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Doping Needs "More Effective" Testing Methods - IOC Chief

posted 13 Nov 2013, 05:07 by Mpelembe   [ updated 13 Nov 2013, 05:08 ]

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says there is need for new and innovative thinking around testing, as he compares drug cheating to terrorism.

JOHANNESBURGSOUTH AFRICA (NOVEMBER 13, 2013) (REUTERS) -  The need for new and innovative thinking around testing should become a priority to strengthen the fight against doping in sport, the new International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bachsaid on Wednesday (November 13) as he compared drug cheating to terrorism.

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"We should be focusing more on anti-doping research. Also in this area we should be open to new ways of thinking. Is it not time to find out for example whether blood and urine tests are really the B

bests ultimate solution? Might there be other testing methods which are even more reliable, more sustainable, more effective and maybe even less intrusive?" he said on the opening day of the World Conference on Doping in Sport to some 1000 delegates beginning final deliberations before agreeing a new Code on Friday.

Bach also said concerns over costs should not retard more investment in anti-doping measures.

"We should not then argue that one positive test costs several hundred thousand dollars that would be like saying a terrorist attack at an airport costs us so many millions of dollars. Because the fight against doping is like security measures, it is also about deterrents and prevention."

The newly-elected IOC chief said his organisation would be spending more than $1-million on vigourous pre-competition testing before next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi and "many millions of dollars more" at the Games.

"After 30th of January when the Olympic village is open, testing will cover the full in competition menu of prohibited substances and methods with a record number of samples and pre-competition tests. We shall be smarter and tougher in our fight against doping than at any previous Winter Olympic Games," Bach added.

"The IOC alone will be spending more than 1 million U.S. dollars on pre-competition testing outside Sochi, transport, storage and retesting. In addition to that, for the games itself many millions of dollars will be spent on building and running laboratories, analyses and services but to be very clear dear friends and colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, to be very clear these millions of dollars are not expenses they are an investment into the future of our sport."

During an interview with Reuters Bach hailed the news anti-doping code as a major step forward.

"There is no doubt this code presents a major step forward in the fight against doping in particular with regards to more effective, to more targeted testing on the one had, and on the other hand the increase in sanctions from four to two years, sorry from two to four years, of course for serious doping offences, something that the IOC has been requesting for a long time."

He also added that governments needed to take more responsibility to combat doping and dealers.

"I think that the entourage and the deals, the governments have a greater responsibility. In the fight against doping, sports has the better opportunity and the better means to catch the athletes and to sanction the athletes. But with regards to the dealers for instance, there it's the governments who have the better means . They can investigate and then they can really sanction," he said and added, "I'm trying to contribute to this fight for the future of sport. I think it is essential that we fight against the doping, any kind of manipulation and related corruption by all means."