FIVB meet anti-doping experts to help combat drugs in sport
The FIVB, invited as part of the International Team Sports Federations, was able to discuss anti-doping policy and regulations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and experts in the field of combating sports doping.
One of the main topics of conversation was the biological profiling of athletes, launched at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. The profile, which comprises both the haematological parameters in the blood and the steroid profile in urine, is regarded as the best method of detecting the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
"Every individual has a genetic blueprint of the various hormones and steroids in the body," explained FIFA's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jiri Dvorak. "That always stays roughly the same, as do the various blood parameters, such as red blood cells. An athlete's hormonal and steroid profiles, as well as the parameters of the blood, change as soon as he starts to tamper with the natural workings of the body. We are able to observe an individual's profile over a long period of time and that's exactly what we want to do."
There were also discussions over the cost efficiency of the fight against doping. Fighting doping in sport costs approximately US$300-400 million every year and as such there were discussions over the development of a customised system, which takes account of the risk assessment in each different type of sport and is also cost efficient.
The meeting was seen as a highly important step in all sports federations uniting to battle doping, rather than as individual federations. A draft consensus statement from the conference will be published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) in May 2014.
"This conference is a splendid initiative on the part of FIFA. We're happy to be part of this event and are always open to new ideas," Dr Alan Verdec, Medical Director at WADA said. "We're here to discuss how we can improve the current system.
"We need strategic measures and new programmes, such as the biological profile. The long-term tracing of values acts as a deterrent. We also need further studies in the athletes' environment. The fight against doping is a very complex area and requires the constant exchange of ideas and ongoing dialogue.
Watch a video of the proceedings here