One of the core values that drives Muaythai Ontario is Innovation; we strive to be at the forefront of combative sport policy, operations, and development. It has been one week since the 2017 Provincial Championships and – having reflected on the success of the tournament – now comes the time to consider what improvements can be made and implemented at future events. We understand the rapid growth Muaythai Ontario will experience in the coming years, know the challenges that will present to the community.
Among Muaythai Ontario’s other core values are Safety, Openness, and Integrity, which is why we come to the topic of Anti-doping; in the week following the 2017 Provincial Championships it was brought to the attention of Muaythai Ontario than an athlete who is currently under suspension by the USADA and BC Athletic Commission for a doping violation had competed at the provincial tournament. Participation in competition by athlete under a doping suspension is prohibited by the Muaythai Ontario Rules & Regulations, which adopts the World Anti-Doping Agency’s anti-doping code.
WHAT IS DOPING
Doping refers to an athlete’s use of prohibited drugs or methods to improve training and sporting results. Steroids are the drugs that often come to mind when we talk about doping, but doping also includes an athlete’s use of other forbidden drugs (such as stimulants, hormones, diuretics, narcotics), use of forbidden methods (such as blood transfusions or gene doping), and even the refusal to take a drug test or an attempt to tamper with doping controls.
WHY DOPING IS PROHIBITED
The Canadian Centre of Ethics in Sport (CCES) is Canada’s National Anti-Doping Organization, and writes about the issue of doping:
When athletes cheat by doping, they harm themselves, they harm their sport and they harm their fellow athletes who compete clean. And, they harm the individuals, communities and nations that have stood behind them, supporting them, motivating them and, in some ways, living through them.
Doping jeopardizes fairness in competition and puts the safety of all participants at risk.
WHAT TOOK PLACE
As a requirement of Muaythai Ontario’s Code of Conduct, anti-doping, medical, and membership policies, athletes must self declare any conditions which would prohibit them from Muaythai Ontario competition in addition to declaring any WADA doping infractions. In paperwork submitted by the athlete it was indicated that the athlete had not tested positive under WADA.
WHAT ACTION WAS TAKEN
Muaythai Ontario has already expanded the language in its medical and membership forms to clarify, without any doubt, what is required of athletes (and their coaches) who wish to enter competition. Rather than making specific mention of WADA violations, these forms are now worded to request a report of any anti-doping violation that has occurred. In addition, these forms now specifically request past and present suspensions across any sport governing organizations. Should a suspension occur after becoming a member of Muaythai Ontario, they must immediately report this change in status.
The athlete in question has been notified of their ineligibility to participate in Muaythai Ontario events until the period of ineligibility established by the USADA and BCAC has reached completion. We are currently investigating the situation, working with the club, Ministry, and CCES to determine what further sanctions are warranted.
WHAT WILL CHANGE
When it comes to anti-doping there are two main goals- the prevention of athletes who are doping from entering competition, and even more importantly preventing doping from occurring in the first place. The largest factor in preventing doping overall is anti-doping awareness and education; a lack of understanding is no excuse for a doping violation. To further the community’s knowledge of anti-doping Muaythai Ontario will be engaging with the CCES in order to build out an awareness program for our members.
Muaythai Ontario also maintains a team of volunteer researchers who fact check athletes competitive records, comparing submitted records against other public listings. To prevent occurrences like this from repeating, this team will also look for suspensions and infractions that may prohibit an athlete from competing under Muaythai Ontario’s rules.
Incidents like this mar the successes of the Provincial Championships and recent announcements regarding Muaythai’s recognition in Ontario, but it is something that we as a community can learn from an grow. Muaythai Ontario is committed to safety and fair play in sport, and takes a hard stance against practices that jeopardize our values. Should you have any questions regarding anti-doping, Muaythai Ontario’s policies and procedures, or other aspects of the organization, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Khop khun kha(p),
[Update 2017-06-17] Muaythai Ontario has reported the infraction the USADA, the anti-doping organization responsible for the original suspension. We will be working with the USADA and CCES on any developments.
[Update 2017-06-19] Muaythai Ontario has connected with the USADA and is assisting in their adjudication process.