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

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora