onsdag 22 april 2009

Spain passes decree to prevent night-time doping controls

Madrid - Spain's government has approved a royal decree allowing the nation's athletes to refuse anti-doping controls in the country between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. The decree also applies to foreign athletes training in Spain or resident in the country, El Pais daily reported Tuesday. The ruling is in contravention of a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code which stipulates that athletes must in principle be available for doping controls 24 hours a day. The Spanish decree, which is expected to come into effect in a few weeks' time, will apply to all controls, whether ordered by a national sports federation or an international body.
Any sportsman or sportswoman would be entitled to refuse to be tested during the night hours without fear of being subject to possible sanctions, according to the decree. The ruling has followed complaints by several leading athletes that the new WADA code is too restrictive. Spain's Rafael Nadal, the world's top-ranked men's tennis player, said earlier this year the rule forcing sportsmen and women to say where they are going to be for an hour each day, 365 days a year "shows a lack of respect for privacy."
The WADA code says athletes identified by their international federations should inform the organization of their daily whereabouts every three months. If a sportsperson cannot be found where they said they would be three times in an 18-month period, he or she is considered to have violated anti-doping regulations and is liable for sanctions. WADA and football's world governing body FIFA earlier this month reached agreement in a dispute over drug testing rules for top footballers.
The agreement will limit the number of players in football and other team sports who will be required to detail their whereabouts every day during the off-season. The controls will now focus on testing players defined as "at risk" - such as those recovering from injury or who previously used a banned substance.

Posted on : 2009-04-21 | Author : DPA
News Category : Sports

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