WADA finds significant increase in positive doping tests in 2016
In its annual report released on Thursday, The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) experienced an increase in positive doping tests by 26.4% in 2016. The increase is mostly caused by the addition of the substance meldonium to WADA’s list of prohibited substances, writes USA Today.
As such, close to 500 findings from meldonium accounted for nearly half of the increase from 2015 to 2016. In 2015, WADA recorded 3.809 positive doping tests – in 2016, that number increased to 4.814, an increase of 1.005.
Meldonium, is usually used to treat heart and cardiovascular diseases. Throughout 2015, WADA saw an increasing number of athletes taking the drug and thus, added it to the prohibited substance list in September 2015.
A more detailed report on the testing figures will be published later this year.
In its report, WADA also outlines its key priorities for activities in the future including:
- Enhancing Code compliance monitoring to respond to calls made by athletes for stronger consequences for non-compliance.
- Strengthening its own intelligence and investigations efforts – a priority instigated by the independent investigations by Richard McLaren and Richard Pound.
- Work to encourage more informants and whistleblowers to come forward.
“The outcomes of WADA’s independent investigations and the actions taken by WADA and our partners, resulted in very public challenges for anti-doping and sport. However, we believe that when we look back on 2016, it will be considered a turning point in the fight against doping in sport – a year which solidified the belief among our stakeholders that a strong, independent WADA is essential to securing athletes’ ambitions,” WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie commented following the release of the report.