POSTED: February 24th 2009

Baseball urged to set example

David Howman: encouraging signs / lake images
David Howman: encouraging signs / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LAUSANNE: Alex Rodriguez’s admission that he once tested positive for a banned steroid has been welcomed by WADA as signs of a significant step forward in baseball’s fight against doping.

'A-Rod' - New York Yankees' third baseman – was picked up nearly six years after a supposedly confidential testing operation conducted by Major League Baseball in 2003.

John Fahey, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, suggested that the revelations could help Major League Baseball to establish greater credibility.

Addressing a WADA symposium at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, he said: “It’s not for us to tell the people at Major League Baseball how to run their sport but the more they are compliant with the WADA code the more effective they will be [on doping].”

David Howman, director-general of WADA, said that the high profile of American pro sports both within the US and abroad, could be a lever for the greater good of the war against doping. He welcomed the out-of-competition testing regime imposed by the International Baseball Federation for the World Baseball Classic.

Howman said: “We’ve been encouraging MLB to advance the anti-doping fight so this development could give significant impetus to that movement and encourage MLB to advance even further. It’s as if the US national baseball leagues have been 10 years behind the rest of the world and we would like to see that gap narrowed.”

He added: “We think [American professional leagues] could set a good example not only in the US but in other parts of the world which follow them. They can effectively set the pace for other sports.”

While Howman was speaking, it emerged in the US that the Major League Baseball investigations team hopes to meet Rodriguez within the next three days to discuss to admissions. The officials want to meet before he starts begins his preparations for the Classic with Team Dominican Republic.

Baseball is one of seven sports seeking entry – or re-entry – into the Olympic Games in 2016. The IOC decides in Copenhagen in October between baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby union, softball and squash.

Keywords · WADA · World Anti-Doping Agency · Fahey · Howman · baseball · Major League Baseball · IBAF · World Baseball Classic

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