National Anti Doping Organisation

HADA's Governor Dr Grigoris Leon on ERA SPORT radio

The Governor of the National Anti-Doping Organisation Dr Grigoris Leon was invited on ERA SPORT radio and talked  about  many important issues regarding Doping. Among other things he mentioned the following:
"It is a great achievement for sports in Greece and for our country in general, the fact that we have been removed from WADA' s watch list. Even if we cannot fully realise the importance of the achievement, we should consider the consequences that would be for our country if we didn't succeed: the country would not be able to hold or participate in international sporting events and our athletes would not participate in  competitions under the greek flag but as individuals. From the first of July we worked really hard in order to  reform the organisation, solve many issues that were pending and finally managed to comply with WADA' s Code".
"We had a lot of difficult tasks to complete: the reform of the administrative structure of the organisation, hiring experienced staff and the implementation of new policies in various fields. Moreover, we had to create  new departments for the first time in Greece, such as the Intelligence and Investigation department to comply with WADA".
"The state realised in time the importance of all the steps that had to be done. I owe a big thank you to the deputy minister of sports Lefteris Avgenakis, who offered us valuable support in the issues of Greece's harmonization with WADA' s Code in a very short time considering the parliamentary procedures. The Code constitutes now a law of the state and so it must be treated by everyone".
"We have now a completely different Anti-Doping policy in relation to the past.  We must point out that EOKAN is not against the athletes, but an ally on their side. We try to inform them properly and in depth. Now an athlete is not only sanctioned if he/she  is found positive in a doping control, but also if they have not followed the procedures which  are different from the past and must be followed faithfully".
"EOKAN is responsible for  sample collection procedures. Unfortunately, the processing and the analysis is not done in Athens, since  WADA revoked the accreditation of the Laboratory. EOKAN is not directly related to the Laboratory, it was actually buying its services. We want to continue the collaboration with it in the future when it regains its accreditation. At the moment, we are collaborating with accredited laboratories abroad".
"We have laid the right foundations so that ,very soon, we will not be following other countries but we will be pioneers in our field. Besides, let me remind you that countries with very important sports tradition like Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Romania still remain in WADA's watch list".