ANTI DOPING Launch of the 2005 Anti-Doping Annual Report

Mr. John O’Donoghue T.D. Minister For Arts, Sport and Tourism today (April 5) officially launched the Irish Sports Council’s 2005 Anti-Doping Annual Report in Dublin.

In 2005, 962 tests were carried out, including 147 User Pays tests. This is an increase of 44 on 2004. Out of Competition (OOC) tests accounted for 59% of testing under the National Programme, 38 sports were subject to testing, and 76 of the tests were conducted overseas.

There were two positive findings in two different sports. Sanctions were imposed in the two cases. Both cases, one in squash and one in rugby, were for Cannabinoids and a sanctions were imposed on the athletes.

In addition two disciplinary cases pending from 2004 were completed in 2005. Arising from the disclosure procedures in the new Rules all information pertaining to these cases is in the public domain already. 

Ossie Kilkenny, Chairperson of the Irish Sports Council commented: “The Irish Sports Council operates an excellent programme that makes a huge contribution to Irish sport and makes an outstanding contribution to the global battle against doping in sport”.

Dr Brendan Buckley, Chairperson of the Anti-Doping Committee, said: “There were two positive findings for the year 2005. The Programme is not measured simply by the number of positive findings and I regard 2005 as a successful year with important contributions at national and international level, especially the bedding down of eh New Rules, introduced in 2004.” ”.

2005 was the first full year of the new Irish Rules. They are now well established and provide the framework for all activity in this area in Ireland. The new Rules required the establishment of a Disciplinary Committee, an Appeals Committee and a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee, all of which had reason to meet for the first time during 2005.  

A survey of athletes carried out by the Anti-Doping Unit revealed that 88% of athletes consider the Council programme to have been effective in reducing drug taking in Irish sport.  The survey was carried out as part of the ongoing dialogue with athletes and their mentors to ensure knowledge of and compliance with the Programme, especially since the introduction of the new Rules.

The survey also revealed that there is a significant number of athletes who still use supplements, the rate of which (at 54%) has remained unchanged since 2002. However, there’s a noticeable decrease in the number who consider them essential in order to compete at the highest level (38% in 2005 as opposed to 50% in 2002.

The Anti-Doping Unit remained active in the international front, cooperating throughout the year with World Anti-Doping Agency initiatives. This included the appointment of Dr Una May as Chairperson of WADA’s Independent Observer Team at the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki in August.

An essential element of the international programme is working with the Association of National Anti-Doping Organisations  (ANADO). This association provides support to the development of comprehensive national programmes with a particular emphasis on areas of the world where new national programmes are evolving. This is essential in ensuring confidence that a global system of anti-doping can be effective.

In October 2005 UNESCO convention on anti-doping was adopted unanimously and that it is now open for ratification. (More detail and significance)

For Further Information:

Paul McDermott, Irish Sports Council  01-8608802, 087-6486295