The Problem

Too much talk and no real action demonstrating credible clean sport.  Its image over substance. PR and spin keeps the public and the funders of sport satisfied until the next scandal.  We can be part of the problem and just talk about it or we can do something.  The Clean Protocol is an action plan towards clean sport.  Clean sport needs more credible action and less talk.

Recent History

The world of sport has been damaged by doping scandals in recent years.

From the Armstrong/US Postal scandal to Rio across the largest sports, the biggest sports events at all levels of sports organisations, sports corruption has become a sign of the times.

If we continue to rely solely on the same anti-doping methods we cannot expect to see a significant improvement in the underlying problem. Solving this problem requires a new approach, some lateral thinking and a new system of clean sport authentication.

What the Experts Say

Anti-doping experts confirm that there are more than one hundred variants of the endurance boosting super drug EPO on the market today. Of all the EPO variants there are analytical tests for only about eight, and there are recognised methods for avoiding detection by these tests. Therefore, the incentive to cheat is greater than the risk of being caught by analytical drug testing procedures alone.

The Biological Passport

The much heralded Biological Passport has influenced a trend towards changed doping practises including “micro-dosing”.

Recent scientific studies show that the benefits from micro-dosing besides avoiding detection under the biological passport are that it can be more effective at boosting performance than previous methods.  This is not to say that the Bio-passport is without merit merely to point out that it has unintended consequences and does not solve the doping in sport problem.

WADA Acknowledges the Problem

There are many good people working in anti-doping bodies all over the world who are frustrated by the lack of progress in the current regimen.

The analytical drug testing procedures are not a comprehensive or even an effective solution to the problem as demonstrated by the constant flow of scandals.

WADA have identified a growing trend of doping in sports caused by various factors including:

  • availability of doping products,
  • the size of black market,
  • societal attitude changes, and
  • ineffective testing.

They have also reported there is a trend for increased doping at lower levels of sport including schoolboy competitions and collegiate sports.

In WADA’s Own Words:

It’s not working:

“We should all know by now that the fight against doping in sport has reached the stage where science alone will not eradicate cheating or very often even detect it.”

Low efficacy rate:

“only 36 positive cases for EPO were found in 2010 from 258,000 samples, and 43 from 247,000 in 2011“

The problem is growing:

“It is not just at the elite level of sport that doping exists – we are now experiencing a significant ‘trickle down’ effect.”

(Director General David Howman 21/9/12 at the ‘Doping as a Public Health Issue’ Symposium Stockholm) see: http://www.wada-ama.org/Documents/News_Center/Speeches_Presentations/ArneSymposium.pdf

Signs of Change

There are few signs of real change since this project was started in 2011, but change is difficult when so many benefit from the status quo.