Global sport doping cases up 13% in 2017: WADA

Anti-Doping violations, WADA, Russia doping ban, Vladimir Putin
Most of the 2017 violations, 1,459, were detected through "positive" testing results. Representative image: iStock

A day after Russia decided to appeal against its ban from major sporting events over doping violations, the World Anti-Doping Agency released its data which shows a 13 percent rise of doping cases in international sport in 2017.

The Montreal-based agency’s annual report revealed that in 2017 the anti-doping rule violations increased to 1,804 as compared to the previous year’s 1,595, of which 82 such cases came from Russia.

The cases in 2017 involved people from 114 14 nationalities, across 93 sports, of which Italy had to largest number of infractions, at 171, followed by France at 128, the United States with 103 and Brazil at 84.

WADA on December 10 banned Russia for four years from all major global events due to which they’ll miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Also read: Russia to decide on appeal against doping ban

The country’s state-sponsored doping which took came into light between 2011 and 2015 was in an independent report released three years ago by sports lawyer Richard McLaren.

Russia’s athletics team was barred from the 2016 Rio Olympics, London’s 2017 world championships and the 2018 Winter Olympics for the same.

However, President Vladimir Putin insisted that if WADA doesn’t have any objections the sportspersons should compete under their flag.

“Any punishment should be individual. If a majority of our athletes are clean how is it possible to slap sanctions against them for someone else’s actions? ,” he said.

Also read: Putin says Russia must compete under flag at sports events

China, India, Belgium, Spain and South Africa completed the list of top 10 nations with doping violations for the period covered by WADA’s report.

Bodybuilding had the most violations, 266, followed by athletics which had 242 and cycling, with 218. Football and rugby were in sixth and eighth place, the report said.

Most of the 2017 violations, 1,459, were detected through “positive” testing results. The remainder came from investigation and intelligence, without detection of prohibited substances, WADA said.

“While in- and out-of-competition testing remains critical to detect doping, events have recently shown that investigative work is becoming even more important as we look to protect clean athletes’ rights worldwide,” WADA’s director general Olivier Niggli said in a statement.

(With inputs from agencies)

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