WADA flaws

WADA have used flawed scientific methodologies and procedures elsewhere as noted recently by Sports Integrity Initiative and as before, I believe and also with contributions from others, have demonstrated to an extent that Russians have been scapegoated with flawed evidence being provided where it should have been watertight and clearly wasn’t, they didn’t follow consistent procedures, the investigation and their actions were not a deterrent AND it should not have been used for political and financial gain (especially Paralympics where new places were given to people who hadn’t qualified) by certain countries. But this is all past history now with Russia taking their own measures to promote anti-doping in their country in collaboration with others and WADA being WADA. There are still European and US/UK ‘clans’ trying to make up the rules for everyone else (do they wonder or even care why they won’t be applied).

Paul Dimeo of Stirling University is writing a book about the current anti-doping crisis and WADA, having previously worked for WADA.

Academic profile: http://www.stir.ac.uk/people/11222

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pauldimeo2

Edinburgh Skeptics presentation on 21st August http://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/events/dr-paul-dimeo-why-drug-testing-in-sport-is-such-a-failure/

I haven’t read all of his work so no idea what he knows about doping especially in East European and Asian contexts and I’ve no idea about the focus of his book or the conclusions he will be reaching as I haven’t asked. I don’t know him personally but follow on twitter.

I stopped editing the wiki after no-one else contributed as it was not free hosting. This is what I originally thought and still think about doping regulation. Outrage did get me off my butt and I’m now a qualified British taekwondo level 2 coach actively trying to encourage others with disabilities to get involved. I was particularly inspired by the attitudes demonstrated by Russian paralympians in a video I watched. I have published a pharma module (not about anti-doping) co-written with international pharma experts which may or may not be used but the module has been completed for now.

This is most of the content of blogposts I have written previously:

…I like others are furious at the treatment of Russian athletes before and during the Olympics. I first became aware of what was happening a couple of weeks before Brexit I think. As someone who helps coach young martial artists from time to time I am completely appalled at how the process has been handled. As principles – if you cheat it is an injustice to other athletes, if you call for/impose a punishment on clean atheletes it is an injustice. You cannot say to young people you can achieve anything you want if you train hard etc

In short, technology is changing, drugs or other methods of substance delivery are changing, supply chains are changing and I don’t think a WADA can achieve what it is trying to do re enforcement and regulation. Whilst reading the report and other information about the sporting bodies – I am concerned about the lack of diversity of WADA, IAAF (headed by a British establishment Tory peer), IPC (headed by another Brit) executive & decision making representatives.

Political messages inflame expressions of hatred as evidenced by fans behaviour both on and offline at the Olympics. There is no point in putting Russia or other countries into some kind of political sin bin – it’s ridiculous – why not work with other regulators to actually put in place a realistic long-term deterrent if there is credible evidence but the hype and hastily assembled report makes assertions that it cannot back up (it looks like the author wants to dine out on it academically for a number of years). Russia can lead the way in anti-doping as an example to other countries.

…lots of practical issues that I need to think about including use of drugs/enhancements and safeguarding.

Aside from politics and cheating temporarily – I was trying to imagine a scenario where there are no banned substances or enhancements but any use or adaptation which affects the body as in a clinical trial is available in real time as national & international data. The UK consent process would be more adequate and clinically accountable (theoretically),  better early signals of adverse effects.

However from safeguarding perspective this doesn’t cover absent knowledge of long term effects (e.g. like a new cancer drug where there hasn’t been enough long term use to know yet) and how a temporary modification in a child could reduce their life quality or worse as a young adult or older.

Wider, more open knowledge of substances or enhancements may lead to data that could provide therapies, cures or vaccines for other areas. The increase in citizen science self reporting through apps makes it more feasible.

However, does it make the costs & time compared to anti doping better, will companies producing enhancements report adequately in their clinical trials to provide enough data for consent which is also safeguarded for athletes and even if with a no banned list, would people still do things under the radar?

Don’t know. I don’t feel comfortable enough with the safeguarding aspects. And where is a line drawn in a martial art and improved self esteem with Courtesy Integrity Self Control Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit.

 

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