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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.