World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie has promised that any athlete denied a medal at Rio 2016 due to drug cheats will have their own formal awards ceremony at a later date.
Notwithstanding the decision of the Ministry of Sport to not fund in competition anti doping tests at the Rio 2016 Caribbean Zone Men's Beach Volleyball qualifier scheduled for 8-10 May at Saith Park, Chaguanas.
Anti doping tests will be conducted.
Where there is no National Anti doping Organisation (NADO) the WADA code is unambiguous that the National Olympic Committee (NOC) acts as the NADO.
Accordingly the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has the authority to direct that there be testing and to facilitate the process.
The TTOC's is of the resolute view that in competition testing is compulsory given Trinidad and Tobago's status and international standing as WADA compliant and a jurisdiction that is serious about anti doping and drug free sport.
The Rio 2016 Caribbean Zone Men's Beach Volleyball Qualifier will be hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF).
The circumstances which led to Britain's world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe believing she had to go public to clear her name because she had been personally implicated in a United Kingdom Parliamentary Select Committee hearing have been described as “very unfortunate” by David Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
It has also emerged that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) wrote before the hearing last Tuesday (September 8) to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee - whose chairman Jesse Norman triggered the Radcliffe response by saying that “potentially the winners or medallist of the London Marathon, potentially British athletes, are under suspicion for very high levels of blood doping” - asking that all involved be reminded not to discuss individual names or cases.
The IAAF letter, dated Monday (September 7), also pointed out that there was already an investigation underway into the blood doping allegations made in recent months by German television company ARD and Britain’s Sunday Times within an Independent Commission established by WADA.
“The media reports stemming from the Evidence Sessions have included an appeal from Paula Radcliffe to WADA to help ‘clear her name’, as she felt unfairly implicated by the discussions at this week’s Evidence Sessions,” said Howman, who was among those to give evidence to the Committee, in a statement.
“It is very unfortunate that any athlete should feel implicated and that they have to defend their reputation as a result.
“WADA has a clear and established process set out in the World Anti-Doping Code that protects athletes.
“If any athlete were to have a case to answer, it allows them a full hearing and an opportunity for their voice to be heard.
“Let me be clear and reiterate what has already been stated by the Independent Commission as it relates to the ARD and Sunday Times reports regarding athletes’ blood values: no information in the leaked database from before 2009 - which was before the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) was introduced - could ever be considered as doping, legally or otherwise.
“Tarnishing an athlete’s name based on values from pre-2009 would be wholly irresponsible.
“At best, blood values from this time could only be used as indicators of the need for targeted future testing of those athletes that have abnormal or unusual values.
"Even athletes’ data from post-2009 - when the ABP had been introduced – is not necessarily indicative of doping.
“The strength of the ABP is that it monitors selected biological variables over time, via the blood, which indirectly reveals the effects of doping.
"WADA’s rules governing the ABP are designed to ensure a complete and fair review of ABP profiles and require the unanimous opinion of three experts.”
Howman added: “WADA is committed to protecting the confidentiality of athletes; in particular, their private medical information.
“If any athlete feels their rights are being eroded or inappropriately challenged as a result of the ARD and Sunday Times reports, they must refer those concerns to the Commission.
“This is the correct channel versus trial by media.”
The IAAF letter, signed by Thomas Capdevielle, the world governing body's anti-doping senior manager and which insidethegames has a copy of, drew the Committee’s attention to the fact that Dr Michael Ashenden, one of the two scientists who have commented on the blood data leaked to ARD and passed onto The Sunday Times, was “aware that the information contained in the database is by its nature private and highly confidential and that a duty of confidence is owed both to the IAAF and to the athletes whose information is contained in it.”
The letter added: “Dr Ashenden has himself gone on record to say that he sought undertakings from The Sunday Times that his opinions on individual athletes would never be disclosed…
“The IAAF does not in any way seek to restrict or limit the Select Committee's work but respectfully points out that it is of critical importance that no names or individual blood data or results are discussed in the context of a public hearing or otherwise in the course of proceedings before the Committee.
“To do so could otherwise cause irreparable damage to the careers and reputations of thousands of innocent athletes, which the IAAF is certain is not the Select Committee's intention.
“We would be grateful if the contents of this letter could be drawn to the attention of the members of the Select Committee either in advance, or at the outset, of tomorrow’s hearing, as well as brought to the attention of each of the witnesses who are due to give evidence before it, in particular, Dr Ashenden.”
Click Letter from IAAF to Culture, Media and Sport Committee.pdf to read the full correspondence.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is urging major event organisers to do more out-of-competition testing, following the success of a new-style independent observer (IO) programme at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
David Howman, WADA's director general, said that an "enhanced focus" on pre-competition testing was a key element in the "better practice" model utilised for Glasgow 2014.
He went on: "This emphasis on testing during higher-risk doping periods was successfully implemented and as a result WADA encourages all major event organisations to expand their own out-of-competition testing programmes in collaboration with International Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) prior to the event; and further throughout the period the Athletes' Village opens until the end of the event."
Howman also said WADA was pleased with the "success of the collaborative approach" taken by the different anti-doping organisations during Glasgow 2014.
