Will Rio 2016 be doping free?

With Sharapova's failed drug test revelation, anti-doping regulations and expectations for Rio 2016 Olympic Games are under the microscope.

Maria Sharapova failed drugs test at Australian Open was announced in previous weeks.With less than 140 days away from Rio 2016 this incident raises the concern over the use of unauthorized performing-enhancing drugs in the next Olympics.

The use of this PEDs has been known since the Ancient Olympics. Ever since 1967 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned the use of PEDs and introduced drug controls in 1968 Winter Olympics. Nevertheless cases continue to be frequent. In London 2012 more than 100 athletes failed the tests before the competition began.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in its 2015 report, detailed a Russian state-sponsored program which implicated coaches, athletes and institutions which in a sense "sabotaged" the 2012 games. It also suggested Russian athletes to be banned from field and track events in Rio. This was done thanks to whistleblowers, Vitaly and Yuliya Stepanov.

After these events, the Brazilian Doping Control Authority (ABCD) was created as an additional organism whose aim is to have zero cases of doping in Brazil's Olympic and Paralympic games. Nonetheless WADA put a March 18 deadline for the host country to deliver conditions that approve the organization's doping rules.

On the other hand WADA president, Sir Craig Reedie admited in his opening speech at the organization's annual Symposium for Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) in Switzerland that “the public’s confidence in sport was shattered in 2015 like never before”. He asked for sports sponsors' and television broadcasters' support.

“I have heard ever-more vociferous calls for a slice of the millions of dollars that are paid for sport television revenue to be provided to the anti-doping cause. This is a bold idea, and I put it to the leading sport federations and broadcasters: now is the time to look at this seriously. I also think that major sport sponsors should start to consider how they might help fund clean sport.”

Rio 2016 anti-doping results and regulations will be crucial for recovering public's confidence in clean sport.

LatinAmerican Post |

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