New Zealand snow sports athletes are being warned that tough new anti-doping rules came into force on January 1, 2015.
The rules will see those who intentionally cheat by using performance enhancing drugs or methods face longer bans from all sport.
New Zealand’s Sports Anti-Doping Rules have been updated to bring them into line with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.
The chief executive of Drug Free Sport New Zealand, Graeme Steel, says the rules will help to better protect clean snow sports athletes.
“These new rules are powerful and far-reaching and will enable anti-doping organisations to more easily catch those who intend to cheat.
“New Zealand has proud tradition of clean sport and Drug Free Sport NZ works hard to ensure that tradition is maintained and continued. We believe these updated rules are a significant step forward in the fight against doping in sport,” Mr Steel says.
Key changes introduced as a result of the revised World Anti-Doping Code include:
“The introduction of longer bans sends a clear message to athletes that intentional doping will not be tolerated. Bans of this length could effectively end an athlete’s sporting career so they are taking a huge risk if they choose to dope,” Mr Steel says.
He adds that those who support athletes will also need to be aware of the changes because they are now bound by the anti-doping rules and can also face penalties.
“It’s vital that everyone involved in snow sports is committed to being drug free and this includes those supporting athletes like coaches and trainers. There’s no level playing field if we don’t have everyone on board and following the rules,” Mr Steel says.
Other changes that have been introduced include a greater focus on investigations and intelligence to identify doping and target testing.
“In the future, the fight against doping will increasingly be about intelligence gathering, investigation and targeted testing. This intelligence-led approach will make it easier to catch the real cheats and protect all those competing cleanly and fairly,” Mr Steel says.
You can find out more about the revised Code and the new rules at Drug Free Sport New Zealand’s website:www.drugfreesportnz.org.nz
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