Finnish ski star Virpi Kuitunen presented a unique idea for aiding in doping prevention – the implantation of a microchip under the skin, allowing anti-doping officials to constantly know the whereabouts of athletes. Currently, athletes must routinely update a website with their current location, and any upcoming travel plans. Mistakes or simple forgetfulness in this process can result in warnings, and ultimately, a “positive” test.
The strict requirements have led many athletes to protest on the grounds of privacy concerns. And the need for daily updates as even caused problems for Norwegian Biathlete Ole-Einar Bjorndalen, known for his systematic planning and long-term scheduling.
“With a microchip under the skin, doping inspectors could know where you are at all times. No one can hide away,” said Kuitunen.
“Why not?” continued the former overall World Cup Champion. “It will make the sport clean and fair. It would also be easier than the current system.”
But Kuitunen, who was implicated in the 2001 Finnish doping scandal, does not mind the inconvenience. “My door is open all the time. If they come 5 or 17 times, I do not care” she said.
Kutiunen also feels that doping inspectors are doing a good job in Finland, though she sees a need for more oversight in Central Europe. But overall she does not waste her time worrying about what others are doing.
She served a two-year ban for her involvement in 2001, and recently more details of that scandal have come to light, with Kutitunen claiming she was tricked by then-Finnish coach Kari Pekka Kyro.
Kuitunen presented her idea of a microchip to a WADA official at a team camp in Ramsau. She says she has the support of the Finnish team.
Sources: Langrenn.com, adressa.no