On Tuesday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey said that an independent commission to investigate doping in professional cycling was weeks away from starting.
Fahey spoke in Johannesburg where the four-day World Conference on Doping in Sport meeting is underway. The ratification of the new World Anti-Doping Code is also on the agenda.
“I am confident that from what UCI have indicated, and their wish to get something going, that it will happen within weeks rather than within months,” said Fahey on the first day of the conference.
The code, which is to be ratified this week, will increase the minimum ban on first-time, intentional doping from two years to four years. Aside from being twice as long, the change will also ensure that an automatic disqualification from competing in the next Olympics.
The new document will also give WADA wider powers to deal with non-compliance from athletes and national sport bodies.
The introduction of a new steroid passport is also expected this week. WADA already runs a biological-passport program that keeps records of an athlete’s blood samples to track red-flag fluctuations. The steroid passport will be a similar program to track urine samples.
The four-day summit started Tuesday and formal talks will begin on Wednesday.