On November 22nd, 2013 the fourth world conference on doping in sport was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, following three full days discussing and debating the future of anti-doping in sport.
In the World Conference, there were major discussions about the sport movement, public authorities, anti-doping community, athletes, coaches and the media converge; it was considered a success. One of the discussions surrounded the topic on how they will be tackling the most pressing issue facing sport today, doping. Doping in sport is by far the largest issue within sport and WADA is trying to do everything in their power to make sports more “equal”. New tests are constantly being created and more tests are testing positive. They are also testing old samples from previous games and finding new results. Technology is becoming so advanced that it may or may not catch up with the technology that’s creating new performance enhancing drugs.
The new 2015 World Anti-Doping Code and four International Standards were revealed during the fourth world conference. WADA’s main goal at the conference is to work towards their ultimate goal, keeping sport athletes clean. The event was notable for the strong levels of support for the proposed themes of the 2015 Code. Past and present athletes acknowledged their commitment to stronger doping sanctions, specifically the increase from two- to four-year bans for athletes caught doping from January 1, 2015. There was also widespread recognition for the need to allow WADA to retain its independent role in anti-doping in sport.
Everyday there is constant news regarding doping in sport and new athletes getting caught or coming clean to media. I feel like athletes are slowly starting to reduce the usage of performance enhancing drugs because they feel like they are going to get caught sooner or later. However, we do not know what technology has to offer in the future regarding the creation of drugs and detection of drugs. Therefore, I feel like some athletes will continue to press their luck and try to get away with it. Several surveys and questionnaires with athletes have been done and the consensus is that athletes would rather use performance-enhancing drugs to win and become famous, rather than compete naturally and not win. With this being said, athletes are willing to do whatever it takes to win and become famous, whether it’s harmful to their body or not OR getting caught in the future. I think the bigger issue within sport is not the WADA framework or tests being used, but more so the way athletes see the sport itself. I feel like there should be two different types of contests, one being natural and one being open. Of course this bring much controversy to the sport but matter of the fact is, fans and viewers want to see the fastest runners in the word and the most freaks within specific sports. By allowing athletes to use PED would make an open event a fair playing field. But at the same time, having a natural event would bring controversy with doping once again. What do you think should be done?