Canadian Cyclist


October 2/02 2:04 am - Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport press releases 2

Posted by Editoress on 10/2/02


Anti-doping agency approves second draft of proposed global anti-doping code

MONTREAL (AP) - The World Anti-Doping Agency approved a second draft of its proposed universal anti-doping code Tuesday but complained that deadbeat nations -including the United States - were creating funding problems.

Dick Pound, the agency's president and a top International Olympic Committee official, said the WADA executive committee adopted the revised code that included changes suggested in 122 comments received from sports federations, governments, anti-doping agencies and others.

He said the biggest changes from the first draft circulated earlier this year were:

- an expanded definition of doping to include genetic doping and oxygen transfer agents;

- clarifying doping control responsibilities among various agencies in existence; and,

- the possible disqualification of all results of an athlete who tests positive, instead of just the event in which the positive test occurred. Pound said some questions remained open to discussion, such as whether a two-year ban would be automatic for first-time offenders. Consideration of the athlete's circumstances - age, professional status, nature of the offense - could factor in determining the length of a ban, he said.

Another question was whether the mere presence of a banned substance in an athlete's system constituted a violation, Pound said.

WADA hoped to have a final version ready for consideration and approval at a world anti-doping conference in March in Copenhagen, Pound said. On Monday, he said the goal is to get all Olympic sports federations and participating countries to sign memorandums of understanding on adopting the code before the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Meanwhile, WADA director general Harry Syvasalmi complained that the agency set up by the IOC after the doping scandal at the 1998 Tour de France cycling event had received less than half the US$8.5 million in funding for 2002 promised by countries around the world.

The funding formula calls for the IOC to match contributions by nations, and Syvasalmi appealed to governments to pay what they said they would. So far, the IOC had contributed just over US$5 million compared to the US$4.275 million given by countries, according to a list on the WADA Web site -

The list showed the United States has failed to pay any of the US$800,000 pledged, with Germany, Italy and Russia failing to pay any of the US$504,978 they each owe.

Britain and France both had paid all of their US$504,978 obligation, and Japan paid its US$1.5 million commitment, the largest of any country, according to the list.

"The situation regarding our funding needs to be urgently addressed," Syvasalmi said. "Governments themselves agreed to the shares they will pay and they must adhere to the commitments they made. It is clear that they are expected to fulfill their obligations."

The anti-doping code would be the first set of universal doping rules for international sports. Among other things, it would establish a single list of banned substances, mandate rigorous out-of-competition testing, and set standard penalties and suspensions for drug cheats, including two-year bans for serious offenses.

It would cover Olympic sports, but professional leagues such as Major League Baseball would not necessarily come under the code except if its athletes compete in the Olympics or other international events.

For years, the IOC has held out the veiled threat that sports could be dropped from the Olympics if they fail to live up to anti-doping rules. No action has been taken.

IOC president Jacques Rogge recently said he would not hesitate to act against sports or national Olympic committees if, after having their views incorporated in
the code, they fail to go along.

Drugs Watchdog Prepares Global Set of Rules

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency approved the draft of a global doping code on Tuesday under which professional athletes would face the same suspensions as Olympic athletes.

But the head of the watchdog set up by Olympic authorities after the doping scandal at the 1998 Tour de France said a lot of details needed to be ironed out to get the code approved by all governments and sports bodies.

The Montreal-based agency hopes to get the code approved in time for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, so all athletes would face the same two-year suspension if found guilty of doping offences.

Getting professional sports like tennis and soccer on board is proving more difficult because some of the organizations fear suspensions could lead to lawsuits from athletes deprived of multimillion-dollar salaries.

"None of them want to be left out of the fight against doping, but there is some institutional testosterone that has to be dealt with,'' agency president Dick Pound said.

"The devil is in the details.''

Among these details are agreeing on possible special circumstances that would limit the length of the suspension.

The agency is also trying to dispel the confusion around which body -- governments, national federations or international bodies -- is responsible for testing between competitions.

Another issue is the possible disqualification of all the results of an athlete from an event, not just from the competition in which the positive test occurred.


The question gained in importance after the last Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City earlier this year.

Spanish cross-country skier Johan Muehlegg tested positive but was stripped of only one of his three gold medals because he won the first two before the test.

The anti-doping agency also published a new list of banned substances that included a reference to genetic doping for the first time.

