The World Anti-Doping Agency’s top officials spent the weekend honing a new global code which includes doubling suspensions for some drug cheats.
WADA’s executive committee and foundation board met in Montreal to review the third draft of the proposed 2015 World Anti-Doping code, which will come up for approval at the November 12-15 World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg.
WADA revealed last November it planned to increase bans for serious violations from two years to four years and its president, John Fahey, said the final revision over the weekend was intended to make the code shorter and sharper.
Fahey said WADA had received almost 4,000 individual comments about the code since starting the review in November 2011.
“WADA values the input of these stakeholders and is pleased with the level of their engagement throughout the review process,” Fahey said in a WADA statement.
“The Agency continually seeks to enhance the framework that supports the anti-doping system, and revisions depend on these contributions.”
As well as the longer sanctions for athletes caught using prohibited performance-enhancing substances, the proposed new code also defines punishments in cases involving coaches and other athlete support staff among other amendments with an emphasis on testing and investigations.
“Quality WADA-approved testing programs are needed to ensure that testing is effective and that sophisticated cheaters are found,” Fahey said.
“This will ultimately advance the fight against doping in sport.
In other matters from the weekend meeting, WADA decided to immediately implement a modification to increase the threshold level for marijuana to ensure that athletes using the substance in competition will be detected.
The Athlete Committee was also urging Kenya’s government to put in place an independent inquiry to investigate the doping allegations involving some Kenyan athletes.