POSTED: Monday March 21st 2011


Tackling Doping in Sport packed over 200 delegates into Twickenham Stadium’s conference facilities in a hugely successful two-day event that highlighted the new challenges presented by doping, and new methods of tackling them

Tackling Doping in Sport packed over 200 delegates into Twickenham Stadium's conference facilities in a hugely successful two-day event that highlighted the new challenges presented by doping, and new methods of tackling them. The expert line up of speakers at the sell-out event attracted delegates from Bermuda, the US, Australia, Russia, South Africa, New Zealand, Qatar, Puerto Rico, Brazil as well as from European countries, international sporting federations, national associations, governments and more.

One of the major themes was that doping is now part of a wider problem of corruption in sport. In an illuminating keynote speech David Howman, Director General for the World Anti-Doping Agency, warned that the criminal underworld is now "controlling a significant proportion of world sport" through trafficking prohibited substances, match fixing and bribing laboratory officials, as "the return on investment is huge". He warned that this black market is now controlling 25% of world medicine. Andy Parkinson, CEO of UK Anti-Doping, said that sport is tackling this problem by "moving away from focussing on the end user to focussing on the supply chain. If sport thinks that it can solve doping on its own, then it is foolishly deluded. The impact that law enforcement has had in the last 18 months has been incredible. It has provided a much-needed sharpness to what we do."

The use of athlete biological passports to provide an indication that an athlete may have been involved in doping was another key issue. Howman highlighted how a key decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport supporting the use of such passports in convicting two Italian cyclists for doping had "validated" the use of such passports. He thanked the Union Cycliste Internationale for investing the money in launching the passports without any guarantee that their use would be supported by a court of law, and that he expected other sports to begin investing in them soon. Delegates were warned that biological passports should not be used as the sole method for convicting an athlete of doping.

Hugh Robertson, UK Minister for Sport and the Olympics, revealed that the UK Government is open to the possibility of passing legislation criminalising anti-doping. "If - as a result of work done by the Council of Europe and the European Union - it is suggested that there are things we need to do, then we will do them", he said in response to a question about whether criminal legislation was needed to tackle doping.

One of the most popular and most discussed sessions was a series of round-table debates on aspects of the World Anti-Doping Code that need revising, which filled the room with a buzz of conversation. Popular topics included resumption of training following a ban and altering sanctions given to athletes following 'aggravating circumstances' or 'substantial assistance'.

Tackling Doping in Sport 2011 was organised by World Sports Law Report in association with UK Anti-Doping and Squire Sanders Hammonds. It received international news coverage from the BBC, Sky News, The Guardian, The Independent, Reuters, Television New Zealand and more. Tackling Doping in Sport is just one of World Sports Law Report's annual conferences. Others include Player Issues: Regulations and Contracts and Sport, Gambling and Sponsorship.

• For more information on World Sports Law Report events or if you are interested in taking part in next year's Tackling Doping in Sport, contact Erika Joyce on +44 (0)20 7012 1383 or Fore more information on discussions at Tackling Doping in Sport 2011, contact Andy Brown on +44 (0)20 7012 1380 or

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Keywords · biological · passports · twickenham · stadium · tackling · doping · in · sport · sports · minister · of · sport · olympics · david · howman · anti-doping · world · prohibited · substances · uk · world · sports · law · report · player issues · substantial · assistance

Name: Erika Joyce
Organization: World Sports Law Report
Phone: 02070121383

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