‘Mi­crochip ath­letes to stamp out dop­ing’: WOA chief Miller

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Ath­letes should be fit­ted with mi­crochips in the same way dogs are to help stamp out dop­ing in the sport, says the head of an or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sent­ing more than 100,000 Olympians. World Olympians As­so­ci­a­tion (WOA) chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Miller told a con­fer­ence in Lon­don that tech­nol­ogy would soon al­low an im­plant to de­tect per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs.

“We chip our dogs,” he told a sem­i­nar on in­tegrity and duty of care in sport, ac­cord­ing to Bri­tain’s Daily Tele­graph news­pa­per yes­ter­day. “We’re pre­pared to do that and it doesn’t seem to harm them. So why aren’t we pre­pared to chip our­selves?”

“We need to keep in front of the cheats,” he added. “I be­lieve that, in or­der to stop dop­ing, we need to chip our ath­letes where the lat­est tech­nol­ogy is there.” “Some peo­ple say it’s an in­va­sion of pri­vacy. It’s a club and peo­ple don’t have to join the club if they don’t want to follow the rules,” added Miller. Miller’s or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sents 100,000 Olympians across the world but he said he was not speak­ing on be­half of the WOA but in a per­sonal ca­pac­ity. Dop­ing has cast a dark shadow over the sport in re­cent years, with the Rus­sian ath­let­ics team banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a state-spon­sored dop­ing pro­gramme.

Re-test­ing of old sam­ples us­ing new meth­ods by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee has found more than 100 ath­letes used banned sub­stances at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. And at least 30 per­cent of those who com­peted at the 2011 IAAF World Cham­pi­onships ad­mit­ted to hav­ing used banned sub­stances dur­ing their ca­reers, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­cently made public.

Nicole Sap­stead, the UK Anti-Dop­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive, speak­ing at the same event on Tues­day, wel­comed tech­nol­ogy that could help in the fight against dop­ing but was wary. “Can we ever be sure that this type of thing could never be tam­pered with or even ac­cu­rately mon­i­tor all sub­stances and meth­ods on the pro­hib­ited list?” she said, ac­cord­ing to the Tele­graph. “There is a bal­ance to be struck be­tween a right to pri­vacy ver­sus demon­strat­ing that you are clean.”

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