POSTED: July 29th 2014

International Paralympic Committee considering sanctions for NPCs in violation of anti-doping regulations ahead of Rio 2016

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) After 13 Paralympic powerlifters were found to have failed drug tests in the past 14 months, the International Paralympic Committee is hoping to cut down on the number of anti-doping violations by taking action against National Paralympic Committees.

Though IPC Powerlifting has made strides to conduct stricter and more numerous drug tests, as well as constructing an education programme for athletes and support staff, the 13 powerlifters were suspended.

The IPC and IPC Anti-Doping Committee are considering options to help curtail doping with measures to punish NPCs that repeatedly submit athletes who fail drug tests, including financial sanctions and reducing the number of spots per discipline NPCs are allowed to enter at the Paralympic Games. The IPC Governing Board will review the considerations in October before approved actions would be introduced in the new IPC Anti-Doping Code for 2015.

“Doping cheats, and those supporting them, have no place in IPC Powerlifting,” IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez said. “We take doping in sport extremely seriously and, as our testing programme clearly shows, we are 100 percent committed to finding the cheats and suspending them from the sport.

“We are disappointed with the high number of positive tests in recent years despite IPC Powerlifting’s best efforts to educate powerlifters and support staff around the world.

“We’re more disappointed however at the number of athletes across all sports who, during anti-doping hearings, have said they have received no education or support on anti-doping from the NPC, despite the fact this this is ultimately their responsibility.

“The IPC will be increasing our efforts further but the NPCs also must fulfill their obligations, too. They have a duty to ensure their athletes are not cheating and are fully aware of the rules, especially in light of all the supplements that are out there. If they fail this duty, then they, as well as the athlete, may face a range of actions should an anti-doping violation occur.”

In conjunction with increasing the number of blood and urine tests by 65 percent in three years, IPC Powerlifting has introduced the “Raise the Bar – Say No! to Doping” campaign at various competitions around the world, which educated more than 850 lifters and their support staffs on the importance of anti-doping.

Powerlifters will also have to attend at least one IPC-approved competition each year, the Minimum Qualification Standard for qualification for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as mandated by the powerlifting qualification guide.

“Going forward,” Gonzalez said, “the IPC will continue to educate athletes and their support staff on the importance of anti-doping. We will conduct workshops and produce materials in a variety of languages to make it easier for athletes to understand the message.

“We will also be stepping up the number of tests we conduct each year, both in and out of competition, and covering blood and urine.

“But countries also have to act. No longer can they neglect their responsibilities when it comes to anti-doping education for athletes.”

Keywords · Powerlifting · International Paralympic Committee · IPC · Paralympics · IPC Powerlifting · Rio 2016 · Paralympic Games · Anti-Doping · Doping ·

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