Yesterday, the European, World and Olympic Champion Robert Harting was present at the German Federal Parliament. Robert was invited to talk about his concerns regarding he upcoming antidoping law. Throwholics took the time to translate the video for non German speaking people to be able to follow.
First of all, hello everyone. I have to thank you for the invitation and that you provide me with the chance as an Olympic champion to say something. Up to know a lot of topics have been discussed, mainly from the legal interest area, then Dr. Norosi and Mr. Schreiber were the first of this commitee talking about the innocent athletes.
I’m since the age of 15 within the NADA test pool. Today I’m 30 and therefore I’m fighting actively for 15 year the antidoping fight. Last year, I have renounced to be elected for the the athlete of the year, because I was on the same list as a doping offender. The 100,000€ I could have used, or better 50,000€ for the state (tax) and 50,000€ for me. But to be absence for the election was worth more. That means that I’m not only World Champion in discus event but also World Champion in the fight for antidoping.
I’m fighting for the antidoping law and I welcome the law really. I am also working for very severe penalties. Mr. Böhm will be able to “sign” that. I do support the 4-year sentence for doping offenders very much. I am also for quick procedures when cheating is happening at CAS, and I prefer quick actions for those people.
The Antidoping fight as such, I think is a bit too small, I rather think it is an international problem. I am not without a reason here, I suspect that we with this Act only level up the fear index for German athletes who are working honestly, and there are a lot of them. I cannot give you the right solution for the problem, especially because I do not have any legal competence. I just want to mention three/four things which are taking place in my life and I just want to raise awareness that you need to see me as an innocent athlete.
In the daily life during a competition, my bag which is 1m big is unattended, up to 80% during the warm-up, competition itself and so on. In the law it is stated that the intent has to be proven. I wonder what happens if a preparation, which is in a working stadium (prepared doping) in my bag. Do you still really have to prove the intent of doping in that case? So the ready state in a minimum amount, is relatively quickly sliped into a bag. In addition, if an athlete has to travel for competitions. For example to China, I could theoretically come back as a criminal. Many of you will know that there is simply a lot of contaminated food in China. What I want to address with those daily examples are the parameters the athletes need in order to fulfill all the requests you do have. And these parameters simply do no exist. I also hope that you can imagine that even as an vice world champion you do not have he privilige to request a single room at international competitions. It is therefore quite easy for the other one sleeping in your room to put anythin ginto your bag which does not belong there.
I want to say that the impression has been given that the “Deutsche Olympische Sportbund” (DOSB) has received something, they get the new law, the NADA receives the legitimacy of the data. But the athletic commission was totally ignored. Our objections as athletes were ignored. And I find that very unfortunate because the competences needed to be collected from all parties involved. Because we see sport not only from the stands, but also directly from the cabins and down form the arena/stadium.
You maybe know Lard Riedel (5 times World Champion discus) who in 2001 was trying to get the truth out about and Hungarian discus thrower. Riedel told everyone the Hungarian thrower cheated and needed to be controlled because he used unauthorized methods. No one listened to Lars. He was simply ignored. Only in 2004, after the Ungarian became Olympic Champion and after everything from the preamble was destroirt he got caught. Only then some actions were taken, way to late because of ignoring Lars Riedel.
What’s this to me personally? To me it is all about the balance. The NADA has of course come up with innovative proposals to carry on with the antidoping fight. I find that very great. But I speak especially about the daily feasibility of athletes that is not adhered to. It is simply too much to handle. For you and the athletes the success is important in the future. But motivated athletes are needed. I wonder how the athletes can be motivated. With further hard sanctions or to ruin their daily life by restricting the daily life of an athlete? It think it does not lead to the goal.
Also the balance international wise is not met because Germany has much harder regulations than our international competitors. I am here today because I am afraid. ANd now, this committee has the opportunity or maybe afterwards to take this fear from me. I do not feel protected by the law. I would like to ask you to make it very very very difficult for the cheaters and easier for the clean athletes. Please review the law and change it accordingly.
Thank you all