The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced yesterday that they were considering taking action against National Paralympic Committees in response to positive doping tests, including tests that left to the suspensions fourteen competitors in powerlifting in the past thirteen months.
The announcement said that IPC is now considering possible actions to take. Currently amongst the ideas in consideration are financial penalties and reducing the number of sports to available to athletes from the NPC, especially at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio. These actions will present these actions to the IPC Governing Board in October, and that they may be included in the new version of the IPC Anti-Doping Code scheduled to come into effect on the first of the year.
The IPC’s Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez is quoted as saying,
Doping cheats, and those supporting them, have no place in IPC Powerlifting. We take doping in sport extremely seriously and, as our testing programme clearly shows, we are 100 per cent committed to finding the cheats and suspending them from the sport.
We are disappointed with the high number of positive tests in recent years despite IPC Powerlifting’s best efforts to educate powerlifters and support staff around the world.
We’re more disappointed however at the number of athletes across all sports who, during anti-doping hearings, have said they have received no education or support on anti-doping from their NPC, despite the fact that this is ultimately their responsibility.
The IPC will be increasing our efforts further but the NPCs also must fulfil their obligations too.
They have a duty to ensure their athletes are not cheating and are fully aware of the rules, especially in light of all the supplements that are out there. If they fail this duty, then they, as well as the athlete, may face a range of actions should an ant-doping violation occur.
Despite the high number of suspensions in the past year, powerlifters have been subject to a fair amount of education about doping. The IPC conducted outreach to 850 powerlifters and their support staff about doping as part of IPC Powerlifting’s “Raise the Bar – Say No! to Doping” campaign. Qualification standards for the 2016 Summer Paralympics also state that powerlifters need to have attended at least one IPC approved powerlifting competition, where they are subject to doping controls. The level of non-Paralympic year drug screenings was also increased by 65% from 2011 to 2013.
Just yesterday, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the suspensions of a pair of powerlifters, United Arab Emirates’ Rashed Hassan Ahmed and Kazakhstan’s Oleg Gridassov, for doping violations.