Sports doping debate pulls in prominent names to London debate this Thursday

14 September 2011

The unceasing battle between sports authorities and covert laboratories developing performance-enhancing drugs for illicit use will come into sharp focus this Thursday.
The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is mounting a debate at its London centre to examine the issues, ahead of next year's London Olympics.
Athletes, Chemists, Law and Sport - Who's Really Winning? at the Chemistry Centre , Piccadilly, has attracted prominent figures who will debate and face questions from scientists and the public.
Robert Parker, interim chief executive of the RSC, said today: "Nefarious suppliers of drugs to sportsmen and women can be very agile, because of their operations' smallness, and are clever. They are frequently able to stay one step ahead of those working for the benefit of sports, trying to stem the flow of illegal substances.
"We have a sort of David and Goliath situation in reverse, with the large, accountable drugs companies, such as GSK, fighting on the side of fairness, while the little, shady operations are labouring clandestinely to stay one jump ahead. The big question is who is winning?"
The event is the first initiative in a partnership which started in the International Year of Chemistry 2011 between the Royal Society of Chemistry and GSK.
The debate is part of the Do More, Feel Better, Live Longer RSC-GSK lecture series to promote the IYC, which is sponsored by IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and UNESCO, as a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to humankind. 
In November 2009, The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games announced GSK the Official Laboratory Services Provider for the London 2012 Games.  
GSK will provide facilities and equipment to enable King's College London to operate a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited satellite laboratory.
Geoff Parsons, former Olympic high jumper, who will chair the session, said: "The specialists participating in our event are highly-respected figures, who have profound inside knowledge of the doping and anti-doping world. Their presence guarantees that the event will provide a terrific insight, 11 months ahead of the Games arriving in Britain." 
The participants will be:

  • Andy Parkinson, Chief Executive,  UK Anti Doping  
  • Adam Lewis QC,  leading sports law author and doping expert 
  • Prof Ron Maughan, Professor of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Loughborough University 

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