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Nat'l anti-doping agency to oversee drug testing for professional sports

South Korea's national anti-doping body said Monday it will oversee drug testing for all major professional sports starting this year, taking over the reins from the respective leagues.

The Korea Anti-Doping Agency (KADA) said it will strive for "transparent testing procedures and reasonable degree of punishments."

Until now, governing bodies for professional baseball, football, golf, volleyball and basketball came up with their own doping test protocols and imposed penalties on violators through their own hearings.

(KADA official website)
(KADA official website)

The KADA had mostly been providing technical support and informing leagues about international rules as established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The leagues had different degrees of punishments for positive tests for the same substances, and the KADA said it will set testing protocols for the federations and recommend proper levels of penalties for violations.

"Pro leagues have been taking appropriate anti-doping steps," a KADA official said. "But we believe we'll be able to come up with stronger penalties for positive tests. And though we may not be able to test all athletes, we'll test them more often than before."

The KADA will also start collecting blood samples for domestic competitions. Previously, only blood samples from national team athletes were gathered for tests ahead of international competitions. Domestic pro federations have been testing urine samples.

"Testing urine samples could detect most of the banned substances, but it's easier to detect certain growth hormones through blood tests," the KADA official said. "We hope blood tests will address some blind spots." (Yonhap)
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