15 Aug 2012

NZ call for all countries to have drug-testing systems

10:54 pm on 15 August 2012

New Zealand's chef de mission says countries should not be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games unless they have a drug-testing system monitored by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Dave Currie returned to New Zealand with most of the Olympic team on Wednesday and made the comments after shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk from Belarus was stripped of her gold medal after testing positive for steroids at the London Games.

New Zealand's Valerie Adams, who won at the Beijing Games in 2008, has been awarded the gold.

Mr Currie told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Wednesday that he suspected Ostapchuk of doping ever since her winning throw of 21.36m.

"There's no monitored drug-testing system in Belarus. In my view, it's pretty simple - unless you are involved in a wider monitored system, then why should you compete at a Games?"

Mr Currie says doping robs the true winner of his or her moment on the podium.

Adams threw 20.70m at the London Games. Russia's Evgeniia Kolodko now takes silver with her 20.48m throw, while China's Lijiao Gong has been elevated to bronze with her throw of 20.22m.

Adams is continuing to compete overseas until September.

Funding freeze

High Performance Sport New Zealand says swimming and triathlon produced disappointing results at the London Games and will have to make a case for future funding.

Dave Currie says the freeze on money for high-performance athletes will be tough - particularly for sports that have under-performed.

Swimming had a target of reaching five finals but only made two, while triathlon was expected to produce a medal and failed to do so.

Mr Currie says those were realistic targets and expects there will be some discussions about future funding, but without enough money it will be hard for some sports to compete on the world stage.