Rules and regulations or jokes and japes?

ANTI-DOPING POLICIES and agencies have been roundly criticised today at the Play The Game world sport conference in Coventry Cathedral, writes Danni Cox.

A selection of the speakers – including Verner Moller, Professor at the University of Aarhus and Georg Facius, former member of the EAA anti-doping working group; Klaas Faber of Chemometry Consultancy and Gary Gaffney of the University of Iowa Hospitals – took the opportunity to criticise the existing systems in place for taking action and the actual testing procedures themselves.

Talking about the much disputed amendments to WADA’s anti-doping rules earlier this year, Georg Facius said that “WADA and anti-doping still has a long way to go and many fights to fight”.

Gary Gaffney of the University of Iowa Hospitals spoke in-depth about the research he has completed into the abuse of performance enhancing substances in track events worldwide, criticising the lack of a comprehensive record of these instances – in all sports – and said that “The challenge is for some large agency with adequate funding to develop an accurate database”.

Klaas Faber of Chemometry Consultancy, mirrored Gaffney’s comments, saying that valid and accurate tests were important, and that full disclosure of test results were needed to meet the standards set by both agencies and laboratories.

The opinion of many of these speakers is clear: anti-doping measures are a long way from being truly effective and a great deal of action needs to be taken before the sporting authorities can be satisfied with the standards of their work.

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