Scientists tell conference they are catching the drug cheats

From Laureus
The world’s leading sports drug-testers and scientists have joined forces with some of the most respected former Olympians to urge sport to unite against the drugs cheats as we move into an Olympic year.

Daley Thompson, alongside Colin Jackson, speaking at yesterday's sport and ethics symposium. Picture courtesy of Laureus/Getty Images

Edwin Moses, Colin Jackson and Daley Thompson and members of the drug-testing community came together at the 2011 Science and Ethics in Sport Symposium, facilitated by Laureus and The Times, and held at the Debating Chamber in County Hall in London yesterday.

Taking part on expert panels were Dr Larry Bowers, Chief Science Officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Professor David Cowan, Director of King’s College London’s Drug Control Centre, Jonathan Harris, Medical Services Manager Anti-Doping for the London Olympic Games, Olivier Niggli, Legal Director of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Andy Parkinson, Chief Executive, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and Travis Tygart, CEO of USADA.

Moses, Jackson and Thompson gave their unqualified support to the crusade being fought by the drug-testing agencies to root out guilty athletes, coaches and drug traffickers.

During the symposium, there were calls for more use of law enforcement and border agencies, health care agencies and various sources of intelligence in the fight against the drugs cheats.

At the end of the symposium, Laureus World Sports Academy Member and double Olympic decathlon gold medal-winner, Daley Thompson said: “Having listened to what was being said by the scientists and experts, I am encouraged.” And Colin Jackson urged the drug-testers: “Never give up. You must keep working hard to create a drug free environment.”

During the event, 2012 Olympics medical services official Harris warned that the testing regime facing the athletes next summer will be more far-reaching than ever before. He said: “We will conduct a record 5,000 tests during the Games, we will get confirmation of positive tests in 48 hours and of EPO (erythropoietin) in 72 hours. We are training 1,000 chaperones to ensure efficient and quick testing.”

Among the issues discussed at the symposium were: the future of detection and deterrence as we move into an Olympic year; why blood testing is vital to a successful programme; catching the sophisticated doper; the ethical importance of doping controls; and the case for sport as a positive influence.

Double Olympic gold medallist Edwin Moses, who is also Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy and a member of the board of USADA, said: “This was a collaborative effort to encourage dialogue and to increase the level of understanding and awareness of the important roles science and ethics play in the fight against doping in sport. Sport needs to provide a united front to the drug cheats if we are to win this war and it was good to see such unanimity of view across such a cross-section of sport.”

The Science and Ethics in Sport Symposium directly followed the USADA science symposium in London, where programme administrators, laboratory directors, pharmaceutical industry and academic scientists from around the world met to discuss a variety of issues, including growth hormone.

The 2011 Science and Ethics in Sport Symposium was staged with the support of Laureus and The Times newspaper and with the co-operation of USADA and the Sports Journalists’ Association of Great Britain. Representatives of sport governing bodies, members of the drug-testing community and the international media were in the audience.

A videocast/VNR of the Symposium will be available at Pictures available at

For more information contact:

Gerald Meier
Laureus Global Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 2863
Fax: +44 (0)20 7514 2837