The board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revised the World Anti-Doping Code at the end of World Conference on Doping in Sports held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The WADA has passed new rules in its code to curtail doping incidences in sport. The revised code doubles the ban duration for sports cheats, effectively excluding them from the next Olympic Games.
World sport leaders revised the code, doubling the duration of the ban for those found guilty of doping to four years – effectively excluding cheats from the next Olympic Games. The new rule comes into effect at the start of the 2015. The revised code also seeks smarter testing and targets support staff around athletes, such as errant doctors.
• The finalization of the new code brings an end to a two-year process involving about 4,000 suggested changes to the last code, adopted five years ago.
• WADA’s statute of limitations will be extended from eight to 10 years, which will allow anti-doping agencies to store and test samples for up to a decade.
• The changes come as the sporting world is reeling from several high-profile doping scandals including fallen Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong’s doping confession.
• The code has, however, been met with some criticism. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said the new rules did not go far enough and that they leave athletes “too many means of escape.”
• The four-year bans can be reduced to two if the doper denies the intention to have used a banned substance and they don’t even have to prove it.
• Admitting to cheating can also reduce the sentence, or if someone else takes the blame such as the athlete’s support personnel.
The third World Anti-Doping Code governs competitive sports from football to cycling, and has been backed by sporting bodies like the International Olympic Committee (IOC), world football’s governing body FIFA, and governments.
WADA was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries. WADA is a Swiss private law Foundation. Its seat is in Lausanne, Switzerland, and its headquarters are in Montreal, Canada. WADA works towards a vision of a world where all athletes compete in a doping-free sporting environment.