Abnormal Test Findings On High In 2013

According to a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the number of abnormal test findings recorded by anti-doping authorities worldwide increased by more than 20 percent last year.

It was revealed that there were 5,962 adverse or atypical test results across all sports in 2013, compared with 4,723 in 2012 while the number of tests carried out rose by only 0.8 percent in the same period. The WADA report revealed that 269,878 samples were analyzed in total across 35 Olympic and 58 non-Olympic sports, compared with 267,645 in 2012 and adverse or atypical findings were returned for 5,962 samples, or in 2.21 percent of cases. It was also disclosed that Olympic sports accounted for 65.4 percent of the tests conducted, but only 57.8 percent of the abnormal results. The report also revealed that football, athletics, and cycling conducted the most tests among Olympic sports but weightlifting and wrestling had the highest rate of adverse findings. It is surprising to note that adverse test results were recorded in sports as diverse as chess, bridge, and boccia.

The increase in abnormal results comes in a year when sports like tennis and football have stepped up their use of biological passport programs, which allows authorities to collect and compare biological data and spot discrepancies over a period of time to suggest possible doping. On the other hand, sports like cycling have tightened their grip on the ‘whereabouts rule’ that requires athletes to offer regular information about their location and possible windows for testing to authorities.

British 800m runner Jenny Meadows still feels drug takers in sport are still able to get away with it. She remarked people are still taking drugs and always will and added the margin of error between coming first and third is so tiny that people will always looks for ways to break that down. Meadows further remarked you look at Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin lining up last week in the 100m and it makes you feel sick because they are still getting sponsorship and prize money and added it is not fair on the rest of us. The British 800m runner also said she does not think the sport is being cleaned up and these figures send out a message of ‘we’ll find you eventually’ but unfortunately there are always sophisticated ways to cheat the system.

Andy Parkinson, chief executive of UK Anti-Doping, says testing is getting more sophisticated in Britain but it remains a major challenge to make sure sport is drug-free. Parkinson added the more sophisticated tests become, the more chance you will have of catching a cheat and said it is a big task to try and stay one step ahead, and also frustrating – but even more frustrating for the clean athletes. Parkinson also remarked elite athletes are under a great deal of pressure and their entourage is under a great deal of pressure and, as in any walk of life, there will always be someone who crosses the line. He also said our approach to serious dopers is that we are very firm and try and get the biggest sanction we can.

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