Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) CEO David Sharpe has expressed his support for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as they address issues relating to sanctions imposed on recreational athletes through the World Anti-Doping Code.
The Code is currently under review in the lead-up to its implementation in 2021 with flexibility in sanctioning one of the key matters being considered.
The Code doesn’t differentiate in sanctions with lower level athletes who test positive to a banned drug set to incur the same or similar penalty as elite athletes.
Mr Sharpe says while doping is not acceptable, there is widespread support to implement a change in The Code to address the issue of sanctions imposed on lower level athletes.
“Recreational athletes don’t receive the same level of support, such as education, as elite athletes yet they face the same penalties,” Mr Sharpe says.
“We are all working to enhance The Code as well as addressing the issue through legislative reform.”
Mr Sharpe supports the stance taken by Drug Free Sport New Zealand chief executive Nick Paterson in lobbying WADA to provide a fairer range of sanctions for lower level athletes.
ASADA has demonstrated a desire to work with athletes with the establishment of the Athlete’s Advisory Group.