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Wednesday 10, Aug 2016

  Doping Athletes Should Be Banned For Life, Says Michael Johnson

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Doping athletes should be banned for life, says michael johnson

Retired American sprinter Michael Johnson has remarked doping athletes should receive a minimum ban of four years, including the loss of an Olympics, for a first doping violation and a lifetime ban for a second violation.

Johnson commented that he would like to see a lifetime ban on doping athletes if they are caught a second time. The former sprinter said it does not matter how minor the first anti-doping violation was and also said there are going to be accidents, but you have to have tough rules in these situations. The American sprinter also said he supports the concept of stripping away medals from athletes who have been found, through tests years later, to have made use of banned substances.

Johnson said it is the best we can do but the shame of that is when some athlete who was clean, who was fourth place, never got a medal and never got a chance to get on the podium and even missed out on prize money. The sprinter added he feels bad for “clean athletes” who lose to cheats and therefore missed out on the chance to be able to have their whole country seeing them on the podium and added that is a moment you never get back. Considered one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field, Michael Johnson added this is the reason why it is so important to not only focus on retroactive punishment, but deterring people from the very beginning and this is not because of the people who cheat, but because of the people who are clean and they have to be protected. Johnson said he believes no sport, Olympic or otherwise, will be clean as people will always try to cheat and this is the reason why sports is a microcosm of society.

If these standards were in place at the Rio Olympics, Justin Gatlin would not be running against Usain Bolt and there would be no Yulia Efimova of Russia. Johnson however supported Gatlin by saying the portrayal of Gatlin as a villain has been unfair, keeping in mind the rules that govern athletics.

Michael Johnson is the only man to successfully defend his Olympic title in the 400 m and the only male athlete in history to win both the 200 meter dash and 400 meter dash events at the same Olympics, a feat he achieved at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

The American Olympic sprinter, who currently holds the world and Olympic records in the 400 m, said he did not took any kind of medication during his days. Johnson said he was extra-cautious not to put something in his body that would have resulted in a doping violation. The track legend also commented he does buy that people didn’t know what they were putting into their body, but it is their body and they are responsible. The winner of four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals also said this is the first thing you learn in international sport and so he buys it, but it is not an excuse.

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Wednesday 11, Feb 2015

  More Governments Need To Make Doping Illegal, Says WADA Chief

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Sir Craig Reedie, the president of the World Anti Doping Agency, has called on world governments to criminalize doping. Reedie said acting in this way would play an important role to prevent current problems that are escalating and spilling over into everyday society.

In a WADA statement, Reedie requested for an escalation of preventative measures and said sport is now a hugely lucrative industry, and there is a real area of concern with drugs being counterfeited, illegally produced, trafficked, and distributed – and ultimately these drugs get in the hands of elite athletes and, increasingly, members of the public. He further added police will act and the scourge of doping can be prevented if governments can introduce relevant laws, and applicable penalties to combat this abuse of substances.

Reedie and WADA Director General David Howman were part of the Second International Conference on the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Fight against Doping last week that was co-hosted by the World Anti Doping Agency, as well as by others including UNESCO, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports, Science & Technology, and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA).

The WADA head also remarked there should be exchange of information between various organizations to ensure details gathered in one country can be of use to another. He remarked evidence is rife that athletes will go to unthinkable lengths to find shortcuts to success, and it’s now up to proponents of clean sport – be they anti-doping organizations, governments, public health organizations or even law enforcement agencies – to share information that stops prohibited substances from getting in the wrong hands.

Reedie also remarked doping substances are no longer just of use to elite athletes, but to high school students who want to increase their strength or the older generations who long for the ‘fountain of youth.’ He also said these types of substances are not approved and they have not gone through the required health checks and to put simply, we do not always know from where these dubious substances originate. The WADA chief added the internet means that these substances are increasingly easy to access, and that in itself is a concern and also remarked however the danger that these substances pose to public health has, in the partnerships the anti-doping community and pharmaceutical industry are now forming, a real answer in place.

Reedie also outlined the importance of the current cooperation between WADA and other anti-doping bodies along with big drug companies. In the past, these kinds of associations have benefited the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, and others to detect new products like the blood booster CERA. During the 2008 Tour de France, the UCI was able to identify Riccardo Ricco, Stefan Schumacher, and others for CERA use. The WADA chief said this kind of collaboration is essential and gave references about the former partnerships already in place with companies such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and Amgen, as well as federations like the IFPMA [International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations].

Some countries such as France, Spain, and Italy have already criminalized the abuse of doping products. The World Anti Doping Agency is not seeking to criminalize doping athletes themselves, but rather those who facilitate their drug use.

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