By Erin Greene on 13/02/13 at 12:27 pm
Representatives from nearly 20 organizations gathered in Lausanne last month to attend a presentation on the report ‘The Supply of Doping Products and the Potential of Criminal Law Enforcement in Anti-Doping: An Examination of Italy’s Experience’, and a related workshop on cooperation between law enforcement and anti-doping organizations hosted by WADA.
The report - written by Dr. Letizia Paoli and Alessandro Donati and funded by WADA - examines the experience of Italy’s anti-doping law, analyzes the production and trade of doping products, and explores the challenges of reducing their supply.
In particular, the authors identify challenges faced by anti-doping law enforcement, including those in the field of international cooperation, and look to draw policy implications from their analysis.
“WADA was pleased to support this research,” said WADA Director General David Howman. “It is now widely accepted that the fight against doping in sport requires a closer collaboration between law enforcement and anti-doping organizations to gain further effectiveness, as demonstrated by numerous investigations and non-analytical doping cases.
“The presentation of the report and the ensuing workshop was a valuable opportunity for experts from law enforcement, public authorities, WADA, International Sports Federations and National Anti-Doping Organizations to discuss the impact of national legislation on efforts to reduce the supply of doping substances and the fight against doping in sport, as well as the benefits of law enforcement action and intelligence sharing.”
During the workshop, participants discussed the importance of several prerequisites for effective collaboration between law enforcement and anti-doping organizations.
In particular, they discussed the existence or development of proper national legislation to make the supply of doping substances illegal and to enable investigations (including searches and seizures) by law enforcement into such supply and trafficking, as well as the sharing of information between government agencies and anti-doping organizations.
A recent study on national legislation commissioned by WADA and UNESCO confirmed that a significant number of countries were still lacking proper legislation to enable investigations.
WADA continues to advocate the criminalization of actions surrounding doping (e.g. supplying, trafficking, administering, facilitating, encouraging, aiding) in order to target not only athletes but also the entourage, and to enhance the effectiveness of the fight against doping in sport.
In addition, participants emphasized the importance of countries implementing criminal sanctions substantial enough for such law violations so as to encourage and provide incentives for law enforcement involvement and action.
It is also important for law enforcement and anti-doping organizations to understand the benefits each can draw from information sharing, as outlined in WADA’s ‘Guidelines for Coordinating Investigations and Sharing Anti-Doping Information and Evidence’.
Italy – the focus of the research – was represented at the workshop by the report’s authors, as well as a delegation from the carabinieri NAS – the specialized unit of the Italian military police - which included General Cosimo Piccinno, Captain Pietro Della Porta and Marshall Renzo Ferrante.
The experience and expertise built by the carabinieri NAS has made it an international example in terms of investigations and intelligence gathering, as demonstrated by the recent Lance Armstrong case to which the NAS and the Italian justice contributed significantly.
Other organizations represented included Interpol, UNESCO, the Sport Commission of the German Bundestag , Swiss Customs, the International Olympic Committee, SportAccord, UK Anti-Doping, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, Anti-Doping Norway, the anti-doping departments of the International Association of Athletics Federations and of the International Cycling Union, as well as professors and researchers from the Universities of Zurich (Switzerland), Tubingen (Germany) and Leuven (Belgium).