BSP-22 Sri Lanka gets Australian help to fight doping in sports

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ZCZC

BSP-22

SRILANKA-AUSTRALIA-SPORTS-DOPING

Sri Lanka gets Australian help to fight doping in sports

COLOMBO, June 18, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Sri Lanka has launched a joint effort
with Australia’s anti-doping agency to tackle drug cheats, including athletes
using traditional medicines to hide banned substances, officials said Monday.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) will give technical
expertise and eventually carry out joint research into doping, officials
said.

“It is critical that we develop our capacities together, we learn from
each other and we join forces in the fight against doping,” ASADA chief David
Sharp told reporters in Colombo.

Sri Lankan sports authorities are particularly interested in traditional
Ayurveda preparations used by some athletes in the island of 21 million.

In 2010 Sri Lankan boxer Manju Wanniarachchi blamed an Ayurveda mixture
after he tested positive for a banned steroid and was stripped of his
Commonwealth gold medal.

Sri Lankan authorities rejected his explanation.

Sri Lanka’s anti-doping chief Arjuna de Silva said on the sidelines of a
two-day Asia-Pacific doping summit in Colombo that many athletes took
Ayurveda substances without knowing what was in them.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief Craig Reedie said the agency was
improving its drug detection armoury but still struggled to keep up with
dopers.

“I would like to think that with improvements in science and with the
improvements in our laboratory systems… we are better at it (detections)
year on year,” Reedie said.

WADA director general Olivier Niggli said some athletes mask doping
through advanced substances not yet available on the open market.

“What we do to counter that is to have agreements with the pharma industry
so that we get access to those products, the new molecules, a few years in
advance before they are on the market,” Niggli said.

BSS/AFP/BZC/1830HRS