For the second consecutive year, Italy, France and the USA are the biggest drug cheats according to the latest World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) report issued yesterday.
Italy is the country with the most doping violations in 2017, with 171 cases, and increase from 147 cases in the previous year.
The bulk of Italy’s doping violations were in bodybuilding (50), cycling (51 and athletics (11). For France it was also bodybuilding (31), cycling (13), powerlifting (12) and kickboxing (11). The biggest culprits for USA were athletics amd weightlifting with 19 each, cycling (14) and MMA (11).
Malaysia’s doping violations were in sepaktakraw (6), aquatics (2), field hockey (1) and weightlifting (1).
France also saw an increase of violations from 86 in 2016 to 128 in the latest report. It was the same case with the USA, which saw the number of its athletes caught under the anti-doping rule violations (ADRV) rising from 76 to 103.
The full WADA report from WADA can be read here.
Russia, which WADA wants to be banned for four-years from all international competition, is only the fifth highest offenders with 82 violations, two less than the Brazilians. Russia’s number of transgression has also increased from 69 the previous year with athletics providing 21 of them in 2017.
Many of the country’s in the top 10 of the doping list are the usual suspects including Belgium, India, Brazil and South Africa.
The numbers raises some interesting questions as to whether WADA’s full brunt action against the Russian athletes was fully warranted.
While the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) are guilty of their transgression in altering data, WADA’s blanket ban also victimized the clean athletes.
Italy, France nor the USA are being penalized as a nation, although like in Italy’s case, the number of doping violations has been double that of Russia for the past two years.
Overall there was a 13.1% rise in the number of drug cheats caught or a total of 1,804 athletes, from the 245,232 samples collected in 2017. The actual number of athletes found with banned drugs in their system was 2,749 with 772 samples still being tested.
The majority of violations (1,459) were positive tests with the other 345 classified as non-analytical, where no prohibited substance was detected but investigations found athletes or their support staff were in violation of the WADA Code.
Valid medical reasons saw 275 athletes going scot free while another 175 cases were closed for other reasons. In another 120 cases, the athletes concerned were exonerated.
Athletes from 93 sports and disciplines from 114 countries are among the ADRVs. Athletes from bodybuilding (266), athletics (242) and cycling (218) alone make 60% of the sports in the ADRV list.