SA steps up doping test techniques

SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport says athletes will be more heavily scrutinised for doping.

Syringe. Picture: sxc.hu

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport on Monday said new techniques would be employed to ensure the country's sportsmen and women were even more heavily scrutinised.

This comes after disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong confessed in an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his career.

Armstrong had denied allegations of doping for many years and never tested positive.

Chairman of the institute, Dr Shuaib Manjra, said the new tests would be conducted on suspected dopers in South Africa.

"The greater emphasis now is on out-of-competition testing, because we realised that in-competition testing is probably more a test of intelligence than doping, because most of the athletes test during training rather than during competition."

He said previously, the bulk of their tests were done out-of-competition.

The institute on Monday launched a programme that will see it conducting random tests over the next few months, to detect whether pupils are using performance-enhancing drugs.

About 100 schools countrywide are participating voluntarily.