News / Africa

    Anti-Doping Conference Begins in Johannesburg

    FILE - John Fahey, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, delivers a speech in Paris.
    FILE - John Fahey, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, delivers a speech in Paris.
    Anti-doping agencies from around the world are meeting in the South African city of Johannesburg for a four-day conference to revise sport doping guidelines. The new, stricter guidelines come amid a worldwide wave of doping scandals in nearly every sport, from athletics to wrestling.

    Representatives from sporting bodies, athletes and experts are meeting in Johannesburg to review the World Anti-Doping Code, which was last amended in 2009. The World Anti-Doping Code is the core document that provides the framework for anti-doping policies, rules and regulations for the entire sporting fraternity.

    In the past 18 months the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, engaged stakeholders in sports in an intensive review process of the 2009 code and associated international standards. 

    Fine-tuning the code

    In September this year, the WADA executive committee approved the revisions. It is this revised draft code that is being presented at the conference. The delegates will make their final inputs on the revised draft code before it is presented to the WADA Foundation Board for final approval.

    John Fahey, chairman and president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said he is hopeful the conclusion of the conference will be a milestone in the fight against doping.

    "We now have more intelligent and comprehensive testing programs in place that I believe will be further enhanced upon the ratification of the revised code," he said. "We have a code compliance reporting process and numerous educating tools available to help stakeholders, and inform and guide the youth of the world."

    The revised draft code has more than 2,000 amendments, but delegates have mixed feelings on whether the new code will have more impact than the current one.

    Sanctions

    The draft proposes a four-year ban for those who intentionally use prohibited substances to enhance their performance. Coaches and trainers who assist their athlete with doping will also be held accountable.

    The draft stipulates that the testing of athletes and the disciplinary procedures for those suspected of doping should be done within acceptable human rights principles. Investigations and intelligence gathering should be used in conjunction with testing.

    Other changes include making the code shorter and clearer, balancing the interests of international federations and national anti-doping organizations and authorizing laboratories to analyze samples for substances beyond those requested by the testing authority.

    However, Hezekiel Sepeng, Grassroots and Development Athletes Coordinator at Athletics South Africa, argues that for many poor athletes in Africa, whose diet is more controlled by their circumstances, merely changing the rules may not help much. He suggests vigorous and targeted awareness campaigns for such athletes, especially on the doping dangers posed by some of the food they traditionally grew up eating.

    "Education, education, education, we need to educate our athletes, with all the things that are changing, You know these things should not only change up there, especially in Europe or in symposiums, and should filter down to rural areas," he said.

    Sepeng, 39, was South Africa's first black Olympic medalist, winning the silver in a surprise surge in the 800 meter race in Atlanta in 1996. But he was banned from athletics in 2005 after testing positive for a banned substance. He said the lab made an error.

    The four day conference will conclude Friday, with a revised version of the World Anti-Doping Code being adopted and endorsed by WADA’s Foundation Board. The new code will come into effect in January 2015.

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.