Split, October 6, 2017 - Doping is as old as the sport itself and only the fight against doping is slightly younger, it is a continuous match – said dr. Miran Martinac at the Symposium on doping in top sports, held in Split under the auspices of the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović.

After the welcoming speech of the Croatian Olympic Committee’s (HOO) Vice-President Željko Jerkov, the Chairman of the Croatian Olympic Committee’s Health Committee – symposium organizer – opened the expert gathering in the hall of the University Department of Health Studies of the University of Split with a lecture on the topic of the importance of a constant fight against doping.

Mr. Ph. Mimi Vurdelja, Head of Croatian Olympic Committee’s Healthcare and Top Athletes Nutrition Department spoke about approved ingredients in dietary supplements. She pointed out that no athlete from the Croatian Olympic Committee’s Development Programs is taking doping and that the National Olympic Association ensured prevention of the same in the form of regular physical examinations of athletes. - I'm working with Sandra Perković, Sinković brothers, Damir Martin, handball players, water polo players, basketball players and there is no chance that any of them will use doping – states Mimi Vurdelja categorically.

According to our most famous nutritionist, there is a problem in import of dietary supplements that athletes can buy, not knowing too much about them, because the law does not regulate the distribution of such supplements. One of our biggest anti-doping authorities, Prof. Dr. Boris Labar explained in a half-an-hour long lecture the anemic hypoxia in sports, i.e., condition of reduced presence of oxygen in cells and tissue. Of course, this phenomenon can cause in athletes the need to regulate the said problem in an inappropriate way.

Dr. Zoran Bahtijarević warned through his lecture on the most common pitfalls and mistakes in doping. His presentation was well matched by later statement of the famous Olympic champion in athletics Blanka Vlašić, who said that caution and testing of substances that are taken in case of colds and illnesses are the most important precondition for avoiding the risks of doping. In order to minimize the risks of that kind, a continuous education of medical services and athletes is required, as well as monitoring of world trends in this field.

Doc. Dr. Dinko Pivalica gave lecture on the doping control procedure and therapeutic use exemptions More than 600 doping tests are made annually in Croatia, which leads to a conclusion about the high level of "purity" of our athletes. But despite this fact, the fight against doping in sports has no alternative.

Law and doping are intrinsically linked, and Prof. Dr. Hrvoje Kačer gave lecture on the topic of legal doubts and doping. Dr. Zoran Manojlović presented to the participants of the Split Symposium a list of prohibited substances in 2017. He explained the complexity of fight against doping by the example of the cyclist Matija Kvasina, where new challenges are constantly emerging through insufficiently explored doping substances. - Kvasina was tested positive for Molidustat, a substance that stimulates endogenous erythropoietin secretion, which is only at the intersection of the first and second stage of clinical research in humans...

For the end of the Symposium, the organizer made sure to bring to the (same) round table a couple of great representatives of what we call the top Croatian sport: water polo expert Neven Kovačević, athlete Blanka Vlašić, former handball player and Olympian, today a coach, Petar Metličić, new Basketball Head Coach Ivica Skelin and best Croatian judoka Barbara Matić. - I am happy with the fact that the fight against doping in sport is now much more rigorous than at the beginning of my career. I like it when we all fight for the purity of sport and knightly competition and against scams – said Blanka Vlašić during the 45-minutes-long round table session "My View of Doping".

An extraordinarily educational and well-organized gathering of eminent Croatian experts for doping and fight against doping, one of the greatest disasters of modern sport, brought together around sixty athletes, coaches and sports workers. (hoo/vk)