The word doping has its origins in South Africa where Zulu warriors would enhance their strength before going to war by taking an alcoholic beverage that was made from grape skins. Unfortunately today the word means something else. It is means taking an illegal substance in order to have an unfair advantage in a competition. It is no longer about competition but desperation and greed.
The word doping is probably derived from the Dutch word dop, the name of an alcoholic beverage made of grape skins used by Zulu warriors in order to enhance their prowess in battle. The term became current around the turn of the 20th century, originally referring to illegal drugging of racehorses. The practice of enhancing performance through foreign substances or other artificial means, however, is as old as competitive sport itself.
Ancient Greek athletes are known to have used special diets and stimulating potions to fortify themselves. Strychnine, caffeine, cocaine, and alcohol were often used by cyclists and other endurance athletes in the 19th century. Thomas Hicks ran to victory in the marathon at the 1904 Olympic Games, in Saint Louis, with the help of raw egg, injections of strychnine and doses of brandy administered to him during the race…
Many successful careers have been cut short knowingly or unknowingly when athletes tested positive for drug substances that are illegal. Most athletes are advised to watch what they taken in as supplements as some stay in the body for a long period of time. An anti-doping rule violation may be committed in various instances.
An ADRV is committed if:
- A prohibited substance is found in an athlete’s bodily specimen (blood or urine)
- An athlete uses, or attempts to use, a prohibited substance and/or prohibited method
- An athlete fails or refuses to submit to sample collection after notification of testing
- An athlete provides inaccurate athlete Whereabouts information resulting in any combination of three missed tests and/or filing failures in a 12-month period
- There is tampering, or an attempt to tamper, with any part of the doping control process
- An athlete or athlete support person possesses a prohibited substance and/or prohibited method
- An athlete or athlete support person trafficks a prohibited substance and/or prohibited method
- An athlete or athlete support person administers, or attempts to administer, a prohibited substance and/or prohibited method to any athlete; or assists, encourages, aids, abets or covers up an ADRV.
Doping does not only present serious repercussions to the athletes but it also pauses great consequences for a nation. Countries that do not comply to the World Anti-Doping Agency rules face being banned from international competitions. Russia was the first on the list and great countries like Kenya are on the warning list.
Russia became the first country to be banned from international competition because of doping offences after a meeting of IAAF council members earlier this month. Officials voted 22-1 in favour of the provisional sanction, which came in the wake of damning revelations by the World Anti-Doping Agency of systematic doping and cover-ups in Russia.
A letter to the IAAF from the Araf general secretary, Mikhail Butov, said: “We recognise suspension without a hearing. We understand fully that IAAF council could reinstate Araf as a member according to its decision after solutions and recommendation of IAAF verification commission only. We will cooperate with nominated commission very actively.”
Russia has already lost the hosting rights to next year’s Race Walking World Cup and the World Junior Championships, due to take place in Cheboksary and Kazan respectively.