Exclusive: Wada chief John Fahey to target the cheats behind the drug cheats

Anti-doping chief to introduce new code that allows athlete’s team to also be held accountable

Athletics Correspondent

Anti-doping chief John Fahey has pledged to ‘catch the cheats behind the cheats’ by cracking down on doping violations by coaches, agents and physiotherapists.

As part of the new code by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), Fahey, its president, insists that athletes will no longer be solely responsible for failed dope tests but that the entourage behind sportsmen and women would be held accountable too. Those people had previously been untouchable by Wada.

The wider-reaching battle has become all the more relevant following the recent failed tests of Tyson Gay and five Jamaican athletes, including the former fastest man on the planet, Asafa Powell.

Powell blamed a personal trainer after testing positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine while Gay said: “I basically put my trust in someone and was let down” after testing positive for a still unnamed substance.

Wada’s new code will be presented in November and, if ratified, come into effect in 2015. At the heart of it is an aim to widen the net in the battle against doping. “It’s a much more effective code as it’s one for the entourage as well – picking up the coaches, agents and physios,” Fahey told The Independent. “It says they can be dealt with in the same fashion as an athlete.”

Wada will also target athletes who use coaches and advisors who have been found guilty of doping in the past. “These aren’t registered people but what we’re saying is that athletes who use that person will suffer the sanctions of an anti-doping violation. We can do that. Here I’m talking about the Victor Contes [behind the Balco Laboratory scandal that incorporated the likes of Marion Jones and Dwain Chambers] of this world, an admitted cheat that’s done time. So it’s increased penalties to include the entourage.”

The fight against the “entourage” is one repeatedly pushed by the UK Anti-Doping chief executive, Andy Parkinson, and more recently by Brian Cookson, the presidential candidate for cycling’s governing body, the UCI, who as part of his manifesto has been asking for sanctions for managers, team staff and doctors of riders found guilty of doping.

To date, coaches, agents and physios whose athletes have tested positive for banned substances have been beyond the realms of Wada’s punishment but Fahey is determined to change that.

Also at the heart of the code is a proposal for what Wada calls “full menu testing”. As Fahey explained: “Some anti-doping organisations are undertaking testing and not ticking the square for testing, say, steroids. That will be eliminated in the code. This is part of ensuring we have the best machinery to beat the cheats.”

The other key ingredient in the code is the proposal of four-year bans for the more serious offences, such as steroids. “The real cheats are going to get four-year bans, the ones with steroids and human growth hormone in their system, and that’s a big jump from the current two years,” he said. “The thinking is that not a lot of people come back from four years. OK, Justin Gatlin did, but there aren’t many.”

The severity of the proposed punishment is the major deterrent against cheats. But Fahey argues that education is another tool in that and part of Wada’s current annual budget of £28m to tackle global doping is being spent on teaching about the perils of doping.

“Take the drug CERA, which does wonders for people with kidney disease,” Fahey said. “That also has the capacity  to give heart attacks and cause deaths, that’s the risk the athletes take. That knowledge needs to be passed on.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past