Ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, has said that further actions must be taken to improve anti-doping programmes.
He disclosed this on Thursday while addressing delegates at the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) General Assembly in Mauritius, chaired by Lassana Palenfo, the President of Ivory Coast’s ANOCA.
Bach told the sports leaders: “I am not getting tired to repeat this message that we have to make every effort, in accordance with Olympic Agenda 2020, to safeguard the credibility of sports because only then can we enjoy credibility.
“Only then can the message we are sending with the Olympic Games, with the athletes, with our values, only then are they credible.
“NOCs must strive harder to catch cheats or all teams risk being tainted and associated with cheating.
“I would really encourage you all to make an extra effort into your anti-doping programme before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“You can win all the medals you were dreaming, but if one of these victories is tinged with scandal for doping, then all your medals and all your athletes are tainted, and the honest athletes do not deserve this.
“You must protect the integrity of your athletes and Olympic delegation in making the fight against doping a priority.
“You must try to catch cheats before the Olympic Games in Rio, so they are punished, so that they are exposed to show that you hunt down cheats to protect athletes who play by the rules,” insidethegames.biz quoted him as saying.
“Suspicions over widespread doping have increased in recent weeks.
“Following publication of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission’s report, this confirmed allegations of systemic doping within Russian athletics.
“Greater light has been shone on problems in other countries, including in Kenya, where 38 athletes have tested positive for banned substances in recent months”.
He further urged the NOCs to work with their governments to have their National Anti-Doping Associations and all regional agencies compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.
He then appreciated the Mauritian government for their warm welcome and said that the country was “living the Olympic moto of unity in diversity.”