Tough new anti-doping rules come into force on January 1, 2015 which will see athletes who use performance enhancing drugs face longer bans from all sport.
Changes have been made to New Zealand’s Sports Anti-Doping Rules to reflect the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.
The chief executive of Drug Free Sport New Zealand, Graeme Steel, welcomes the changes which will help to better protect clean athletes.
“These new rules are powerful and far-reaching and will ensure that those who set out to cheat are removed from participating in sport for longer periods.
“New Zealand has proud tradition of clean sport and Drug Free Sport NZ works hard to ensure that tradition is maintained and continued. We believe these new rules are a significant step forward in the fight against doping in sport,” Mr Steel says.
Key changes introduced as a result of the new World Anti-Doping Code include:
• longer bans of up to four years for a first offence for those who dope intentionally
• penalties for athletes who associate with anyone who has previously committed a doping offence
• sanctions for those who help to cover-up doping
• an extension of the anti-doping rules to cover athlete support personnel.
“The introduction of longer bans sends a clear message to athletes that intentional doping will not be tolerated. Bans of this length could effectively end an athlete’s sporting career so they take a huge risk if they choose to dope,” Mr Steel says.
He adds that those who support athletes will also need to be aware of the rule changes because they are now bound more clearly by the anti-doping rules and can face penalties if they break the rules.
“It’s vital that everyone involved in sport is committed to being drug free and this includes those supporting athletes like coaches, trainers, physiotherapists etc. There’s no level playing field if we don’t have everyone on board and following the rules,” Mr Steel says.
Other changes that have been introduced include a greater focus on investigations and intelligence to identify doping and target testing.
“In the future, the fight against doping will increasingly be about intelligence gathering, investigation and targeted testing. This intelligence-led approach will make it easier to catch the real cheats and protect all those competing cleanly and fairly,” Mr Steel says.
New Zealand athletes who are in Drug Free Sport New Zealand’s regular testing pool have been informed about the new rule changes.
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