The President of CONI, Giovanni Malagò, along with the Secretary General, Roberto Fabbricini, today unveiled - during a press conference at the Foro Italico - the activities carried out over the last year by the anti-doping organisations who work within the Italian National Olympic Committee and the statistical data on controls pertaining to 2012 and 2013. The meeting with the information bodies was attended by the Chairman of the Doping Control Committee, General Lucio Nobili, the Chief Prosecutor of the Italian Anti-doping Prosecution Office (UPA), Tammaro Maiello, and the Chairman of the Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee, Mr Luigi Frati, as well as Michele Signorini, Manager in charge of Anti-doping at CONI and other leading figures from the organisation's departments.
Malagò stressed the importance of the international recognition in relation to the route taken by the various bodies which, from July 2013, had changed their own managers. "I have a sacred respect of the hierarchies, they represent independent bodies, and they themselves have a real excellence. The CONI, despite the problems, has increased the budget of the controls from 1 million 600 thousand euro to 2 million. In 2012 and 2013, as confirmed today by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), CONI was the fifth NADO (National Anti-Doping Organisation) in the world by the number of controls carried out. The department is advanced and a powerful deterrent to those who have strange ideas".
This is, in fact, the official ranking from the WADA on the night, concerning the countries that have tested their athletes with greater frequency: Russia leads the ranking list, with a total of 14,582 tests performed, followed by China (13,364), Germany (7,709) and the U.S. (7,144). Italy is in fifth place with a total of 6,816 tests. The figure shown is that of 2.5% of athletes testing positive with respect to all the controls. And Malagò reiterated: "Just 0.1% saddens me, let alone 2.5%".
During the conference, it was repeatedly shown how the interaction between the various components promotes a more effective and comprehensive action to combat doping. The General Lucio Nobili, who chairs the Anti-Doping Control Commission, highlighted the numbers from their own organisation. "The first half of 2014 showed an increase in the controls: 4,100 in the first six months of the year, compared with 6,600 in 2012 and 6,700 in 2013. We are carrying out surprise checks, without prior notice, in compliance with the guidelines laid down by WADA". Two journalists, Luigi Ferrajolo and Giovanni Bruno, also work in the organisation as well.
Luigi Frati, President of the Commission for Therapeutic Use Exemptions, on the other hand stressed "the quantitative and qualitative activity in the context of dialectics between departments, with a view to understanding and analysing the various diseases in order to prevent risks to health". Frati also highlighted the importance of "a world leading anti-doping laboratory thanks to the commitment and quality of work carried out by Francesco Botrè, who is also a global coordinator".
The conference closed with the participation of Tammaro Maiello, Chief Prosecutor of the UPA. "Of the court referrals arranged by us and gone to trial up to today many convictions came from the Italian Anti-Doping Court (TNA), as a witness to the quality of the case for the prosecution. The greatest pride is that in the World Anti-Doping Code, which comes into effect from January 2015, the penalty for the association with disqualified persons will be implemented".