the German parliament's Sports Commission. "Those citing the figure try to give false evidence."
A sad fact is that top level sport is contaminated, and doping is not a fringe phenomena in China, Russia, USA or Greece. The national committees are the authorities responsible for the controls which means that the measures taken, when and how lies in their hands. Absurd to all intents and purposes. Interest in catching doped superhuman athletes stands in stark contrast to the greed for medals and therefore leads to the controls not being taken seriously and to the covering up of athletes that have tested positive. The permanent refusal to allow independent bodies to "x-ray" sport for fear that too much may be uncovered is therefore understandable. That a Swiss blood-doping specialist who was due to work in the Beijing laboratory was denied an entry visa is something that should never happen again. All rather fishy, it literally smells of intrigue and cheating.
And as nobody can be trusted - a case in point are a few doctors at the renowned University of Freiburg that were involved in systematic doping over many years - each and every athlete competing at major international events like the Olympic Games and World and European Championships, have to be centrally and consistently tested by an independent and neutral organisation. One has to separate the control system from the sports federations. Standardised controls have to apply the world over for top athletes. The whole set of rules, with clear regulations, have to be approved by every National Olympic Committee (NOC), sports federation and internationally competing athlete. Those not participating have to be rigorously excluded from competitions in the interest of honest sportsmen and women.
Its a herculean task for the IOC, the Wada and all sports nations. There is no other alternative. Explaining top level sport to society with the shallow words, "Scepticism yes, suspicion no" (Thomas Bach, a IOC Vice President) is unbearable in the long run. Clean sportsmen and women want the mistrust in their performances to stop and true sports fans will again be able to get simply excited about great performances without having doubts in their minds. The evil has to be finally combated at its root causes with all the means available for doping in sports and has to be criminally prosecuted like every other form of cheating. Especially when it acts as a deterrent to others. One should also introduce lifelong bans as sports cheats do not deserve a second chance.
Sport will not be able solve its doping problems without the state getting involved. This is something that Jacques Rogge has also recognised. According to the IOC boss, there are systems like Balco in USA or the Puerto model in Spain that have an organised fraudulent set-up. It is therefore important to cooperate with governments to track down the gangs. And rightly so as states have the duty to prosecute criminal offences like drug misuse, bodily harm, tax evasion, money laundering, smuggling and fraud. All these criminal offences are also common in the doping scene and the state has first and foremost far greater options open to it than sport to tackle the cheats and doping mafia.
Just how big the criminal doping practices are in our global world and just how urgent the need is for them to be dealt with has been made obvious by the fact that Interpol and its infrastructure in 187 member countries is now involved in the fight against doping. However the Secretary General Ronald Noble immediately raised the point that, "The resources to that can be used to recognise and break up doping networks will remain unused without the political will to deal with the situation."
Top level sport will obviously never be completely clean. There will always be diehards that will stop at nothing in their use of doping substances. It is all about reducing doping to a minimum to protect honest athletes who have lost their faith in fair competitions and to prevent young athletes from putting their health, if not their life, on the line in their striving for records.
Dr. rer. nat. Eberhard Pino Mueller **
** The author has studied pharmacy, pharmacology and has a Master (doctor's) degree in chemistry. He is among other things specialized on doping themes
published: September 2009 - http://fantaneanu.ro/doping-cheats-have-it-easy
dublicates to: J. Rogge IOC, T. Bach DOSB, WADA, NADA, Sports Commitee of Parliament, VDS, AIPS
Why is the fight against doping not really moving forward? What is going wrong?
Thoughts and ideas of leading representatives from sport, medicine and politics on the anti-doping fight.