The politics of the fight against doping in sport

It is said that politics is in everything and everything is politics. Here we do not mean the narrow confines of party politics that dots and so often taints the national landscape. We refer instead to the business of decision-making in its broadest sense.In the international sports arena we have always been pained by the evidence of politicking of an order that wreaks the worst type of conduct that one can have and makes petty national politics smelling like the proverbial rose.The issue of doping in sport has been on the sporting agenda of international sporting organisations for several years.

The International Olympic Committee, IOC, seemed to have ignored this perilous activity until after the death of a cyclist in the Olympic Games.The fightIn 1981, some athletes seized the opportunity of being represented at the Olympic Congress to bring to the attention of the IOC and the world the importance of taking a tough stance against drug cheats in sport and more particularly in the Olympic Games. The athletes requested the Congress to consider a life ban on the athletes, coaches and medical personnel found to have been involved in the use of drugs to enhance the performance of the athletes engaged in competition. That was 26-years-ago and today we have still not found the will to put in place the requests of the athletes back then.
Interestingly, the IOC had, in 1967, boasted of being the first international sporting organisation to establish a Medical Commission. At the time it was formed in association with the International Cycling Union, an organisation that had witnessed drugs in its competitions. The IOC Medical Commission has served the Olympic Movement relatively well over the years. The IOC led fight against doping in sport took a quantum leap with the establishment of the World Anti Doping Agency, WADA, 10 November 1999. This organisation emerged from the Lausanne Declaration adopted at the World Conference on Doping in Sport, 4 February 1999. The Declaration intended that the WADA would facilitate greater collaboration in the fight against doping in sport between all international sports federations (IF), National Olympic Committees, NOC, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, and public authorities.
WADA is therefore now legally constituted and is comprised of all of the aforementioned organisations. It also works in collaboration with the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the World Health Organisation.