Speaking ahead of the World Conference on Doping in Sport that will open in Madrid next week, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques ROGGE said that the fight against doping remained at the top of the agenda of the Olympic Movement.
"I would like to reiterate the IOC's total commitment to the fight against doping,"
he said to reporters during a teleconference.
"The IOC has been a pioneer in establishing, back in 1967, the IOC Medical Commission and in rallying International Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and governments to the cause. We created WADA in 1999, after the Festina case during the Tour de France clearly indicated that more needed to be done. Since then, the IOC has been wholeheartedly supporting WADA and will continue to do so in the future".
In order to maintain sailing's reputation, ISAF has a stringent anti-doping programme which conforms to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Anti-Doping Code. This is incorporated into Fundamental Rule 5 of the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008. To enforce this requirement ISAF conducts frequent In Competition Testing (ICT) and Out-Of-Competition Testing (OOCT) on sailors at top level sailing events around the world. These tests are conducted by the National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO), Anti-Doping Norway, in order to ensure top quality service. ISAF Secretary General Arve SUNDHEIM will be attending the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Madrid.
Click here to read more on ISAF's Anti-Doping measures
President ROGGE went on to explain the measurers the IOC have put in place to combat doping, "The IOC itself has adopted a zero-tolerance policy. We have increased the number of In- and Out-Of-Competition tests; we do not hesitate to call upon the cooperation of governments, as demonstrated during the Olympic Winter Games in Turin; and we now impose financial penalties on NOCs and athletes. We have just approved a series of new measures that will be implemented after Beijing, such as refusing to issue accreditations to those athletes and their entourage who are sanctioned for more than six months; plea bargains, which means that we will offer penalty reductions to athletes who give us an insight into networking and drug dealing; automatic suspension after a positive A sample result; and the very strict control of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs).
"The upcoming conference in Madrid represents an important milestone. We will adopt a new Anti-Doping Code. We have been gathering feedback from all the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement, and will come up with concrete proposals for the Code during the Conference. We will plead for the acceleration of the implementation of the Code by the Olympic Movement. Although all stakeholders accepted the WADA Anti-Doping Code for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, efforts are still needed here and there to allow the full implementation of the Code by 1 January 2009. At the same time, we will ask the governments to accelerate their adhesion to the UNESCO Convention - the instrument by which governments can accept the WADA Code. Some 190 governments have promised to sign, and today only 70 have done so. Finally, we will elect a new Chairman, and, of course, the IOC and the Olympic Movement will support him wholeheartedly."
When asked about the reallocation of the medals of Marion JONES, who admitted doping a few weeks ago, the IOC President said: "We will examine the potential upgrading of every athlete on her own merit. This is not going to be merely an automatic upgrade of all the athletes. The ones we want to upgrade, we want them to be clean".
ISAF Medical and Anti-Doping - www.sailing.org/medical
World Anti-Doping Agency - www.wada-ama.org