CORONAVIRUS NOT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ATHLETES TO DOPE: WADA PRESIDENT
Illustration: AFP/File / Fabrice COFFRINI
Athletes should not think the coronavirus pandemic and disruptions to testing give them an excuse to dope, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Bańka says.
Athletes are fooling themselves if they think they can use the chaos caused globally by the coronavirus pandemic to cheat, World Anti-Doping Agency president Witold Bańka has told AFP.
The Pole said physical testing might be virtually at a standstill but WADA and national anti-doping agencies possessed other weapons they can deploy in the fight against doping.
Canada and Russia have gone public in saying they have suspended their testing programmes while the British anti-doping body has significantly reduced its testing.
“COVID-19 is not a space for the athletes to cheat,” Bańka said in a phone interview from his home in Poland.
“They should not feel it is a time for cheating. Otherwise, the anti-doping agencies will use their weapons to catch them.”
“Anti-doping is not as important as people’s lives,” he said.
“We issued guidelines for them that cover a number of areas that may be affected by COVID-19.”
“This is a new world for all of us,” he said.
“WADA, though, will do everything to maintain the integrity and beautiful idea of clean sport.”
PUBLISHED: April 7, 2020