Important deterrent as WADA bans for serious offences are doubled to four years
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Important deterrent as WADA bans for serious offences are doubled to four years

by Shane Stokes at 5:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Statute of limitations extended, steroid profiling to be added to bio passport; Reedie to take over as president

WADAThe penalties for those who commit serious doping offences has been doubled from two years to four under the latest revision of the WADA Code, with riders and other sportspeople now facing a potential career-ending break from the sport if they use EPO, blood transfusions or other such substances or methods.

While many big names have shown an ability to return to the sport with a 24 month ban, returning after four years is a different matter entirely and should have a much bigger deterrent effect.

The new regulation is part of the 2015 version of the WADA Code, which will come into force at the start of January.

The new rule was ratified as part of the agency’s new World Anti-Doping code that will come in play on January 1, 2015.

In addition to that, the pinpointing of those breaking the rules should also be improved due to the introduction of a steroid profiling element to the existing biological passport. Currently blood values alone are monitored over time; under the newly introduced element, testosterone and other elements will also be tracked, making it easier to identify those who are using illegal products.

Another modification is the increase in the current statute of limitations for offences from eight years to ten. This will extend the period of time under which athletes can be punished for past misdeeds.

The changes have been approved at the World Conference on Doping in Sport, which has been taking place in Johannesburg in South Africa. Today’s session also saw WADA’s foundation board elect IOC Vice President Craig Reedie to the position of president, replacing the outgoing John Fahey.

Mr. M.A. Stofile takes over as WADA’s vice president. The changes will come into play on January 1st.

“It is an honour to be asked to lead this international organization, and a challenge that I look forward to,” said Reedie.

“Much has happened over the course of the past fourteen years since WADA was formed. I look forward to using the experience I have gained throughout my time in sport, and that gained during my time as the Chair of WADA’s Finance and Administration Committee, to continue to take WADA, and the anti-doping movement, forward. All my efforts have been – and will be – to defend the rights of clean athletes.”

The agency’s Foundation Board also confirmed that a one percent budget increase would take place for 2014. While this is a minimal increase, members will have to meet their own travel costs in future; it is estimated that this will represent a saving of half a million dollars per year.

Fahey greeted the news. “After two consecutive years of receiving a zero-percent increase, WADA is very appreciative that its budget has been given a slight increase, particularly given the continuing economic difficulties in many parts of the world.”

He and others had previously made clear that the agency was being badly stretched in its battle against doping in the sport due to costs.

WADA director general David Howman spelt out the inadequacies in what the agency gets. “We've got a budget of not even the salary that Wayne Rooney earns at Manchester United,” he told AP. “I think what you have to do is say, ‘right, how do you make the bucks you have go as far as they possibly can to get rid of those rotten apples?’”

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