I believe that IPC Powerlifting’s new educational programme is a positive step in the right direction to help educating countries about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs and supplements.
Editor’s Note: This blog post is a response to IPC Powerlifting’s new “Raise The Bar – Say No! to Doping” campaign, which will be launched at next week’s IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Powerlifting Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The programme, which will be funded by the Agitos Foundaton, not only aims to target approximately 500 lifters, but their coaches and the support networks which surround them throughout training and competition.
All groups will be provided with various opportunities to attend sessions where they will be given one-on-one anti-doping education, training and practical testing of the knowledge they have gained.
Earlier this month, IPC Powerlifting announced its extensive anti-doping educational programme in partnership with the World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA).
Unfortunately, doping has been a big issue over the last few years within the sport.
Powerlifting has had the most positive tests of any Paralympic sport in the last four years.
I’m a big believer in drug-free sport and athletes competing on an equal basis.
I push myself to the limits in training and other parts of my life to contribute to the perfect performance on the platform.
I consider the UK’s out-of-competition testing programme the best in the world, which is run by UKAD.
It is a model that should be followed by every competing nation in the world; however, it is unfortunately not the case.
There has been constant debate about the punishment for a positive test.
I feel that imposing a two-year ban on an athlete who purposely set out to gain an unfair advantage doesn’t really sit well with me.
My opinion could be perceived as harsh, but I feel a lifetime ban is enough of a deterrent for anyone caught cheating.
It has been proven that performance-enhancing drugs have lifetime benefits, not just immediate gains.
I am lucky in a sense as I live in a country that promotes drug-free sport, has its own anti-doping agency, and a world leading out of hours drug testing system.
However, for me to truly believe that I am competing on in an equal environment, I would like to see any country that enters a team into the Paralympic Games to have an independent anti-drug agency that carries out-of-competition testing on its athletes.
However, that wish maybe a little ambitious and unrealistic, but I believe that IPC Powerlifting’s new educational programme is a positive step in the right direction to help educating countries about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs and supplements.
A positive test ruins the reputation of the sport, but I’m glad the cheats are being caught.
It means the system is working.
It gives clean athletes like me a chance at winning major medals.