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Friday, September 17, 2021

Draft law in Qatar aims to criminalize performance-enhancing drugs

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s government is considering making it a criminal offense to import or use performance-enhancing drugs that are banned by international sports organizations, according to a senior official at the nation’s Anti-Doping Commission (QNADC).

The organization has drafted a law that would ban doping substances such as growth hormones and anabolic steroids that are used by some athletes to enhance their performance.

Under the provisions of the proposed new law, which is due to be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers, penalties such as fines would likely be imposed on those caught using such substances or bringing them into the country.

QNADC’s Vice Chairman Dr. Nasser al-Ansari said in a statement that athletes, coaches and technical staff caught using or importing the substances would also “be banned from all aspects of sports, so that, for example, technical staff banned from one sport cannot work in another sport.”

Latest seizures

The latest plans come after QNADC announced that customs officials at Hamad International Airport seized four separate consignments of drugs banned for use in sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) during the month of March.

The substances included testosterone and anabolic steroids.

“This shipment in particular is likely to be used by amateur bodybuilders who often organize small tournaments amongst themselves,” al-Ansari said.

Nasser al-Ansari with latest haul of banned substances
Nasser al-Ansari with latest haul of banned substances

Last month’s haul represents a big jump from the usual eight or nine consignments seized each year by customs officials and handed to the commission, al-Ansari added.

It is not against the law in Qatar to import such substances into the country. While the substances are confiscated by authorities, there are currently no criminal sanctions that can be imposed on those caught doing so.

However, Qatar is a signatory to WADA’s world anti-doping code, which unifies anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities around the world.

As part of the code, WADA produces each year a list of substances that are prohibited for use in sports internationally, which includes anabolic steroids, growth hormones, diuretics and masking agents in addition to other agents.

Athletes caught breaking the code by using these substances are usually penalized by their individual sport’s governing body, which often impose bans from competing nationally or internationally for a given period of time.

Tighter regulations

A QNADC spokesman told Doha News that the new penalties proposed in the draft law are part of renewed efforts to combat the use of prohibited substances in sporting competitions and recreationally.

The anti-doping commission was set up in March 2007 by the Qatar Olympic Committee as an independent anti-doping agency for the state.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Its functions include assessing the validity of an athlete’s use of prescription medication, through a panel of doctors and experts who sit on its therapeutic use exemption committee.

They decide if the athlete should be using the medication they are on, and if the dose in their prescription is appropriate.

The commission also has a disciplinary panel that investigates athletes caught using the banned substances and imposes penalties on them, as well as an appeals panel.

In addition to enforcement, the commission is responsible for outreach and making young people aware of the potentially dangerous effects of using such banned substances.

Al-Ansari said:

“The problem is that a lot of these athletes just don’t grasp how bad these substances are for them, and the damage they do to their bodies by using them.

They’re still young so their bodies can take a lot of abuse, but at some point they will suffer gravely for doping and unfortunately at that point it is often far too late.”

Drugs’ effects

According to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), performance-enhancing drugs “can be extremely dangerous and, in certain situations, deadly.”

Some of the side-effects of taking anabolic steroids (including testosterone) cited by the USADA include acne, baldness, stunted growth and disruption of puberty in children and increased aggressiveness and sexual appetite (known as “roid rage”).

The use of peptide hormones and growth factors can lead to numerous physiological conditions, including hypertension, blood cancers and leukemia, anemia, strokes and heart attacks.

Thoughts?

12 COMMENTS

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Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

Glad to see they have their priorities figured out.

Big Sumo
Big Sumo
6 years ago

How does one draft a law in Qatar? I’d like to draft a law requiring seat belts for all passengers in a car and mandatory baby seats. How does this happen? I think this would save more lives than illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed
Reply to  Big Sumo

Currently, the laws are drafted at the council of ministers, mostly by request from one of the ministries.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Big Sumo

The two items you list are laws in effect. The issue isn’t drsfting and approving laws, but enforcing the law. This is were Doha lags, in the enforcement of many of these laws.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Big Sumo

Need to draft a law requiring the police to do their job! Then employ another lot of police to enforce them doing their job, then draft a law to ensure the police policing the police do their job….and the beat goes on…why? Because Qatar!

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

On your boy period again… Chew on a tampon

lol
lol
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Because Land Cruiser, yes we get you.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Are those men in the photo from Aspire zone on steroids or just big tuna eggs and chicken fans?

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

That’s a whale

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

This is not just about health because the dopers run the risk to themselves. This is about cheating the public out of gate money and clean competitors out of prize money, sponsorship money, and possibly the support from their local sport federations that allows them to compete at all. Furthermore it’s an insult to clean competitors that a doper should be allowed back into the sport. Anyone caught doping should be banned for life with no exceptions.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

Oh noes…what will happen to all the roiders that wear tight shirts…surely they’ll look like a flat tire 🙂

Ayman
Ayman
6 years ago

Need a law on installing AC to workers transportation

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