Conference on Doping, numbers and data on activities. Malagò: autonomous bodies, ready for renewed efforts


conv1Held today in the Hall of Honour was the conference "Fight against Doping: the regulatory context and enforcement strategies. Legal and operational aspects". The first part of the in-depth analysis, moderated by the Deputy Secretary General, Carlo Mornati started with the greeting by the President of CONI, Giovanni Malagò, who thanked the participating speakers, expanding the horizon on strategies and future prospects of the sector, in addition to shedding some light on aspects related to recent incidents in sports news.

"We each have a reservoir of credibility. A year from now I should not have to be here to talk about the same things because it would mean that what I promised to do has been unsuccessful. Around the table there are the stakeholders in this world. I think that the working group should be adapted with some new professionalism from the indisputable curriculum but I want to remember what I've done since I was elected on this matter: if I didn't want problems I could confirm the professionals who took care of the matter. Yet I have changed, choosing the curriculum, not for knowledge. I have no relationship of any kind with them and this shows how this body is autonomous: it does not have and should not have any relationship of connection with CONI. I do not deny that I am going through a drama with the situation of Carolina Kostner. I cannot express solidarity to her and I deeply regret this, I have said it is not advisable because it could be misunderstood. The prosecutor calls for four years and three months: I was challenged for this decision. I think that is unfair. Because what WADA is saying is enlightening, until 31 December 2014, the Regulation requires this. From 1 January 2015, this discourse will change, according to the rules approved in the last Board. As a citizen I can say that it is unfair, as President of CONI I must remain silent. But what has CONI done wrong? Having complied with the regulations. And you have to judge the governance of CONI from the election day to today, you can't mix it up with the past. At the next conference I will invite others, to show that there is an opportunity to be heard and for criticism".


The introduction of Malagò preceded the intervention of Tammaro Maiello, Head Attorney of the Anti-doping Prosecution Office of CONI. "The Prosecution is a great team. International legislation to combat doping aims to ensure the credibility of the events and the health of the athlete. The phenomenon is combated, in Italy, with two actions: penal and sporting. The combating action passes from a static investigation activity to a dynamic activity, in particular for trafficking or attempted trafficking of substances (2.7) and for the administration of, or attempts to administer prohibited methods or encouragement, assistance and complicity in the violation of (2.8). Interaction with the public prosecutors and with the NAS (Medical Arm of the Carabinieri) is essential: we can not act only on hearsay, we have to acquire reliable data. We have evaluated audition techniques today detailed questions are prepared on the basis of thorough reading of the acts. In this context, we also utilised the use of the questionnaire with people abroad. Referrals section. From 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 116 referrals were prepared, in the last five months at least 103. The sample stated is not only pursued but also the subject that goes in the gyms. Doping is not fought only with the appearance of sanctions but also with prevention. That which helps the athlete to be aware of the rules. And it is also decisive the information activities and the involvement of young people".


The conference continued with the report of the General Cosimo Piccinno, Commander of the Carabinieri for the protection of health. "Our section consists of 38 centres distributed around Italy. We have a central department, we deal in particular with anti-doping and with pharmaceuticals by means of a strong international cooperation. Behind the supply chain of counterfeit drugs there is criminality because the revenues are enormous. One euro invested on one narcotic repays 16 times, on drugs 2,500. The turnover assessed is 50 billion a year. Doping is a criminal offence that seriously damages health. It is the dark side of sport. Law 376/2000 the CVD is established, in 2008 we start to deal with doping and in we appoint a representative in the commission. Today the planning of the controls takes place with targeted selection, from January 2013 thanks to the activity of qualified soldiers with "Anti-doping investigative Inspector" masters. This is the data: 4397 reported, 612 arrested, over 2 and a half million vials confiscated. With indications from the NAS the positive percentage rises from 2% to about 13%, which means doing intelligence work. It is necessary to make counter communication starting from the knowledge of the facts".

Roberto Cucchiari, Deputy prosecutor of the Prosecutor's Office of Rome, spoke about the organisation of the body. "The Prosecutor of Rome is divided into 14 specialised groups. The matter of doping is treated in a specific way, with a Prosecutor and 7 assistants. It collaborates with the NAS of the Carabinieri". Massimiliano Rosolino, Olympian swimmer, brought his contribution as an athlete. "For us one of the most beautiful thing is to be visited by those who do the testing, as this stands for credibility. Clean sport should be promoted. We must educate young people to eat well, to train with the spirit of sacrifice and application, to believe in fair play. In Italy we are very strict, the last episode of the Chinese swimmer teaches us that international harmonisation is useful. We should do anti-doping immediately after the competition, meaning the day after the award ceremony".


The topic of the conference was then addressed from the point of view of Carlo Polidori, President of Section I of the National Anti-Doping Court (TNA). "We deal with repression but I wanted to focus my speech on deterrence and information. The bodies of justice must speak through decisions, not through other means. We do not deal only with athletes found positive, indeed, those cases are simple. In our rulings we have started to emphasize the poor education there is in Italy on the phenomenon of doping. At the moment, it is a mission: I have two children and I would like to leave a world where you can race on equal terms. It should be maximum severity from the supervisory organisations and not only from those administering the tests". Luigi Fumagalli, President of Section II of the TNA, has on the other hand focused on the relationship between national bodies and supranational justice. "The Global WADA Code is the beacon of light. It was considered an added value to have a unified legislation. The division among athletes of national and international interest is important. The appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is expected in the second case. CONI has decided to grant this possibility to all athletes. Interesting case of the German skater Pechstein". Marco Bernardi, President of the Anti-doping Commission CIP, finally closed the morning session. "Even in this world there is doping, the big difference between the various disabilities determines the complexity of the phenomenon within the movement".



