News / Africa

Anti-Doping Authorities Adopt Stricter Rules

Anti-Doping Authorities Adopt Stricter Rulesi
X
November 15, 2013 4:28 PM
The world anti-doping agency this week released new, stricter guidelines to stop drug-enhanced sports performances -- which recently grabbed headlines with a rash of high-profile scandals. From the conference in Johannesburg, VOA's Anita Powell takes a look at the strict new rules -- and speaks to an Olympic athlete whose life was turned upside down by doping.
Anita Powell
The world anti-doping agency this week released new, stricter guidelines to stop drug-enhanced sports performances -- which recently grabbed headlines with a rash of high-profile scandals. 
 
Hezekiel Sepeng, became a hero in South Africa after making a surprise second-place finish in an 800-meter race, at the Atlanta Summer Games. He became South Africa’s first black competitor to win an Olympic medal, in 1996.

“The way I ran, this is not normal," he recalled. "Because at one stage, I was last.  When the bell went, I was last...”
 
But one drug test changed his life. With one positive result in 2005, Sepeng went from hero to outcast.

He claims the lab made an error.  Authorities disagreed and gave him a two-year ban, effectively ending his career.
 
Today, the 39-year-old athlete works with the athletics federation and runs a foundation for underprivileged children. His message to them is clear:
 
“Cheating, it’s not good in sports.  And our kids, especially you know in countries like South Africa, most of the countries in Africa, we still need to teach our kids about doping," he said.
 
Sepeng was just one of many athletes watching intently as the World Anti-Doping Agency further tightened its guidelines at a conference in Johannesburg this month.
 
The new rules double doping bans from two years to four.
 
Doping scandals have rocked many sports in recent years.  Top athletes such as U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong and U.S. baseball player Barry Bonds have been accused of using illegal performance-enhancing substances.
 
WADA president John Fahey said the tougher rules come from the athletes themselves.
 
“The overwhelming majority of athletes around the world who said, there must be tougher penalties," he elaborated. "The standard two-year penalty that we’ve been used to so far is not good enough in the eyes of athletes. The punishment doesn’t particularly suit what they believe is important to stamp out cheating.”
 
Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. anti-Doping Agency, said the new rules are great, but the responsibility for following them falls to national anti-doping agencies.
 
“It’s a Lamborghini without an engine.  If we don’t have the resources and the people to put in place, then it’s going to go nowhere," he noted, "and that’s a failure for clean athletes and the integrity of sport if we allow that to happen.”

The new code will go into effect in 2015, in time for the Rio Olympics.  Anti-doping officials say they hope the new guidelines will help make those the cleanest Olympics ever.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More