ASDA defends testingSubscribe
Rob Burgess 11 April 2001
GENNADI TOURETSKI, senior swimming coach at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), has been served a summons to appear in court over alleged possession of a small quantity of anabolic steroids.
The AIS has immediately suspended Touretski, pending the decision of the courts. The Russian-born coach has agreed with the suspension, and has denied the allegations.
The Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) runs one of the most stringent doping control programmes in world sport. In the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics ASDA conducted over 7,000 tests on elite athletes in just 15 months.
Speaking in Canberra yesterday, John Mendoza, Chief Executive Officer of ASDA, said he was satisfied that the level of testing in Australia was more than sufficient to combat any potential doping offences, especially in the sport of swimming. Indeed swimming received more tests (270) than any other Government-funded sport last year.
"Our drug testing programme has been subject to three external and independent examinations over the past 18 months. All these examinations found that ASDA’s drug testing programme is world class and beyond reproach.
"No Australian swimmer has tested positive to a banned substance since March 1998, and that was deemed to be a case of inadvertent doping. This fact, along with the rigour of testing in this country, gives us a high level of confidence in our athletes and our national anti-doping programme," Mendoza commented.
MEANWHILE MENDOZA, who was keynote speaker at UK Sport’s Anti-Doping Conference last month, has ruled out ASDA broadening its role to combat the use of recreational drugs.
Speaking in his first week as Chief Executive Officer of ASDA, Mendoza said that performance-enhancing drugs were the agency’s primary concern, and that it is up to individual sports to identify use of recreational drugs by the athletes.
"We can provide advice but at the end of the day it is the sport’s policy and their broader code of conduct regulations that will manage the issue for them," he commented.