WADA increases doping ban

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  • Published: Nov 18, 2013
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: Raman / Proteomics / X-ray Spectrometry / NMR Knowledge Base / Base Peak / MRI Spectroscopy / UV/Vis Spectroscopy / Chemometrics & Informatics / Infrared Spectroscopy / Atomic

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I have always thought that a two-year ban for drug cheats in sport is pretty feeble. Why should athletes who take drugs to secretly enhance their performance in order to win titles get off so lightly? Now, it seems that WADA agrees to some extent. At the World Conference on Doping in Sport held November 12-15 in Johannesburg, they announced a revised code which includes maximum bans of four years.

Two years of discussion and revision led to the new code. Current WADA president John Fahey said "We have now put in place an excellent set of rules, and these will require excellent practice from all stakeholders to ensure we catch the cheats and make the sports world a fairer world for the vast majority, the clean athletes."

The drug testing process relies heavily on mass spectrometry to screen urine and blood samples for low levels of illegal substances. The tests are carried out in accredited labs around the world and these too have been under scrutiny recently. Earlier this year, the Rio has lost its accreditation ahead of the 2014 World Cup due to poor performance, specifically "non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories and the related Technical Documents." Samples will be flown to Europe during the tournament for analysis.

The Moscow lab is also in trouble ahead of the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi in 2014. In this case, WADA has enforced a suspension of accreditation for six months due to suspicions about the reliability and accuracy of their test results. They will miss out on Sochi testing unless they bring in independent experts to help sort them out and implement a comprehensive quality management program.

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