Friday, 9 May 2008

New French Anti-doping Law

Welcome back to WADAwatch, readers.

Since our marathon-writing sessions that ended in mid-April, Ww has been busy on many fronts, supporting friends and partners in related and unrelated endeavours.

Efforts to produce the Revised Amicus Brief, which was addressed to the 'Court of Public Opinion' (since we could not get permission to submit it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)), which championed the increasingly-vulnerable position of those future Athletes worldwide, in any sport, who may be adversely affected by any appellate decision from the Floyd Landis case that supported WADA, the French AFLD, and the USADA, and their perpetual allowances of Laboratory Failures, have been well-received and generated significant communications.

As a follow-up, Ww offered Crimes against Sportsmanity, and the effect of these two massive research items remains to be justified, or otherwise, as the interested cycling world awaits the CAS decision in the Floyd Landis case.

Yet back to work, WADAwatch today offers a first vision of the new French Law on Doping in Sport, that is the first project offered by Bernard Laporte, the Secretary of the State for Sport, since he took office last October. A short article in had this to offer on the ramifications of the new French law:

Under the new measures, offenders will receive up of five years in jail and a €75,000- fine, when it relates to drug trafficking. The penalty will be increased to seven years in prison and a €150,000 fine when the offence is committed as part of an organised group or against a minor. If the offence is committed by an athlete for his personal use the sentence will comprise a year in prison and a €3,750 fine.

Interestingly, it appears that this law is a French political 'hot potato', as one could well imagine. As a historical aside, the modified law that was approved in the last week, 'improves' the 1999 law that was named for Madame the (Former) Ministère Buffet, who still holds a seat in the French Parliament, for the PCF party.

According to an article that appeared May 1 (in French) on the website, prior to the final approval in the French Senate, President Sarkozy's party, the UMP, voted unanimously for the law as presented to the députés. The opposition parties, including the PS of Ségolène Royal, former presidential candidate, and the PCF, all abstained from the vote.


Paraphrasing the writer, the lightly-attended Parliamentary session found the opposition parties denouncing (for political benefit or? legal substance?) a 'text of circumstance' that was urgently examined, and voted hastily into force, so as to be implemented prior to the Tour de France in July. Mme Buffet disputed the fact that Athletes could now be subject to Criminal penalties. Her fervent cry was to limit the effects on Athletes.

This was reinforced by PS député Alain Néri: "For the dealers, penal sanctions, for the Athletes, sporting sanctions."

So it's on record, that the new law in France against Sports-doping 'pushers' may have been created under pressure (from Whom? ASO, owners of the Tour de France?), and many legal observers know the fallicies that pertain to 'good intentions creating bad law'... but with a stong majority of Parliament seats, the UMP can 'bloody do whatever it wants'.

WADAwatch remains interested in this development, and hopes to return as more information becomes available.

WADAwatch is also reminding its audience that France is destined to assume the Presidency of the European Union Council; the pertinence of this is in recalling the 'sour grapes' thrown to the press by ousted 'former President-in-his-own-mind' Jean-Pierre Lamour, who fantasized the destruction of WADA, in favor of a 'competent' bureau that (Presumably) only he was capable of leading.

WADA, should not be unaware of the power of the French Media that supports its very unpopular president. Remember, that Lagardère Sports (A 25% owner of Editions Phillippe Amaury, which owns ASO), which bought the Tour of Germany is owned by Arnaud Lagardère, one of Sarkozy's best long-term friends.

"Eyes to the front; mark your target..."

Could this be IT?

The long hot summer?

After the Tour de France, hello Beijing. Hope is, that Mr. Fahey, now in the clean-up and forward-moving mode after the world sighed with relief at the departure of Dick Pound, is ready for the challenges that converge with:

  • the Floyd Landis decision between now and June;
  • the UCI v WADA 'wars', now that WADA dumped the UCI from its pilot passport project;
  • the actions in Beijing, where an Olympian propaganda effort on EVERY SIDE, will result in a smorgasbord of potential 'violations', by Athletes (or a brand new Beijing Laboratory facility?), coaches, and others.

Watching the world, watching WADA,


2008 all copyrights reserved

In news unrelated to Ww, this writer is proud to be newly, and deeply associated to a young and dynamic growing association, the Geneva Institute for Water, Environment and Health (GIWEH), as Member of the Executive Committee.

As an Association formed under Swiss law, with an impressive selection of regional experts from the Middle East, the Association will be focusing on improving the health of all peoples, in the Middle East, through dialogue and projects, of actions and implementation of deliverables, that will take the 'talk' away from the work needed to improve the health problems of peoples with limited access to modern water networks.

Become a member! Our hope is to help the sick get well, by preventing the wells from becoming sick.


The opinions expressed by WADAwatch are
strictly formed with the purpose of inciting WADA to adhere
to its Fundamental Rationale, achieve its goals and fulfil
the aspirations of its Signatories, in achieving the
highest possible level of objective, neutral
science in sport-doping control.

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