Cheating doesn't pay' (FIJI TIMES HEADLINE 31 October 2012)

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) President Vidhya Lakhan has sent a stern warning to athletes using performance enhancing drugs to boost their athletic performance at international events.

This after 11 athletes from the 320 tested were found guilty of breaching the anti-doping code at the Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia last year.

The positive doping test resulted in three Team Fiji athletes to improve their standing on the medals tally.

Elesi Ikanidrodro was awarded the gold medal in the women's powerlifting 84 kilograms category while Ana Garnett was given the bronze medal in the same event.

Ian Muller was awarded the silver medal in the surfing open long board event.

Lakhan, who is also the Pacific Games Council president, said they awarded a total of eight gold, six silver and six bronze medals as the result of the positive doping tests. He said the athletes found guilty had their results nullified and banned for two years. "What we would like to emphasise is cheating doesn't pay and don't think that because you are in the Pacific, you can get away," Lakhan said.

"As for Fiji, we have been quite fortunate that for a number of years, our athletes were not found guilty of cheating.

"I guess we should thank our national coaches and section managers and more importantly our athletes as they practised clean play at these events."

Muller thanked the games council, adding the silver medal was one of the highest achievements of the national surfing team at the regional games.

"This is a good sign for our younger surfers and it will surely inspire them to do better in the future."

Powerlifting Fiji president Iliesa Irava, who received the medals on behalf of his athletes, said performance enhancing drugs had been a common problem in their sport internationally.

"We had so many tests but none of our athletes had come positive and we want to keep it that way."

Extracted from the FIJI TIMES website: http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=216042




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