IAAF supports 4 year penalty and asks WADA to revise reductions, by EME News, note by Larry Eder

The war on drugs is a constant battle. IAAF has delivered a strong message to WADA: while congratulating them on their four year ban, the IAAF wants to make sure that WADA understands that the battle over drugs in sports will continue to be complicated and complex. 

Blocks, photo by PhotoRun.net

MONACO (MON): IAAF spoke clearly about the increase of the doping ban at WADA Conference but also pointed out difficulties in the proposed new sanction regime and mainly options to reduce the sanctions. IAAF Council Member Abby Hoffman delivered a strong statement about the IAAF view of the new WADA Code to the 2013 World Conference on Doping in Sport organised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Johannesburg on Wednesday. The statement was delivered on behalf of the IAAF President Lamine Diack, the IAAF Council, and the 212 Member Federations of the IAAF, as well as the millions of participants in the sport around the world. "Our policy (and practice) for long term storage and re-testing of samples collected at our World Championships has enabled us to detect doped athletes years after the events in question through the application of new scientific methods and technology to previously collected samples. We have backed up our testing programme with a rigorous system of results management both at national level and internationally before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The consequence is that there are currently 321 athletes serving a period of ineligibility under IAAF Rules, 296 of them for a sanction of two years or more. The IAAF remains realistic about the prevalence of doping in athletics but, by committing significant resources to an anti-doping campaign that is based on intelligence, we have been consistently successful in apprehending cheaters." But Hoffman also said: "The IAAF lauds many of the proposed revisions to the Code which will facilitate the greater use of investigations, place greater emphasis on profiling, motivate a more concerted focus on athlete support personnel, extend the statute of limitations, provide guidance to make testing regimes more efficient and rationalize the roles and relationships of the many players involved in anti-doping. These measures build on the foundations in place under the current Code. WADA should be congratulated for developing tools tailored to the modern day fight against doping. However, our support for many positive elements of the new Code is not without reservation. Specifically, we have a critical concern about proposed provisions to the new Code on the issue of sanctions. At our most recent Congress in Moscow this past summer, our 200+ Member Federations again unanimously expressed their support for four year bans - just as they have done at many previous Congresses and major forums. Many of our members and our athlete community regard four years as a minimum not the maximum." IAAF has concerns concerning the possible reductions which the proposal offers. "We recommend therefore that WADA commit now to a mid-term review of sanctions (after no more than three years at most) to assess if the new Code is delivering intended outcomes with regard to four-year sanctions for serious doping violations and, if it is not, there should be a commitment from WADA to undertake a further review of the sanctions position in the Code at that time."

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