Vietnam to boost anti-doping campaign by testing random athlete samples abroad

By Dang Khoa   March 3, 2021 | 08:00 pm PT
Vietnam to boost anti-doping campaign by testing random athlete samples abroad
Vietnamese weightlifter Trinh Van Vinh at the Asian Games 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Vietnam will randomly select 30 samples from athletes competing at local tournaments to send abroad for anti-doping tests.

Nguyen Van Phu, director of Vietnam Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), told a Vietnam Olympic Committee conference the organization would conduct tests on athletes set to compete in various disciplines at the SEA Games, Asiad and Olympics without prior warning.

The move comes after International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) caught four Vietnamese weightlifters using performance-enhancing drugs for the past three years.

He said samples would be sent to international organizations for doping evaluation this year, adding the country does not have a doping laboratory of international standard.

Hoang Xuan Luong, chairman of Vietnam Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Federation, suggested Vietnam consider establishing a facility to proactively conduct doping tests instead of relying on international bodies.

Dao Quoc Thang, director of the Center for Physical Training and Sports Competition under the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, stated it would use part of its budget to perform doping tests on capital athletes starting this year.

Members of Vietnam Olympic Committee also want to impose stricter anti-doping measures and consider punishing coaches if their athletes are caught using illegal substances.

"We are working to develop regulations dealing with coaches or athletes who violate or fail to comply with anti-doping measures," Phu said, as cited by Hanoi Moi.

VADA said it would step up anti-doping awareness campaigns at national sports training and competition centers.

Sixteen Vietnamese athletes have been caught using banned substances over the past 17 years.

Weightlifting has the highest number of violators with six athletes slapped with fines and bans from IWF, followed by athletics, bodybuilding and diving with each having two cases, and canoeing, boxing, gymnastics and futsal with one each.

VADA received a list of 40 Vietnamese athletes to be regularly tested for illegal substances from World Anti-Doping Agency in April last year.

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