David Howman, the director general of the WADA, says that there needs to be a re-think in the way his organisation and others go about the fight against doping. According to the AFP, despite more than 250,000 tests being carried out in the last year, only 36 came back as positive for EPO, which Howman describes as the “drug of choice for [endurance athletes]”.
“Do you think that we have the science to track those who dope in a sophisticated manner? Personally, I don’t think we do. We are catching the dopey dopers, but not the sophisticated ones. It is pathetic. We must increase quality and efficiency if we want to continue the fight.”
Howman also pointed to the institutional involvment of those creating the avenues for people to dope as just as important in tackling the problem.
“How many doctors or lawyers have been struck off because of involvement in doping?”
He also added that it was concerning to see the growth in PED markets, and not seeing the same increase in positive tests.
“We have to show concern. The traffic of steroids is more lucrative than the traffic of heroin. [People need to realise] this is a public health issue, as well as a sporting issue.”
Howman’s comments come a week after the decision by WADA to scrap research funding for the “plasticizer” test on the basis that there was difficulty definitively proving the chemical originated from transfusion equipment and not food packaging.