Spain gets anti-doping plan
Rocked by a succession of doping scandals in recent years, the Spanish government is hoping to resto
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Spain’s socialist government has revealed the outline for a national anti-doping plan that will set up legislative checks on the sale and use of doping products and establish a national anti-doping agency. The ‘Plan Nacional Antidopaje’ was presented by the Spanish minister of sport, Jaime Lissavetzky on Monday. The initiative has come largely in response to a spate of high-profile doping cases in Spain across a wide range of sports, including cycling. The most notable cycling-related case is that of doping whistleblower Jesus Manzano, who has alleged systematic doping within the former Kelme team. Lissavetzky said that he hopes that the wide-ranging proposals included within the plan will be enacted into Spanish law before the end of the present government’s term, which is due to end in 2008. The plan in its initial form lays down the guidelines for blood testing of athletes, out of competition random testing, and, perhaps most crucially, legal penalties against those caught selling or using banned products. Currently, there is little legislation in Spain that can be used against those trafficking or using such products. During his presentation, Lissavetzky outlined the scale of this problem. According to Interpol, he said, the worldwide sale of banned substances amounted to $16 billion in 2003. One of the most controversial elements of the plan as far as athletes are concerned is likely to be the provision for out-of-competition testing. Lissavetzky insisted that the personal rights and dignity of individuals would not be forgotten when guidelines for these tests are firmed up.