POSTED: May 11th 2009

No hiding place now for drugs cheats, says WADA boss

John Fahey: in resolute mood / WADA-Helen Tobler
John Fahey: in resolute mood / WADA-Helen Tobler

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON/TAMPA: The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency used the success of the Olympic retesting operation as proof that there is no hiding place for drug cheats.

Six athletes, including two medallists, were picked up this spring after a new test for the EPO derivative CERA was applied to stored samples from the Beijing Games last summer.

John Fahey, president of WADA, said: “This sends a significant message to drug cheats that there is no such thing as succeeding and what you do may come back to haunt you for up to eight years.

“I commend the International Olympic Committee for taking that step. I’m sure more and more events and federations will do what the IOC has done and, with more samples being retained, we will see more, similar announcements. It’s a tremendous message against cheats in sport.”

Fahey expected a similar process to be enacted at the Vancouver Winter Games of 2010.

Offer to MLB

He also offered, in answer to a press conference question, to put WADA’s expertise at the service of Major League Baseball after recent scandals concerning Alex ‘A-Rod’ Rodriguez and, most recently, Manny Ramirez of Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fahey said: “We are available at any stage to discuss the experience we have built up over a decade on how to combat cheats - and there is no doubt this sport has cheats in it.

“We have heard from MLB in the past – with preliminary information being sought, an exchange of views - but nothing recently. They are independent, it is a privately-owned sport and they have to volunteer to come forward if they wish to adopt the WADA Code.

“Since the Mitchell Report there has been evidence it’s moving in the right direction. So I can say our door is always open and I believe it’s in their interest and in the interest of their fans to adopt the WADA Code or something close to it.”

Keywords · WADA · World Anti-Doping Agency · Fahey · IOC · Beijing Olympics · CERA

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