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New WADA President Craig Reedie Welcomes Longerr Bans For Drug Cheats

posted 15 Nov 2013, 09:23 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 15 Nov 2013, 09:24 ]

The World Conference on Doping in Sport ends in Johannesburg with a revised code which will double bans for drug cheats

 JOHANNESBURGSOUTH AFRICA (NOVEMBER 15, 2013) ( REUTERS) -  The World Conference on Doping in Sport ended on Friday (November 15) in Johannesburg after three days of deliberation by some 1,000 delegates attending the event.

The meeting saw a revised World Anti-Doping Code adopted which doubled the bans for cheats in sport.

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Speaking at the close of the event, new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Craig Reedie welcomed the new tougher penalties.

"The great necessity is, particularly represented by the athletes, is that serious cheats are given four years sanction, the IAAF will accept that and I hope that it works. There are many people who have looked at the code and seen the occasional clause that they might wish to amend and I certainly hope that the higher sanctions become a much more regular fact of life," he said.

The revised code, which comes into effect at the start of 2015, doubles the ban for those found guilty of doping to four years, seeks smarter testing and targets support staff around athletes, such as errant doctors.

"I have to say personally that six year ago, was it when we introduced the last code, when we introduced higher sanctions for what was called aggravated offences, hardly anybody used them. Now its much much clearer and it's a much clear attention and request from the athletes of the world and the IAAF is one of the leading federations in the fight against doping in sports and I am very comfortable that I can rely on their help," said Reedie.

The new code, which gives WADA wider powers, was the final act of a two-year process involving some 4,000 suggested changes to the last code, adopted five years ago.

Outgoing president John Fahey said he was satisfied with what was achieved at the conference.

"There's nothing missing in my view that I would have liked to have seen there. I now know that when this comes into affect in a years time that there would be so much more ability on a part of any doping organisation to do their job better to catch those cheats and to deal with them," he said.

The extended bans would effectively exclude drug cheats from the next Olympic Games. The code also introduces more flexibility in the punishment of athletes who are found to have mistakenly taken banned substances or who co-operate with doping investigations.

Doping policies will also be custom-made for individual sports.

Fahey said although he will be spending more nights at home, he remains passionate about the fight against doping in sport.

"I get back to life that is a whole lot less travel, a whole lot less time in the air, many more nights at home but continuing to be busy, active and making a contribution. I hope another role comes that is associated with sports, I will certainly be keen if that should occur because I love sports. I think that's what motivated me always in this fight against doping in sports, I want clean sports because I love sports like many millions of people around the world," he said.

WADA's statute of limitations will be extended from eight to 10 years, allowing anti-doping agencies to store and test samples for up to a decade and enabling retrospective testing as technology advances.

A post-conference declaration called for extra resources for WADA, co-funded by the Olympic movement and governments, and for more anti-doping legislation to be adopted by governments.

"Governments of countries without a national anti-doping organisations are encouraged to establish one or join a regional anti-doping organisation," the declaration said.