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Critically evaluate the methods adopted by sports governing bodies to ensure its anti doping commitment is achieved.

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Introduction

Doping has been recognised as one of sports major issues. The IOC issued a press release from Lausanne on 8th July 1999 wherein it stated: "The IOC wishes to reiterate its total commitment to the fight against doping, with the aim of protecting and preserving fair play in sport. Any declarations which go against these principles are both wrong and misplaced." Critically evaluate the methods adopted by sports governing bodies to ensure this commitment is achieved. Sports governing bodies have been trying to eliminate cheating from sport for many years. Eliminating cheats from sport has proved to be a very complicated area, with the development in technology it would be thought that governing bodies would have developed techniques for identifying cheats. But the increase in financial rewards for professional athletes to win has meant that they are even keener to achieve success. Sometimes this is achieved through pure hard work and commitment but in a small minority of cases this isn't enough and athletes turn to banned substances to enhance their performance. This is a very difficult area as there is constant scrutiny in cases where the decisions made turns out to be wrong. This could be due to the amount of money in professional sports, which had led to cases of litigation when the tests have been wrong. Many governing bodies initially set up a contract system between athletes and officials so that there was a regulatory system based around doping. This idea was criticised by both the professional bodies and agents because it was seen to be imposing unfair sanctions on athletes without proper legal advice. ...read more.

Middle

There are particular elements of the Human Rights Act 1998: Article 6: the right to a fair trail and Article 8: the right to respect for private life that governing bodies will have to consider when using methods to control and establish doping. Governing bodies will need to ensure that when they wish to carry out a test they are doing it for the 'pursuit of some legitimate purpose.' In addition the governing bodies have to establish that the outcome cannot be achieved by other means which are less intrusive to the athlete and don't contravene the Human Rights Act 1998. Governing bodies have started to do out-of-competition testing; this is to ensure that athletes aren't relying on substances whilst training for major events and competitions and then proceed to stop taking them just before the competition so that if they are selected for a drug test during a competition they aren't identifiable in samples. This brought about the introduction of out-of-competition testing. Athletes now have to register where they will be throughout the year so that they are available for testing with immediate notice. A test can be demanded within 24 hours notice. If an athlete can't be found, or refuses to turn up for the test than they are presumed to test positive and face the consequences of being banned. Rule 4.7 and 4.8 of the Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain (ASFGB). "A person on the register who fails to notify ASFGB of any change of address or location where he may be contacted for a doping test at anytime within 48 hours of such a change may deemed to have committed a doping offence." ...read more.

Conclusion

in 1999. Its aim was to "promote and co-ordinate the fight against doping in substances in all its forms at international level." The World Anti-Doping Agency comprises of members from the Olympic movements, mainly the IOC. It also has public authorities, which represent individual member states. WADA is an independent body, which was established to ensure that the systems are regulated in each country and that the tests carried out are done fairly and consistency is maintained within the drug regulatory system. Even though this was established to make the system unbiased and impartial it is still criticised for being too closely linked to the IOC. This could be due to the chairman of WADA also being the vice-chairman of the IOC. All of the doping methods implemented by governing bodies have been successful in their own way in establishing and eliminating cheats from sport. The one problem, which they all face, is whether banning an athlete until it is 100% certain that they did cheat is fair and right. By not banning an athlete it may cause others to miss out on opportunities and therefore doesn't maintain a level playing field for all competitors. When banning athletes it incorporates the problem of if the decision that has been made turns out to be incorrect, then an athlete has a justified reason to sue for loss of earnings etc. Governing bodies may need to review how they carry out procedures relating to sanctions so that they remove the cheats without punishing innocent competitors. A balance may never be found between bans imposed and fairness but as long as governing bodies have procedures in place to act as a deterrent, then that may in itself act as a method of achieving commitment to the removal of drug cheats from sport. ...read more.

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