NZ anti-doping methods praised

New Zealand's anti-doping methods have been praised as the prime example of how to catch the drug cheats in sport.

Richard Ings, who was the founding head of Australia's anti-doping agency, said sport would never be totally clean but it needed to do a much better job detecting the offenders.

In response to the just released World Anti-Doping Agency report, which portrays Russia as a doping haven, Ings told Radio Sport's Martin Devlin that global reform was essential.

The WADA report presented in Munich details cover-ups and criminal conspiracy, corruption and bribery among former leaders of the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Ings said there was a conflict of interest when sports federations conducted their own drug testing.

Listen to the full interview between Richard Ings, former chief of Asada in Australia, and Martin Devlin:

"New Zealand has a fantastic model in Drug Free Sport NZ...a well regulated government bodies with proper auditing and oversight put in really effective anti-doping programmes an arm's length from sport," said Ings.

"We've seen the IAAF unable to do that. We've seen an unregulated body in Russia, the Russian anti-doping agency, unable to do that.

"Where it is strictly regulated by Government it does a much better job than any sporting federation can do.

"Global reform is absolutely needed to the point of taking anti-doping away from international sporting federations because of the inherent conflict of interest they have in promoting sporting competition...they rely on elite athletes for the business of their sport."

Ings said the corruption within the IAAF was far worse than the highly-publicised situation in FIFA, world football's governing body. The IAAF was "corrupting and perverting their own competition" whereas the football scandal was confined to officials lining their pockets illegally.

"In this case, one of the foundation Olympic federations in track and field was conspiring with one of the biggest superpowers of international sport, the Russian federation, to pervert international athletics competition at Olympic level. It's disgraceful," he said.

"I think the message for fans is we need to trust the competition, but need to collectively demand change.

"We need to stop believing what international sporting federations tell us, that less than half of one percent of samples coming back are positive which means there is absolutely no doping going on.

"There's lots of doping going on in all sports and all countries."

Ings said better detection rather than longer sentences was the key to deterring cheats.

- NZ Herald

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