Olympic chief urges fo­cus on cheat­ing ath­letes’ ‘en­tourage’

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

KA­TOW­ICE, Poland (AFP) — Olympic chief Thomas Bach on Tues­day urged gov­ern­ments to do more to help “drain the dop­ing swamp” by go­ing af­ter the en­tourage of a cheat­ing ath­lete.

“The ath­lete is not the only cul­prit,” the Pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) told the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) con­fer­ence in Ka­tow­ice.

“The ath­lete is sup­ported and some­times even driven to or forced into dop­ing by a se­cre­tive net­work which may in­clude coaches, agents, deal­ers, man­agers, of­fi­cials from gov­ern­ment or sport or­ga­ni­za­tions, doc­tors, phys­io­ther­a­pists or others,” he said.

But while sports or­ga­ni­za­tions can pun­ish com­peti­tors who test pos­i­tive they are pow­er­less “to iden­tify and sanc­tion in a de­ter­rent way the ath­letes’ en­tourage”.

As an ex­am­ple he said if the IOC iden­ti­fied a doc­tor guilty of dop­ing it will ban­ish him from the Games.

“But af­ter the doc­tor goes back home, in most cases he can just con­tinue with his ne­far­i­ous busi­ness with­out any con­se­quences.

“This is not ac­cept­able. This is the wrong sig­nal. This needs to be changed,” he told WADA del­e­gates on the open­ing day of their fifth world con­fer­ence.

“This is where we need the full sup­port of the gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties. They have the nec­es­sary author­ity and tools to take ac­tion.”

Olympic chief Thomas Bach

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