Re: whereabouts saga over: 65 belgian athletes (wickmayer and malisse) in their right
Translation of the article:
Three years after their complaint against the nature of the whereabouts system, 65 sports people have prevailed in court. Is this the end of the whereabouts system ? "No", says Johnny Maeschalk, sollicitor for the sports people, "but it does mean that the WADA can't prescribe just anything it wants."
No less than 65 Belgian sports people went to the Raad van State [Ed. Belgian supreme court] to complain about the whereabouts system in 2009. The whereabouts system allows for surprise doping tests but the sports people argued it went too far and invaded their privacy.
Three years later, they have prevailed. Is this the end of the whereabouts system in Belgium, or even in the entire world? No, but at least in Belgium each and every change to the system will have to be sanctioned by the Raad van State.
The 'arbeidsauditeur' [Ed: an attorney general for labour matters] agreed with the sports people that the current whereabouts system is an invasion of privacy. The Raad van State awaits measures to be taken by the regional Flemish government. Their judicial department is currently looking into the issue.
Personal comment, not part of the article:
This is the perfectly logical outcome of this case. It's absurd that sports people would be deprived of basic or even human rights such as privacy. Anti-doping measures are necessary but they can never trump basic rights. For that matter, these rights are recognized in the entire European Union so the WADA can expect to have its measures overturned throughout Europe.