– On such a serious matter, this is very boring. 55 private associations can make a major effort to change the law. We lost several weeks trying to bring about a change in the law, says Taig Petersen who is clearly unhappy with NRK.
He is the President of the Norwegian Ice Hockey Federation and the elected captain of one of the 55 special associations in the sport of Norway.
Petersen is disappointed with the way the Norwegian Sports Federation (NIF) has handled the current situation Anti-doping crisis Which could lead to the exclusion of Norway from international tournaments.
It reacts strongly to two things in particular:
– The first is that through the media, as president of a Norwegian private association, I learn about this challenge, I explain Petersen and follow:
– The second is that NIF has been sitting on this information for some time.
Sports board unaware
As per what NRK has learned, the Sports Board has also not been informed of the current situation.
This is a dangerous nature that I think we need to use every day to change the law and we should start a broad process earlier. The downside here is that we lose the opportunity to organize and participate in tournaments if we don’t make it, says the ice hockey chief.
Head of Sports Berit Kjol points out that Antidoping Norway is responsible for testing athletes in Norway according to the regulations in the Wada Code.
– He informed the Sports Council of the case’s status in the first regular meeting of the Council that started today (Tuesday) and ends on August 24. As per normal procedure, matters being dealt with at the Sports Board will be reported to the organization and the press immediately after the board meeting, i.e. Thursday morning, Kjøll writes in an email to NRK late Tuesday evening.
In an earlier version of the case, NRK wrote that Kjøll did not have the opportunity to respond on Tuesday evening, but just before midnight on August 23, the sporting chief came to the field.
The potential consequences if the authorities, the Norwegian Sports Federation (NIF) and Antidoping Norway (ADNO) do not find a quick solution to the crisis are significant, including:
- The Olympic and Paralympic Games without Norwegian participation.
- There is no championship on Norwegian soil.
The cause of the crisis is a special Norwegian interpretation of the law which means that athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 cannot be tested for steroids without the consent of their parents.
This has led to the fact that no underage person has been tested without warning in the past two years and therefore Norwegian Anti-Doping is not fulfilling its obligations under International Anti-Doping Law.
This was revealed in a message that NRK gained access to.
In the face of Petersen’s comments, Keul notes that there is an ongoing dialogue between the Ministry of Culture, Norway’s Anti-Doping Agency and the sports federation.
– As evidenced by the letter, the Norwegian Sports Anti-Doping Federation supports Norway’s desire to change the law ensuring access to doping tests by our athletes in line with WADA regulations, Kjøll wrote, before continuing:
– The NIF can of course inform the private federations immediately, but it is normal for the Sports Council to be informed first of the status of the matter, and then the organisation, as is now planned immediately after the Sports Council meeting.
– Very sad and unfortunate
Sports chief Berit Kjol and Thorhild Widvey, chairman of the Norwegian Anti-Doping Company, fear that Norway’s deviation from international anti-doping law will have serious consequences since early 2022/23.
– I think it is very sad and unfortunate. Petersen says someone must have fallen asleep in class when we ended up in this situation, and now we only have half a year to correct it.
Already on Wednesday last week, NRK raised the topic at a press meeting with national cross country teams, but neither cross country coach Espen Bervig nor national team coach Sjur Ole Svarstad could comment.
They simply have not heard of the ongoing anti-doping crisis.
Handball chief Kar-Girl Leo and head football head Liz Clavins were also surprised by NRK’s query:
– The former said this is completely new to me.
– This was an unknown problem to us, Klaveness commented.
– Many of us slept in class
The day after NRK announced the crisis, the Ice Hockey Association decided to send an administrative inquiry to the sports federation to obtain information directly from them.
Petersen, who is also a Conservative parliamentary representative, is also considering taking the matter to Parliament.
– I’ll do it if necessary. But first and foremost I am interested to hear what the NIF is doing towards the ministry. We will support the operations that have begun, warns the head of ice hockey.
An anti-doping crisis has been declared Since NRK first mentioned the issue in April 2021. At the time, Antidoping Norway and the Swedish Sports Federation sounded the alarm in a letter sent to the Ministry of Children and Families, but little has happened since.
Petersen now admits that he and his fellow Norwegian sports chiefs may also have failed to follow through.
– Should you have reacted to the expected crisis earlier?
– Yes, I probably should. It is important after all. Our adherence to the rules is the responsibility of ADNO and NIF, but it should have been followed, the ice hockey chief acknowledges.
Petersen concludes that there may have been many of us who slept in class, but the task could have been done better.
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