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Tough new anti-doping laws to come into force

News: 15 December 2014

Tough new anti-doping rules come into force on January 1, 2015 which will see athletes who use performance enhancing drugs face longer bans from all sport.

Changes have been made to New Zealand’s Sports Anti-Doping Rules to reflect the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

The chief executive of Drug Free Sport New Zealand, Graeme Steel, welcomes the changes which will help to better protect clean athletes.

“These new rules are powerful and far-reaching and will ensure that those who set out to cheat are removed from participating in sport for longer periods.

“New Zealand has proud tradition of clean sport and Drug Free Sport NZ works hard to ensure that tradition is maintained and continued. We believe these new rules are a significant step forward in the fight against doping in sport,” Mr Steel says.

Key changes introduced as a result of the new World Anti-Doping Code include:
• longer bans of up to four years for a first offence for those who dope intentionally
• penalties for athletes who associate with anyone who has previously committed a doping offence
• sanctions for those who help to cover-up doping
• an extension of the anti-doping rules to cover athlete support personnel.

“The introduction of longer bans sends a clear message to athletes that intentional doping will not be tolerated. Bans of this length could effectively end an athlete’s sporting career so they take a huge risk if they choose to dope,” Mr Steel says.

He adds that those who support athletes will also need to be aware of the rule changes because they are now bound more clearly by the anti-doping rules and can face penalties if they break the rules.

“It’s vital that everyone involved in sport is committed to being drug free and this includes those supporting athletes like coaches, trainers, physiotherapists etc. There’s no level playing field if we don’t have everyone on board and following the rules,” Mr Steel says.

Other changes that have been introduced include a greater focus on investigations and intelligence to identify doping and target testing.

“In the future, the fight against doping will increasingly be about intelligence gathering, investigation and targeted testing. This intelligence-led approach will make it easier to catch the real cheats and protect all those competing cleanly and fairly,” Mr Steel says.

New Zealand athletes who are in Drug Free Sport New Zealand’s regular testing pool have been informed about the new rule changes.

Those wanting further information can visit Drug Free Sport New Zealand’s website:

About Drug Free Sport NZ:

Drug Free Sport NZ is New Zealand’s National Anti-Doping Organisation committed to protecting and promoting a culture of clean, drug-free sport.

We implement the World Anti-Doping Code which details anti-doping rules, along with prohibited substances and doping methods. We help athletes and their support personnel to understand and follow these rules and take action against those who break these rules.

Our work comprises three key components:
• enforcement through our testing and investigations programme
• education through athlete resources, outreach programmes, seminars, and research
• influence to help create a culture of clean sport in New Zealand and to ensure anti-doping rules reflect the needs of our athletes.

In 2013/14, Drug Free Sport NZ collected nearly 1500 samples from New Zealand and international athletes. In the same year, three athletes were disciplined for Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs).

Updated on 23rd July 2015