Bengt Saltin blasts WADA and IOC ... as Damsgaard prepares for legal fight
Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:40 AM
"It's time to stop talking and start acting," Saltin declared. Using the extensive data available, he made it very clear that systematic doping is still a major problem in sports; where the existence of more than 80 different EPO variants (only a handful of which can give positive tests) demonstrate the seriousness of the problem.
- He accuses WADA of not taking the problem of EPO seriously; pointing out WADA's lack of interest in working with leading bio-chemists and protein experts.
- He demands independent and competent specialists to oversee the control systems in order to improve the level of the laboratories used by WADA/IOC. According to Saltin, the labs are not good advisors to WADA/IOC, because the labs are in it for the money and anti-doping is a lucrative business for them.
- He derides the idea that the quantity of tests taken is some sort of quality stamp and points out that what matters is an effective control system of high quality. He calls the IOC stupid for claiming that the Beijing Olympics was better, simply because it had 1000 more tests than Athens.
- He once again beats the drum for the importance of out-of competition testing; tests of skiers during the summer and other athletes during the winter. He says that if controls were consistently done in the off-season, they would be finding literally thousands of positive tests.
- Having said that, he warns against whole-sale labelling of athletes as cheaters; pointing out that the data he works with suggests that it is "only" a rotten core of 3-5% of athletes who dope.
- He points out that biopassports are the way to go, but points out that they are only useful if they are actually used for something. Here he points the finger at the IAAF (Athletics), which despite having a blood passport doesn't use it for anything - even when blood values are clearly abnormal.
- He praises Cycling, while lashing at WADA for not supporting the biopassport program introduced by the UCI.
- He says it is absurd that the IOC is threatening to exclude Cycling, while rowing, swimming, and football refuse to do anything about their doping problem.
At the same time, Saltin's protegee - Rasmus Damsgaard - is losing patience with WADA. He has - as he has mentioned earlier - evidence against at least five athletes (in the latest article he implies that they are cross-country skiers), that clearly show use of doping products. However, FIS cannot use the tests to sanction the athletes under WADA rules, and WADA has so far refused to consider changing their rules or to support FIS in moving against the athletes.
"We are going to take action in January, if WADA will not support us," says Damsgaard. He expects that the cases will go directly to CAS where he will present the proof of foping, unless the athletes accept their sanctions. He is supported in his intention to "take the law into his own hands" by other members of the FIS medicinal committee.
Posted 03 December 2008 - 12:27 PM
Posted 11 December 2008 - 01:07 PM
Thought it might be best to link it here, since it's very much of a piece with Saltin's critique. Bengt Saltin, Ingard Lereim, and Damsgaard have been pushing at IOC and WADA on the subject of reforms for more than a year now. Since this is a proper translation, you can read much more into the details of his arguments than I have been able to provide from my limited efforts at translation.