World Medical Association To Consider New Warning For Doctors On Doping In Sport

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Following the recent spate of doping scandals in report, the World Medical Association is to consider issuing a fresh warning to doctors about their involvement in doping in sport.
At its annual General Assembly meeting in Ottawa, Canada in October, the WMA, representing eight million physicians from more than 70 countries, will consider a new paper which urges the medical profession to rally to oppose doping in sport and to censor any doctors involved in doping.

The paper, published today, says that doping is now systematically being used in the professional sports world. Significant abuse is also occurring on the amateur level, often with even more dangerous drugs.

It says that doctors who participate in doping are behaving unethically and in some cases in a criminal manner. The argument that if physicians did not involve themselves, athletes? health would be in greater danger is spurious and unacceptable.

The paper, from the Danish Medical Association, says that physicians and their professional associations must now take a leading role in publicising information about the dangers in doping in sport and assist in uncovering and prohibiting such misuse.

Dr Delon Human, secretary general of the World Medical Association, said: "Physicians" involvement in trying to conceal the use of drugs by means of pharmacological manipulation is totally unethical. Doctors who assist cheating athletes to get away with it are harming their patients.

The WMA has issued guidance on this subject in the past. In 1981 it adopted Principles of Health Care for Sports Medicine, revising the document in 1987 and 1993.

"In the light of recent developments and the appearance of new substances, it might be time for the WMA to reconsider its position to see whether more explicit guidance should be established for individual national medical associations."