New Zealand has recently joined other countries in an initiative and movement to continue the ban on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. The national non-profit Drug Free Sport New Zealandorganisation has now joined 12 other anti-doping committees from countries such as the US, UK and close neighbour Australia. They aim to put pressure on, and to condemn, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for being willing and open to lifting the ban and making a deal with Russia.
The issue that these 13likeminded voices share is that in making this deal, they are essentially sending the wrong message to the entire world that doping is tolerated. This would compromise the values, ideals and integrity of many Olympic sports, events and athletes. The protection of clean and fair competition, and athletes is essential to many, and as such, they will continue to fight the lift on this ban. This is despite rumours that WADA will be lifting the ban following their executive committee meeting later this month.
It is felt that not just the Kiwi professionals, but all athletes, have the right to know that the rules are applied to everyone and that the expectations set before them are also applied to others. They need to understand that the sports they participate in, are fair, and winners win because of talent and skill, and not the assistance of banned substances.
Presently, New Zealand sets an excellent example for the world, and for up and coming athletes, as the processes, tests and standards are rigorous. This ensures that athletes, fans, and those involved in any way in sport, are confident that Kiwi athletes are clean, and restores faith in the global concept of anti-doping. There are many national and global initiatives underway, and it is hoped that the ban remains, as it is in the best interest of everyone.