WADA chief hails China's doping-free record
Updated: 2014-08-23 14:24
NANJING - The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Wednesday spoke highly of China's effforts in the fight against doping in sport, saying the country's anti-doping agency is one of the most "effective" organizations.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Craig Reedie said that the doping-free record for the Chinese athletes at international arena is absolutely first class.
"I think I'm right in saying there hasn't been international positive test from a Chinese athlete for many years. I think, that's a proud record," said the 73-year-old Scotsman, who was elected as WADA's president last year.
China was once accused of systematic doping after a number of positive cases involving Chinese swimmers were reported in the 1994 Asian Games. Since then the Chinese sports authorities have been very tough in rooting out drug cheats with an increasing number of doping tests, a massive education program as well as severe punishments.
Reedie, who is also vice president of the International Olympic Committee, held meetings here with officials from the Chinese governament as well as from the anti-doping agency on the sidelines of the Youth Olympic Games.
"I'm certain having had meetings with them today it is their intention to continue that record. I am very happy with that," he said.
Reedie attributed the Chinese athletes' clean record in major international events to an effective education system.
"China's anti-doping organization is one of the most effective anti-doping agencies in the world," said Reedie.
"There is a system of education here making sure the athletes know their responsibilites. If the athletes do not know the responsibilities, then they will not be selected for Chinese teams. I'm quite clear that this works in China," he added.
Also on the WADA chief's agenda is an inspection tour of the doping control station at the Youth Olympics athletes village.
"For the youth Games, the emphasis is not totally on testing and trying to find anybody who has either made a mistake or has cheated, the emphasis is on edcuation," said Reedie.
"The anti-doping agency has set up a booth in the athletes village, part of the cultural and educational program. We are offering all the young athletes the opportunitiy to come in and learn that doping is not sensible and it is not a good thing to do.
"We want all the young athletes to be clean through their athletic career."
In contrast to the Olympic Games, drug testing is being carried out only in the YOG athletes village rather than in each individual venues.