Mar 31 2012
The UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) and the IOC vowed to catch all doping athletes in the 2012 London Olympics. Thousands of athletes from different nations will be tested using state of the art laboratory plus the use of new testing methods to detect human growth hormone. The increased number of blood testing and implementation of other anti-doping measures in the Summer Games will surely put some athletes at a high risk of being caught if they are using banned substances.
Weak Laws on Buying and Using Steroids
However, there is one problem for the host country. A recent report from a UK media revealed that the country has a loophole in its current laws when it comes to the use and importation of anabolic steroids. Experts say that this will affect the efficiency of the Olympic organizers to totally eradicate the use of performance enhancing drugs in the Olympic Games.
The law prohibits the importation of anabolic steroids if it is for sale and distribution. But if an individual bought it for personal consumption, it is not illegal. With this, some professional athletes may still be allowed to import or buy anabolic steroids as long as it is for their personal consumption. Olympic athletes may also bring in to the country this PED without being apprehended by the authorities.
Anti-Doping Agency’s Solution
Since the UK government has no plans of amending the existing law, anti-doping officials will instead intensify the implementation of the anti-doping laws. Target testing could be initiated if an Olympic athlete is suspected of using any banned substance.
A strict collaboration with the Border control agency will also help them catch doping athletes. “UK Anti-Doping has a two-way exchange of information with the border agency to ensure that information about athletes and support personnel can be used to identify trends and patterns and build up anti-doping rule violations,” according to a UKAD Intelligence officer.
The Sports Minister also said that they will be pushing for a 4-year ban on doping athletes. Under the WADA code, athletes who were caught using steroids, EPO, HGH or any other prohibited substance will only receive 2-year ban from the sport.
CAS on Lifetime Ban
The British Olympic Association and the WADA are both waiting for the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sports regarding the issue of lifetime ban on doping athletes. The WADA contested the existing policy of the BOA which prohibits sanctioned athletes from competing. Two elite athletes from the country are expected to be benefited from a favorable decision from CAS. They are sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar. A sports analyst estimated that there are at least 800 athletes around the world who will be competing in the London Olympics but had been suspended or sanctioned before for taking steroids or other banned substances. But for the BOA, they wanted a lifetime ban.
In an interview, David Millar said that every athlete should be given a second chance. “People do make mistakes and I think they should be punished but they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings,” said Millar. “Why should sports men and women get punished harsher than people in the normal world?”
But even if the lifetime ban is declared illegal, Millar decided not to represent his country in the London Olympics. He said he doesn’t want to be the black sheep. Instead, he is now focusing on the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The CAS will rule on April.