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FINA Extraordinary Medical Congress

Anita Lonsbrough

The FINA Extraordinary Congress, held prior to the Second World Short Course Championships in Rio de Janeiro, was called to consider and discuss some of the many drug issues that concern most of the FINA members.

John Devitt, the 1960 Olympic 100 m freestyle champion, eloquently proposed, on behalf of Australia, that the two year ban for individual athletes testing positive for anabolic androgenic steroids be increased to four years to include an Olympic Games. The congress, which was well attended, passed the motion seconded by Great Britain, with a majority of 26 to 13. Those refusing to submit to a doping test will receive a two year ban. In both cases, all records and medals won in a period up to 12 months prior to the offense can be declared null and void.

However, the gathering did not agree to the sanctions proposed for Federations. The proposal was "any drug abuse in a period of 12 months from the first offense involving anabolic androgenic steroids within the jurisdiction of a Member federation shall result in an automatic sanction of the Member as follows:

These sanctions shall only be applied if the offenses have been committed in the same discipline." Although this proposal did not go through, it has been deferred until Atlanta, when Federations will have had more time to consider the issue.

FINA has increased its efforts to show the world that it is making attempts to stamp out drug abuse in swimming by taking steps to carry out out - of - competition tests. Federations are asked to submit a provisional list of competitors who will be taking part in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. This, together with previous attempts, is to try and make sure everyone who competes in the 1996 Olympics will have had at least one out - of - competition test in the run up to the Games. Previously, the top 50 on the world rankings in each event were targeted. But it was found that not all Federations were sending their internal results to the International Swimming Statisticians Association for inclusion on the world rankings.

Hoping to strengthen the out - of - competition testing, the period of notice has been reduced from 48 hours to 24 hours.

All FINA members are now required to submit to FINA, quarterly, all results of doping tests carried out under their domain. This will enable FINA to monitor all doping tests carried out world - wide. The FINA list of banned substances and methods has been brought into line with that of the IOC. Further details are available in the FINA Guidelines of Doping Control, Second Edition, which was published and is available from National Federations or directly from the FINA office.

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