Rob Waddell: 'I've heard nothing or seen anything like that
which would even remotely suggest that there's any sort of
systematic doping programme.'
The head of New Zealand's Olympic team has dismissed
suggestions of a doping problem here after a year-long
investigation in Australia uncovered evidence the practice was
rife in professional sports across the Tasman.
An Australian Crime Commission report, released yesterday,
found evidence of widespread doping within professional
sports and links to organised crime groups.
But New Zealand Olympic team Chef de Mission Rob Waddell told
Radio New Zealand this morning he was not aware of similar
"I can absolutely say I've heard nothing or seen anything
like that which would even remotely suggest that there's any
sort of systematic doping programme. I'm very confident about
"There's always the chance that there might be the odd person
doing the odd thing, but as far as something of that
magnitude and scale, I'm completely confident that there's
nothing like that."
Waddell, a yachtsman and Olympic gold medal-winning rower,
said testing regimes varied between professional sports and
He was not sure how often professional sportspeople were
tested across each sport.
"However, in Olympic it's brutal - you get tested all the
time everywhere, wherever you go. And every competition, if
you win, you're up for something. So as far as Olympic sports
goes, the drug testing is really strong and very regular, and
it happens anywhere, anytime."
Waddell told Radio NZ there was a potential for mistakes
where sports supplements were involved.
"What you're hearing about in Australia sounds like a
systematic doping programme on a major scale and some of
their professional sports. That's quite different I think to
supplements that are out there, where an athlete can trip up
by taking the wrong thing."
Waddell strongly advised athletes to be "almost paranoid
about what goes down your throat".
"You've got to be so careful because there are supplements
out there that you might be able to buy off the shelf but
there's a chance that they could trip you up."
Waddell said in the United States, there were some sports
where doping had been "swept under the carpet" for a long
time, and that could be the case in Australia to a certain
But he said he never had an inkling that was happening in
Australia at the Olympic level.