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Athletes not vocal enough against doping: Coventry


JOHANNESBURG — Sports people should take a stronger public stand against doping, former Olympic gold medallist Kirsty Coventry said Thursday.


“I don’t think the majority of athletes stand up publicly to take a strong stand,” the 30-year-old Zimbabwean swimmer told AFP on the sidelines of the World Conference on Doping in Sport.

“Athletes have a huge responsibility to take a stand,” said Coventry, who has joined the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) foundation board as a representative of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission.

“The new revised doping code takes into consideration athletes,” said Coventry. “It makes it easier to understand.”

But not everyone is aware of the rules, she added. “There’s definitely a trend when it comes to poorer countries when it comes to education.”

In Zimbabwe, only one proven case of doping has been reported after Dynamos Football Club and Warriors midfielder Devon Chafa was banned for six months by world football governing body Fifa for using a prohibited substance.

In a statement, Fifa said: “The Fifa Disciplinary Committee decided on October 10 to sanction Chafa who had been provisionally suspended in August for an anti-doping rule violation following a doping control conducted after the match of the preliminary competition of the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil played in Harare June 9, 2013.

“The player has been declared ineligible for a period of six months after testing positive for prednisone — a substance included on WADA’s 2013 Prohibited List under the class “S9. Glucocorticosteroids

“By testing positive for a prohibited substance, the player has violated article 6 of the Fifa Anti-Doping Regulations. As such, he has contravened article 63 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code.

“The suspension period starts from August 30, 2013, the date from which the player was provisionally suspended by the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee. The suspension covers all types of matches, including domestic, international, friendly and official fixtures.”

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