The afternoon session, chaired by CONI Secretary General, Roberto Fabbricini, was opened by Lucio Nobili, Chairman of the Control Committee. "Our body provides the planning and distribution of the controls, during and outside competitions. It may also arrange surprise checks or their convocation. Decisive use of ADAMS, which allows the use of a uniform system, both nationally and internationally, of information management on the "whereabouts", as well as the rationalisation of targeted checks through the medium of the verification in the database of the history of sampling sessions already made by other anti-doping organisations on the same athlete". Luigi Frati, President of the CEFT, outlined the activities of the other CONI anti-doping facility. "The CEFT obviously follows international rules. The general criteria requires that medicines administered are closely related to the pathology and our facility certifies the appropriateness of the treatment. The problem consists in staying within the rules and in this sense we use the utmost rigour. We do not authorise competing within the term of the presumed effect of the treatment. The exemption must be requested first. If there is an emergency, the request is evaluated on a case by case basis".

Massimo Casciello, President of the CVD, spoke of its system. "The goal is to see how the problem of public health and combating doping at the same time in competitions is experienced. To provide training and information to the general public through new forms of communication We have conducted studies with the Ministry of Health to assess the components of the supplements on the market and to protect, of course, citizens. We fund research activities: 1390 athletes tested in 2013".


Maurizio Casasco, President of the FMSI, spoke about the activity carried out. "I wish to thank all of the partners that are part of the anti-doping system. The CEFT is extremely important, it is rigorous, it is the real hub - present and future - of anti-doping. The FMSI was founded in 1929 and has 5,000 members. We protect the health and guarantee the health education of those who do sports. The selection is very hard to obtain the status of DCO (Doping Control Officer). Since 2006, things have changed. In Turin in 2006 they were 62 of our doctors involved, obtaining zero non-compliance. We are proud and I want to stress that, in the context of our competencies, using ADAMS is a resounding advantage. You are able to retrieve the athlete, to know where they are. I have to thank Malagò who spoke with the State to allow it use".

Gualtiero Ricciardi, Commissioner of the Italian Institute of Health, outlined the activities of the currently chaired body. "We operate through monitoring activities, which take place in different areas, ranging from minor to professional ones. We check that the laboratories meet the minimum requirements and we also cooperate with the activities of the CVD. We try to also act on raising awareness concerning the taking of drugs, with a national mapping of the supply and an analysis of the products, in collaboration with NAS. Our work is also to develop awareness campaigns on the subject, by trying to promote virtuous models. We are accessible to citizens, for an effective interaction with the purpose of prevention".


Francesco Botrè, Director of the Anti-Doping Laboratory in Rome, with a brilliant speech touched on the key points related to the activity of the structure. "The World Anti-Doping Program is structured on three levels, the first two are mandatory, the third covers models of good practice. In the first two models, there are standards on the list of prohibited substances. I am also on the Controls committee of this list, there are only two belonging to the laboratories (also that of Cologne). Synonymous with recognition of our work, including that regarding the identification of new substances. Today there are over 400, there were 250 at the end of the century, 10-20 in the 1960s. The laboratory in Rome was re-credited from 1999. Competence, autonomy and traceability are the criteria for performance evaluation: we oversee the National Institute of Health, the National Board of Accreditation and then WADA. Statistical data: in 2013 the index of positivity of the Laboratory was 2.83%, compared to 2.21% worldwide. We have brought a significant contribution to the activity in the development of methods of pre-treatment of the sample with the use of microwaves, improvement of the method for the detection of doping by erythropoietin, development of methods applicable to both blood and urine for doping by hormones". Damiano Tommasi, AIC President, analysed the problem as a former athlete and manager. "The problems arise from the superficial use of medicines, from too much faith in some systems, children of an erroneous culture. Our job as managers, to train more and more. I refer also to the relationship with the doctors, of the RTP. A medal that is not clean must become a disadvantage. I know how hard it is to give up a competition, but health comes before everything and I am happy that there are people who have given up playing to avoid the risks of infiltration".



The third and final part of the conference was initiated by the participation of the Attorney Gambino, on the output of the new CONI magazine on Sport Law. The Head of the CONI Press and Communications Office, Danilo di Tommaso, illustrated aspects of communication linked to doping. "An imperative task, such as sports anti-doping regulations, it is linked to the disclosure of some news: throughout the handbook the website address CONI is cited 11 times. The most important part is related to the communication of court rulings, not to mention the publicity given to the suspension of procedural deadlines". Luigi Ferrajolo, USSI President and member of the Control Committee spoke on the other hand about recent professional experience. "It is a role which I have to adapt to responsibly. To see the matter from the other perspective, however, helps to better understand certain dynamics". Giovanni Bruno, Director of Sky Sports and also a member of the Control Committee, is on the same wavelength. "I've got to be part of something that I have always seen from the other side. We test a lot more athletes, thanks to the knowledge of the sporting world, of current events". Malagò closed the proceedings, noting that there will be another meeting open with other interventions and stressing the importance of an ongoing dialogue aimed at constantly improving the anti-doping model.