WADA Boss: More Than 1 in 10 Enhanced By Doping; Abuse ‘A Criminal Offence By 2020’

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

As Kazan opens the world aquatics championships in Russia, a nation under investigation over allegations of systematic doping, WADA boss David Howman says that more than 10% of elite athletes across all sports are cheating, according to guesstimates from the World Anti-Doping Agency. ‘Child doping’ and the low rate of catching cheats matters of concern; by 2020, doping will be a criminal offence, he believes

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As Kazan opens the world aquatics championships in Russia, a nation under investigation over allegations of systematic doping, WADA boss David Howman says that more than 10% of elite athletes across all sports are cheating, according to guesstimates from the World Anti-Doping Agency. ‘Child doping’ and the low rate of catching cheats matters of concern; by 2020, doping will be a criminal offence, he believes



WADA are really on the back foot if they have to manage on $30 million for each year. It would be no harm if a fraction of the prize money, or athletes earnings went to administer the sports world wide. If you take Wayne Rooney’s £30 million for example, and deducted 0.1 per cent, (1 in 1000), that would be £30,000, or even 0.01 (1 in 10,000) would be £3000. Across the board, all athletes, all sports, that would be a tidy sum to help police the sports. I don’t know if such a thing is possible but WADA will never come out on top if they are not given the resources to do so.


Is that photo Michelle Smith or Le Jingyi?
I remember a similar 1994 Rome photo of Jingyi but from the front.


Wow, Aswimfan !! 20 years later and still so much excitements 🙂
Back to the topic. How will ADAs’ people making living if in one magic day there will be no more doping to chase? Knowing little about inner working of anti-doping agencies and in no way questioning ADAs’ staff integrity I have to admit that what we hear about their work looks very inefficient. Whenever I see excuses like overwhelming load and insufficient funding when we are talking about non-profit organization I am getting very suspicious. The public controlling institutions like ADAs are potential places for embezzlements and are targets for bribery. If we want this business to be successful there should be whatever represents any business – motivation and competition. Let’s give this 30ml to private investigating companies and bounty hunters. I am more than sure they will do cleaning job much better.
I am glad that doping among youngsters will be considered a criminal offense. State’s resources are enough to tackle such problem. Also mentally young swimmer will be trained to see doping as criminal act and not a “catch if you can” game.
I don’t agree with Ger that we have ask athletes to donate money for doping control. We have to block cheaters from any sufficient income from swimming. Sponsors under any conditions shouldn’t pay any money to anybody who even at small degree was involved in doping even once. Dopers can compete later after ban expiration if they still want to be a sportsman but no money from sport to the rest of their sport life.


Look no further than the GDR, Doped to the eyeballs and still allowed to keep the medals, what example are they setting??


1 in 10? Guys… Take a look at average olympic weightlifter who competes at high level in any category bellow 105 kg. Anyone who ever tried to gain some muscle mass in gym knows that such physique and strength is impossible without steroids. And I’m not talking about lazy losers who would blame anyone who is better than them. It’s just not possible for a person who weighs 100 kilos to snatch a 200 kg barbell being clean.

Recently I watched an interview of David Rigert (Olympic champion in weightlifting back in 1976, one of the coaches of Russian national team) and he was asked about the use of steroids in his time. Without any shame he answered that everyone in the team including him used at least Metandrostenolone, but the doses were not as large as lifters use nowadays, and variety of drugs were poorer.

Not much people in sport talk about doping like that, but be sure – everyone does drugs. I bet my balls that EVERY single weightlifting finalist at the Games is doped as hell. Getting your body “clean” so that you don’t fail the test is like a separate kind of sport, which any athlete should be good at.

Of course swimming is more technique and less strength, but…

Anyway, you can’t make sport clean again. It’s gone way too far. You can ban fullbody suits, but that won’t work with drugs. Imagine how the level of results would fall down if everyone was 100% clean! Current world records would be miles away. Especially in strength and speed oriented sports. And how bodybuilding contest Mr. Olympia would look like if they were all clean? Bunch of skinny fitness boys.

You may hate my opinion, but you’d better face the truth instead of dreaming about how it should be in a perfect world (it won’t).


