The Irish Sports Council today published their Anti-Doping figures for 2013. Last year, the Council conducted 868 tests across 32 sports including 192 blood tests, a 44% increase on 2012. This increased emphasis on blood testing has further developed the intelligence led approach within the Anti – Doping Programme.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar, who represented the EU on the WADA Foundation Board since November 2012 acknowledged the work to date said: “I want to send a clear message out today that doping should not be tolerated at any level. Ireland has a world class Anti-Doping Programme and I want to commend Professor Buckley and the Irish Sports Council for their excellent work. My Department and the Sports Council also played a key role during Ireland’s EU Presidency in addressing doping issues at international level, particularly in terms of data protection.”
The Irish Anti-Doping Programme continues to make substantial progress in the areas of testing, education and research. The Council is active in not only providing basic education about doping, but are also proactive in alerting athletes to new emerging risks. New research part funded by the Council has helped to contribute to the development of a new testing method for the detection of stanozolol metabolites.
Dr. Hans Geyer, Managing Director of the Centre for Preventive Doping Research of the German University of Cologne highlighted: “The continued support from the Irish Sports Council is instrumental to the research conducted in the Cologne Laboratory and to the international fight against doping in sport. The use of the new method for stanozolol led to an increase of adverse analytical findings from an annual average of about 23 cases to 182 cases from early December 2012 till beginning December 2013. About 90 % of the stanozolol cases would not have been detected in the Cologne laboratory with the methods used before.”
Dr. Brendan Buckley, Chairman of the Anti-Doping Committee said: “We are proud that we are internationally recognised at the forefront of the fight against doping through our national Anti-Doping Programme. We are leaders in employing the ‘Athlete Biological Passport’ process, which can indicate blood and EPO doping as well as steroid manipulation.”