devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

Doping testing fears

Posted by devo on February 18, 2009

I have been watching this story develop over some weeks. We all want our athletes to compete drug free. We want an even playing field. But when do the requirements of testing agencies become too much?

Speaking to AIS volleyballers over the last few years, they all complain about the testing. It’s too regular – weekly at times if your name comes up. You have to fill in “where will I be in 3 months” sheets – sometimes this can be guess work.

Under WADA’s new rules, any athlete on the national testing register – largely any elite athlete in an Olympic or major team sport – must make themselves available to testers for one hour a day, between 6am and 11pm, three months in advance. This is done online and can be updated by email or text message. Failure to be where you said you would be, if the testers come calling, counts as a strike. Three strikes in an 18-month period and you are out with an automatic ban from competition.

This is great for testing regimes, but at what point is it an unacceptable invasion of a player’s privacy? This is the question that athletes in Belgium – including volleyballers –  are asking. A legal challenge has been lodged in Belgium on behalf of 65 athletes – cyclists, footballers and volleyball players – who argue the rule breaks European privacy laws. more

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