Connect to share and comment
The fight against doping cheats in sports could reach breaking point if more money is not found to finance testing programmes, a top official told AFP.
The director-general of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), David Howman, believes that his organisation is under increasing pressure to catch cheats.
But governments, already feeling the pinch of the global economic crisis, have been unwilling to match their demands with hard cash.
"It really worries me because I think nobody knows how much we have to do now," Howman said in an interview.
"It seems that each year we get asked more and each year we do not get any more money.
"At some stage, things will break and I do not want to be there when it happens because it would be very embarrassing for everyone."
He added: "This year we have to sit down with as many people as possible and show them that if we do get more money that certain things that we have been asked to do just will not get done."
Howman was responding to a report given last weekend to the executive committee which examined the alleged "ineffectiveness of testing" programmes, as less than one percent of the approximately 250,000 tests conducted every year lead to a positive case.
The report was put together by an ad-hoc working group, chaired by former WADA president Richard Pound.
A number of suggestions and recommendations were made to improve the system. Some of them have been already included into the last draft of the next world anti-doping code that will be adopted in November, including the obligation for anti-doping bodies to submit their testing plans for approval by WADA.
"It is not just a WADA issue, it is an issue for all the members of the anti-doping community to say: are we really doing a good job or are we pretending we are doing?" said Howman.
"If we are doing a good job, many of those cheats, the sophisticated cheats, would be getting caught, and they are not. Something is not quite right.
"The idea behind the report was to look at anti-doping everywhere, so everybody that is involved is really part of the question to be asked -- is it the laboratories, testing agencies, governments, everybody."
Howman is also concerned about the lack of incentives to catch dopers observed in the international federations or the national anti-doping agencies, who are often reluctant to see major names caught up in a doping scandal.
"Nobody wants a controversy. You don't want your heroes testing positive," said the New Zealander.