Spain Hopeful Its New Anti-Doping Law Will Improve Madrid's 2020 Olympics Bid
Spain "brought itself into line with international guidelines" when its parliament approved a new anti-doping law on Thursday, saying that it "would boost Madrid's chances of hosting the 2020 Olympic Games," according to Edgar Aribau of REUTERS. The ''law for the protection of athletes' health and the fight against doping" will come into effect within 20 days and "meets recommendations made by the World Anti-Doping Agency." Spanish Superior Sports Council (CSD) Miguel Cardenal said, "It strengthens the Madrid 2020 bid. Doping is no longer on the agenda as a concern for Madrid's candidacy. It is a determined step forward for Spain in the fight against those who do not respect the purity of sport." The new law "strengthens existing legislation with an increase in amounts available for fines and introduces the possibility of life bans." The law will see the creation of a new body to replace the Spanish anti-doping agency (AEA). Madrid is bidding against Istanbul and Tokyo for the 2020 Games, with the International Olympic Committee due to elect the winning city in September (REUTERS, 6/13). The EP reported the new law will include evening drug tests occurring between 11pm and 6am, and fines of up to €400,000 ($532,560) for cases involving minors. New protection measures for athletes' health will also be established for when athletes finish an activity, and there will be a reinforced investigation system "specializing in preventive medical aspects to avoid, for example, cases of sudden death" (EP, 6/13). EL PAIS reported the vote won approval in Congress by an overwhelming majority, with 298 votes in favor to just three opposed, with 26 abstentions. The new law substitutes the previous law instituted in '06 (EL PAIS, 6/13).