Time To Take Doping Into The Realms of Criminality If Fight To Be Won – Verroken

Yuliya Efimova waved goodbye to racing for just over a year when after testing positive … and that would not be the end of it - by Patrick B. Kraemer

The annual symposium on anti-doping organised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Lausanne has heard that aspects of anti-doping now need to be taken into the realm of criminal law; hark the important words of Michele Verroken, Britain’s first anti-doping drugs Tsar

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The annual symposium on anti-doping organised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Lausanne has heard that aspects of anti-doping now need to be taken into the realm of criminal law; hark the important words of Michele Verroken, Britain’s first anti-doping drugs Tsar

Comments

malfonse

I too would be one of those parliamentarians hemming and hawing at this idea. The criminal justice system is not infallible. What happens when we make a mistake? We have not yet explored the full potential of our sanctioning powers–especially when it comes to dealing with colluding sponsors. Let’s not turn the swimming world into a police state.

Craig Lord

I agree, malfonse, with the fact that justice system is not infallible (and the anti-doping system most definitely isn’t). If the Code were to be enforced properly and at every dot and dash in all cases, many would agree with your sentiment, I would imagine. The trouble is that sport is now very big business and even swimming ($100,000 top prize for a poorly attended world cup…for e.g.) offers fairly sizeable rewards – and beyond that the system has contributed to a breakdown of trust because where trust has been broken, the perpetrators have often simply not faced the consequences (and the variance of penalty for same offence is woeful). How hard can it be to impose the proper sanction on Dr Ba after a second offence, for example. If you don’t do that, the wriggle room will be exploited mercilessly… and indeed it is being exploited mercilessly. Trust is a great argument if all live by the code and the Code – but what happens when trust breaks down to such an extent that no-one is sure if they are looking at a clean athlete or a cheating one?
Rather than pursue the athlete through the criminal justice system I would rather see such powers used rigorously against those who aid and abet and officials who turn a blind eye and fail to act on the powers they have and enforce the Code they are signed up to.
Some of what is being suggested already exists in pockets: for example in Germany it is a criminal offence to supply minors with steroids and other substances at the high end of the prohibited list in sport. I think that a good thing. But the criminal status of Dr Lothar Kipke did not move FINA to act at all – and the criminal remains on the list of FINA award winners.

Clive Rushton

The fact that Dr. Kipke retains his FINA status says everything that needs to be said about the organization.

There are many, many examples of FINA’s ineptitude, lack of understanding, dismissal of their real constituency, and disdain for their constitutional obligations (and they seem to be growing by the week as the dam erodes, hopefully to bursting point), but the fact that they continue to honour a deliberate planner, leader and manager of systematic cheating would beggar belief if it was not an embedded part of their outmoded and out-of-step culture.

Ms Verroken’s remarks are spot on. Drug cheaters are no different to convenience store armed robbers – they steal something which does not belong to them.

Craig Lord

Quite so, Clive

Linny

Using deceit to get money or advantages you didn’t earn (the type of money and benefits that come with winning medals) is surely already criminal in the UK at least?

Craig Lord

It would probably take a private prosecution by those denied in such a scenario Linny – so technically, you may well be right but it never happened, to my knowledge… penalties covered by the anti-doping regime in sport are deemed to deal with the issue, the mainstream law left to the likes of sponsors who want their money back etc.

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