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Countries moving towards criminalising doping: Expert

Several countries are contemplating criminalising the intake of performance enhancing drugs in a bid to curb the menace of doping in sports, a researcher said today.

sports Updated: Aug 29, 2011 22:50 IST

Several countries are contemplating criminalising the intake of performance enhancing drugs in a bid to curb the menace of doping in sports, a researcher said on Monday.

"Some countries are moving towards criminalising doping... France, following the 1998 Tour de France (which was marred by a doping scandal), Italy is moving towards it while Germany and UK are exploring it," James Skinner, Associate Professor in Sport Management at Griffith University in Australia, said at a seminar in Mumbai.

Skinner, currently undertaking a research for World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) into athletes and coaches attitude into sports, was speaking on the topic "Public Perception of Doping in Sports". The seminar was organised by International Institute of Sports Management (IISM).

On the contentious 'Whereabouts' clause of WADA's anti-doping policy, which had become unpopular with the Indian cricketers, he said many sportspersons had problems with it.

"Indian cricketers are not the only professionals who are against it. Many say it is a breach of privacy and freedom and is invasive. People who believe in reducing doping point out that the clause is a major flaw in WADA's policy," he said.

"It was widely condemned in the media when officials turned up at the funeral of a Belgium player's son to collect his (player's) samples," Skinner added.

"I personally feel that if you are fully aware of the clause before you sign up you have to comply with it."

Skinner said there was a line of thought among people who felt that doping should be legalised as it would provide all the athletes a level playing field.