He added: "We were impressed by the constructive relationship that developed between the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the Glasgow Organising Committee and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD)", the body contracted to carry out testing at the event.
"This type of partnership," he said "should be a template for future major events".
David Grevemberg, CGF chief executive, who held the same role at Glasgow 2014, said that the body was "delighted to have contributed by promoting the values of fair play and advancing the delivery of doping control regimes at major sporting events".
WADA said, however, that it would publish no report on the programme, "due to the nature of the IO mission conducted in Glasgow".
The agency's "better practice" model was piloted in 2013 at the World Games in Cali, Colombia; Glasgow 2014 marked the biggest multi-sport event yet at which it has been conducted.
Chika Amalaha, a Nigerian weightlifter, and Amantle Montsho, the former world 400 metres champion from Botswana, were both disqualified after the CGF determined they had committed anti-doping rule violations.
INTENT ON maintaining an unblemished record through the fundamental principles of Olympism, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) will, for the first time ever, serve as this nation’s official National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) for the forthcoming Caribbean Zone Men’s Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifiers, scheduled to serve off at Saith Park, Chaguanas, from May 8-10.
This historic revelation was made by TTOC president Brian Lewis yesterday. Lewis, who plays an instrumental role in ensuring that these tests are done to International Olympic Committee (IOC) standards, stated that all athletes competing in official Olympic qualifiers must be tested by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and IOC-sanctioned organisation.
TT however does not have an official NADO, but according to the WADA code, it is mandatory that the National Olympic Committee/TTOC, acts as the NADO. Accordingly, the TTOC has the authority to direct that there be testing and to facilitate the process.
“The TTOC is of the resolute view that in competition, testing is compulsory. Given Trinidad and Tobago’s status and international standing as WADA compliant and a jurisdiction that is serious about anti doping and drug free sport, anti-doping tests will be conducted for the first time here in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Lewis.
These tests will be conducted by official and experienced doping control officers, Andre Collins and Michelle Stoute-Lopez, and other chaperones in charge of procuring. Samples gathered will then be sent to a WADA accredited lab for complete analysis.
The doping kits will be obtained from the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) and tests will be undertaken according to the WADA code. Additionally, in-competition anti-doping tests will be confirmed at the tournament’s technical meeting which will be held today between 6-8 pm at the Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s.
“This is the first time that there is going to be in-competition testing by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation, with the involvement of the TTOC, acting as the NADO. I made it clear to all concerned that we cannot have a Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier in Trinidad and Tobago in any sport, and there be no in-competition testing. If we are serious about maintaining TT’s status and international standing and being WADA compliant, and being a jurisdiction that is serious about it, tests must be conducted. This is a responsibility that the TTOC cannot and will not shirk,” added Lewis.
This country’s Anti-Doping in Sport Act was passed in 2013 under the then Minister of Sport Anil Roberts. The Rio 2016 Caribbean Zone Men’s Beach Volleyball Qualifier will be hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF).
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says it will "work closely" with national anti-doping organisations (NADOs) and other stakeholders in coming months to help them to implement changes brought about by the new World Anti-Doping Code efficiently and effectively.
The Montreal-based agency was responding to a request for a reaction to insidethegames' exclusive disclosure that the Dutch NADO - the Doping Autoriteit - is facing the prospect of a cut in the number of tests it can afford to conduct after the new code comes into effect on January 1.
This is because of stipulations in the new code that require additional analyses and will hence almost certainly increase the cost of some tests.
Herman Ram, director of the National Lottery-funded Autoriteit, told insidethegames that if his testing budget did not increase, "I have to make choices".
Ram went on: "The most simple solution is decreasing the number of tests, but that is not the most sensible approach."
In its response, WADA said that the new code required NADOs to "adopt a 'smarter' approach to testing, through their test distribution plans and through the analysis of samples."
The agency continued: "By implementing the technical document for sport specific analysis, and by conducting the required risk assessments [NADOs] may indeed find themselves doing fewer tests than previously due to the fact that they are testing the right athletes at the right time, rather than taking a 'one size fits all' approach to testing.
"There is an expectation that from next year testing programmes will be more resourceful and will improve."
WADA went on: "This more effective approach to testing, coupled with use of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), will help foster programmes that focus not so much on the number of tests but on the quality of testing.
"WADA will work closely with stakeholders in the coming months to help them implement the changes effectively, so that they have efficient testing programs that act as a deterrent to those athletes considering cheating.
"This will be central to WADA's efforts to continue to protect the clean athletes who want to compete honestly and fairly."
One possible element that Ram suggests may ease pressure on those NADOs whose costs have been rising faster than their budgets is that increases in the volume of erythropoietin (EPO) and human growth hormone (hGH) tests as a consequence of the new rules might trigger a reduction in the unit cost of those tests.
On this point, WADA commented: "Under the revised code, [NADOs] have the ability to select their preferred laboratory for the analysis of samples.
"Organisations have the ability to communicate with the laboratories and negotiate any lower unit costs that may result from economies of scale.
"WADA will continue to play its part in facilitating greater transparency in laboratory costs."
The worry, of course, is that if a significant number of NADOs are driven to cut back on the number of samples collected and analysed for economic, as opposed to tactical, reasons, drug cheats may find it easier to escape undetected.