Drug Free Sport New Zealand says its educational programme will be further developed following a crackdown on the use of steroids.
The body’s annual report notes that there has been a dramatic increase over the past few years in the number of anti-doping rule violations committed in New Zealand compared to previous years. This is the result of a three-year investigation into NZ Clenbuterol, an online supplier of steroids and other prohibited substances, which resulted in 40 athletes facing proceedings for use or attempted use and possession of clenbuterol and other prohibited substances.
“To deter and detect doping, we conducted 1,362 tests during the year. Of that total, 859 tests were conducted out of competition, which ensured our testing programme was robust and unpredictable,” say Board Chair Warwick Gendall QC and Chief Executive Nick Paterson in their joint foreward to the report.
“Our tests are informed by our intelligence and investigations capability, which is an increasingly important part of our work. It has been encouraging to see Kiwis supporting clean sport by reporting suspicious doping activity to us.”
They also note that they educated nearly 9,000 athletes about the dangers of drug violations and provided education outreach at 11 sports events. The body also launched a virtual reality doping control experience to assist young athletes gain experience of the testing process without the stress of a real event.
Of the 1,362 urine and blood tests conducted in New Zealand, the most were in cycling (241), rugby union (179), and rowing (141).
Missed medals. Lost opportunities for funding and sponsorship. Sporting memories distorted by cheating. There’s no way to restore the golden moments that doping takes away from clean athletes,” say Mr Gendall and Mr Paterson.
“But by protecting clean athletes, promoting clean sport, and advocating for international competitors to be held to the same high standards as our clean Kiwi athletes, Drug Free Sport NZ wants to preserve the values of clean and fair competition.”