International Olympic Committee cracks down on drugs

Due to the consistent drug use scandals which have been coming up every year in the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has begun making suggestions to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

According to the IOC has been accused of not paying enough attention to detecting drugs in sports. The testing periods are known by the athletes of each sport and there are often gaps as long as five months in which athletes are competing but not being tested.
In 2012, the United Kingdom’s branch of The Daily Mail published an article, “Games drugs slur: Chambers’ doping guru claims 60 per cent of athletes are cheating” by Neil Wilson in which renowned sporting drug dealer Victor Conte proclaimed that six out of 10 athletes competing in the 2012 Olympic Games were taking “banned substances.”

With a past littered with cases of substance abuse it is about time the committee officially begins addressing it as a problem in need of a solution. This year’s Rio Olympics had the Russian athlete scandal in which over 100 Russian athletes were banned from competing in the games due to a state-run doping program that administered a mixture of anabolic steroids, according to The Guardian.
The IOC is specifically suggesting that the anti-doping system be separated from specific sport organizations around the world in order for more authority to be given to WADA and CAS over national anti-doping agencies to construct a centralized worldwide system, according to the CNN article, “IOC seeks to reform anti-doping with ‘more robust’ WADA” by Rob Hodgetts.

The IOC promised to increase its funding to the war on drugs in sports and for WADA to conduct more targeted testing and for all associates of the athlete such as coaches, therapists, et cetera to face criminal charges when the athlete tests positive for drugs.

“If the reforms are implemented 100 percent this would mean a substantial commitment and a substantial increase in WADA’s tasks and responsibilities, and that would mean a substantial increase in its budget,” IOC president Thomas Bach said according to the CNN article.

More than 600 organizations have agreed and signed WADA’s World Anti-Doping Code. This is all coming at a time when the United States is dealing with its own war on drugs. The heroin epidemic killed approximately 10,000 people in 2014 and the increase in the number of deaths caused by heroin overdoses from 2001 to 2014 was six-fold, according to

Going into 2014 the number of deaths caused by overdoses on prescription drugs, prescription opioid pain relievers, benzodiazepines and cocaine were on a rise as well but none had the spike heroin did, according to the aforementioned article.

In New York State specifically the laws dealing with heroin and other narcotics are quite harsh. Overall everyone is illegal and pertaining to the possession, sale and trafficking of heroin all have substantial federal level repercussions. A fifth-degree charge for trafficking controlled substances is punishable of one to two and a half years in prison if the accused is a first-time offender. A first-degree charge could result in a minimum of eight to 20 years in prison followed by a five-year period of supervision, according to

The point of all this information is to show just how big of an influence drug trafficking is on an international and national level as well as the residential and sports worlds. I don’t think people truly understood how big of an issue the illegal drug trade is and how its effects reach our towns. It’s not something that is happening overseas in small villages Americans can easily ignore.

Recently a picture was released of a grandmother and her boyfriend passed out cold from a heroin overdose with her four-year-old grandson in the backseat of the family minivan. No matter which side of the controversy you’re on in regards to whether his face should have been shown or what the motives of the police department were as to why they released it, it is cold-hard evidence of the demographic this is affecting and where this is affecting.

We need to make sure we are not helping this cycle continue by being aware of what our friends are doing and trying to prevent people from not only ruining their lives but the lives of those around them because this does not target the individual. Keep in the back of your mind that heroin is not cool, that your friend’s life is more valuable than hurting their feelings and that you have more power to stop this than you may think.

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