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As of 1 January 2015, the revised 2015 World Anti-Doping Code will be operational in the fight against doping. This will be binding for all stakeholders who unanimously approved the revised code at the ‘World Conference on Doping in Sport’ in Johannesburg, South Africa on 15 November 2013.
Following this, a medical and scientific multidisciplinary consensus meeting on antidoping in sport was held at the home of FIFA, Zürich, Switzerland from 29 to 30 November 2013. The aim was to create a road map to implement the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.
A critical and systematic review of the evidence
During the opening day, state-of-the-art reviews and free papers were presented as current bodies of knowledge on combatting doping in sports. During a closed session, the expert participants discussed the papers, which are published in this special edition of BJSM, and of particular note is the critical assessment of the fight against doping within individual and team sports.
The experts, representing medical doctors from international sport federations, IOC, WADA and laboratory experts, all drew the same conclusion. The strategy in the fight against doping must be reassessed using forensic intelligence, be flexible and quick, as impressively demonstrated with the recent case in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The linear increase of doping control procedures around the globe has not stopped athletes from doping and therefore new deterrent approaches are essential.
The Athlete Health Passport
The biological passport is a powerful new tool. The longitudinal monitoring of individual athletes’ blood and urine parameters might offer new information on the potential manipulation of the human body through the intake of prohibited substances to improve performance. However, more well-designed studies in athletes are required to substantiate the potential change of the strategy in combatting doping in sport.
There was a clear consensus among the interdisciplinary experts that the fight against doping must be coordinated and conducted in partnership with sports physicians, laboratory experts, scientists, as well as the athletes themselves. Adopting such an approach and by evaluating the risk assessment of the abuse of different substances in different sports, the antidoping community will demonstrate an intelligence-based sport-specific approach that effectively combines education with analytical deterrent programmes.
This antidoping theme issue in BJSM presents an overview of the current train of antidoping thought and highlights the need to balance the adoption of effective future strategies in the fight against doping with an efficient use of financial resources.
All authors and experts who participated in this consensus meeting would like to thank FIFA for hosting the meeting at their premises.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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