Eugene, could you answer honestly couple of my questions and please believe there is no offence or sarcasm.
1. If you still following the Sport and are enjoying it do you care if you have been deceived? Or it is doesn’t matter and we are as spectators are getting excited of completion, win and lost, and who cares how it was achieved.
2. Do you believe that something can be done to keep doping under control? Or doping and professional sport go together and cannot be separated.
3. Do you think that professional sport as business is too young and still has to develop some rules, ethics and punishments as it done for example in Exchanges?

What gives me a hope is an observation that at hottest moments of rage in American football, or Ice Hockey or Basketball I have never seen referees hurt when they were trying to establish the order. I explain it to myself that there is a taboo breaking of which has a severe consequences. That’s why I hope that doping can be treated same way. I think the situation with cycling tours supports such hope.

Craig Lord

Eugene, I don’t hate your opinion, nor do I swallow it. You are wrong. I can’t account for weightlifters and the like and yes, we all know there are some sports where doping is rife and full on. Transferring that picture to swimming is deeply wrong and insulting to the many who race clean. There is a reader on the site who leaves comments to that effect; he is the father of a world-class and continental podium-placing medley swimmer … a swimmer who DOES NOT cheat, DOES NOT take doping is part of a team and culture that DOES NOT cheat and DOES not include doping a tool. It is possible; it does happen; swimming has a lot of world-class swimmers who don’t use doping. Your general ‘they’re all at it’ calls that father, that swimmer not just a cheat but a liar. They may well hate your opinion; I would in their circumstance. You are tainting all with the brush of the cheat and that is not only wrong but excuses the significant number of folk who do indeed cheat; excuses the culture of ‘we have to do it because they’re all doing it’ …. said it before – no, they are not all doing it, not by a long way in swimming. Your view normalises doping: wrong on all counts.

Mauro Pavoni

Craig, I would like to thank you for all you said and endorse each and every word in your comment. I absolutely love the honesty and lack of cheating of culture in this country. In sport and in life. I learned so much from it and tried to transfer it to you know who. I did not need to convey the message to him. It is implicit. Lance said he was doping because everyone else was. He won 7 Tours, but he is a loser and we all know why. I know countless swimmers from club to top world levels, including WR holders and each one of them I can stick my head out that they are 100% clean. Swimmers of other countries I cannot comment about as I do not know personally or enough to know one way or another. Eugene, swimming is not like some of the sports you called into question. Yes, there are dopers and more than we would like to, but you cannot generalise. I look forward to Kazan, to cheer all those swimmers who are clean. I will not cheer those convicted of doping. Thanks Craig.

Robert Killeen

Mauro-“the honesty and lack of cheating of culture in this country.” What country? The USA, the UK or both?
Lance is a loser, but Froome pedaled away from the worlds best climber like he was standing still?
Cheating is rampant everywhere and in all sport, especially swimming and no country is immune due to money, prestige and especially ego.
From age group swimmers where parents have their perfectly healthy children puffing on asthma inhalers to masters swimmers doping, (“USA Masters swimming-the only masters sports that does not drug test) what makes you believe elite swimmers inthese two countries are not cheating? Because they aren’t getting caught-like Lance?
Until genetic testing comes into existence, cheating in swimming at all levels shall continue in all countries. So we are left with:
Gatlin running life time bests at 33;
Grant Hackett making a comeback and swimming at a world class level at 35 in distance;
Usain Bolt obliterating WRs when the 5 fastest men in the world before him all tested positive and his country does not test;
American men in their 40s and 50s swimming as fast as they ever did at the OTs or faster;
It is unfortunate, but if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

Craig Lord

Robert – none of which proves that “everyone is taking drugs” – they aren’t and to suggest they are is wrong and just as silly as saying everyone’s clean. What makes Mauro say what he says he can answer for himself but my guess is because he is the dad of a world-class swimmer and KNOWS his boy doesn’t cheat; he also knows at least half the Britain team fairly well, I would estimate, knows their parents, coaches and so on and so forth. Forgive me but I would imagine he is an awful lot closer to knowing what the culture of British swimming is than you are.
p.s. Big difference between Gatlin and the others you mentioned: he tested positive twice … and yet he’s still there. The system is failing to protect clean athletes … and yes, they do exist.

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