'Designer knees' for downhill skiers or 'super arms' for tennis players have moved from science-fiction novels to the agency agenda as it fears genetic engineering could become the biggest threat to the future of sports.

However, the anti-doping authorities are already playing catch-up and genetic doping could prove hard to rein in.


The executive committee of the agency is delighted with the positive response it received to the first draft of the code and expects to send a second draft for comments from governments and sports federations before October 10.

The final draft is expected to be put to the agency executive committee for approval at a world conference on doping set for March 3-5 in Copenhagen and in place for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Governments will have until the 2006 Winter Games in Turin to make their laws applicable to the code or face possible sanctions, including being barred from hosting the Games.

Any international federation that refused to comply would not be accepted at the Games and in the case of soccer or other professional sports, non-compliance could result in a blanket ban from future Olympic competitions.

Le comité de l'AMA approuve un nouveau projet du Code mondial antidopage

MONTREAL, 1er oct (AFP) - L'Agence mondiale antidopage (AMA) a approuvé mardi une deuxième version du projet de Code mondial antidopage, destiné à harmoniser, entre les différents pays et disciplines, les normes, procédures et sanctions, auxquelles elle compte soumettre tous les athlètes dès les jeux Olympiques d'Athènes en 2004.

Cette deuxième ébauche, adoptée par le conseil exécutif de l'AMA, "intègre les commentaires de plus de 120 parties prenantes", dont les gouvernements, les comités olympiques, les fédérations sportives et des athlètes, précise l'agence dans un communiqué.

Parmi les changements apportés dans cette deuxième version, l'AMA recense notamment "une description élargie du dopage, une clarification des responsabilitées dans le cadre des contrôles anti-dopage, ainsi que l'annulation possible de tous les résultats obtenus par un athlète dans une manifestation entière, et non pas seulement dans la compétition où il a été testé positif".

Cependant, la durée des sanctions reste l'une des plus grosses questions à régler d'ici la conférence mondiale antidopage, qui se tiendra du 3 au 5 mars à Copenhague, où le code doit être adopté par les représentants des autorités publiques, des instances dirigeantes sportives ainsi que des athlètes.

Des fédérations sportives internationales, dont les plus puissantes comme la FIFA (football) ou l'UCI (cyclisme) ou encore celle de tennis, ont émis des réserves sur l'idée de suspendre pendant deux ans un sportif à la première infraction.

Ces fédérations, "qui comptent beaucoup de professionnels et où des millions de dollars sont en jeu", craignent, selon le président de l'AMA Dick Pound, que des athlètes suspendus ne fassent appel devant des tribunaux civils pour tenter d'obtenir des peines moins lourdes et n'engagent ensuite des poursuites en dommages-intérêts contre elles.

Face à ces critiques, le comité de l'AMA a donc décidé "de laisser aux fédérations internationales qui le désirent le soin d'identifier des circonstances exceptionnelles", a précisé M. Pound lors d'une conférence de presse.

Mais selon lui, "les circonstances exceptionnelles seront le dossier le plus dur à régler". "Pour moi, la question de l'argent n'est pas une question pertinente", a affirmé l'avocat montréalais, soulignant que la grande majorité des instances concernées était en faveur d'une suspension de deux ans.

Le président de l'Agence croit cependant que "d'ici 2003, il n'y aura plus que des questions de principe sur lesquelles la conférence de Copenhague cherchera à arriver à un consensus".

S'il est alors adopté, le Code devra être ratifié par le Comité exécutif de l'AMA afin d'entrer en vigueur selon le calendrier prévu en 2004, avant les jeux d'Athènes.

Par ailleurs, le comité de l'AMA a pris connaissance d'une étude sur les méthodes de détection de l'EPO (érythropoïétine) concluant que "les tests urinaires étaient la meilleure méthode pour détecter la présence de l'EPO dans le corps".

Lors de sa réunion, le comité a tiré la sonnette d'alarme sur le financement de l'Agence, créée il y a trois ans par le Comité international olympique.

"Elle n'a reçu à l'heure actuelle que la moitié de son budget prévisionnel, les gouvernements ne s'étant acquittés que d'environ la moitié de la somme qu'ils ont promis de verser", indique l'AMA, dont les fonds proviennent à parts égales des Etats du monde entier et du mouvement olympique.

Harri Syvasaimi, directeur général de l'AMA, a appelé les gouvernements à "tenir leurs engagements".


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