many positive samples from Lance Armstrong at the Paris laboratory, WADA suggested that the UCI conduct an inquiry into the truth of the matter," the press release stated.

"Rather than inquire into the truth of the doping suggestion UCI took other steps and engaged an individual to write a report exonerating Armstrong. The report was not independent and was seriously flawed, and was intensely critical of WADA and its President."

"It is important to remember that WADA was sued by the UCI for trying to force the Armstrong issue and this, together with the complaint to the IOC, were simply bullying attempts to shut WADA down in an effort to show that Armstrong was cheating," the press release added.

WADA once again urged politicians to make the necessary legislative changes which would enable WADA to carry out independent inquiries which are essential in the fight against doping.

According to a WADA spokesperson the whole Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy would likely have been uncovered years ago if WADA had been handed the power which would have facilitated the necessary investigative actions. WADA presently lacks such powers, thus rendering the organization partially helpless in the fight against organized doping schemes.

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