More details emerge in Norway anti-doping row
It is claimed that Norwegian sports leaders had been aware of the doping crisis for three years
Norwegian Olympic leaders were aware of the non-compliance with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations regarding drug testing of athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 for three years, according to local media claims.
The Norwegian Olympic Committee (NIF) is believed to be concerned about the prospect of possible disciplinary action after it emerged that rules in the country meant that no underage athlete could be tested for doping without first obtaining the permission of his parents.
However, one of the cornerstones of WADA’s guidelines is that athletes must undergo random drug testing in order to maintain the integrity of the system.
According to Norwegian publication NRK, the Norwegian Olympic Committee and the Norwegian Anti-Doping Agency (ADNO) began an email correspondence with the country’s Ministry of Culture in May 2019 in which they sought clarification on the rules. surrounding the testing of young athletes without parental consent.
NRK added that the Norwegian Anti-Doping Agency had sought legal advice and was told that it was possible to obtain general parental consent for random doping tests, rather than asking permission each time. a test had to be carried out.
However, they add that the NIF and ADNO failed to follow up and implement the recommended measures.
This led to the situation that erupted earlier this month in which it was alleged by NRK that not even an underage athlete received a random doping test – a situation which directly contradicts WADA rules.
Failure to follow WADA guidelines can result in a host of penalties, including banning from international competitions such as the Olympics or Paralympics.
Norway is set to host the Women’s World Handball Championship next year, as well as the men’s version of the same competition two years later.
They have also submitted a joint bid alongside Denmark, Sweden and Finland to host the European Women’s Championship in 2025.
Anders Solheim, CEO of the Norwegian Anti-Doping Authority, has previously added that it is important to implement measures to ensure that underage doping does not have the opportunity to escalate in Norwegian sport.
« There cannot be young people participating in competitions who can do drugs as much as they want, » he said.
« We don’t want a sport where you can do drugs up to the age of 18 – without passing a test. It gives the opportunity to cheat and gain an unfair advantage.”