Chicago organizers of the Gay Games have adopted a new anti-doping policy for powerlifting that rewards athletes who demonstrate that they are drug free in the year leading up to the 2006 Gay Games. Powerlifters must signup for the new 'Out-of-Competition Athletes Register' by July 15, 2005—one year before Gay Games VII opens.
The Gay Games' principle of 'personal best' encourages individuals to participate at their own level of skill without the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The Federation of Gay Games and Chicago Gay Games condemn doping practices and the use of banned substances to enhance performance in sport. In three sports—Physique, Wrestling and Powerlifting—this policy is enforced with drug testing.
For Powerlifting, the Gay Games has adopted the Out-of-Competition testing procedures of the International Powerlifting Federation. Powerlifters who join the Gay Games Chicago 'Out-of-Competition Athletes Register' will automatically become eligible to receive Gold, Silver and Bronze medals on the day of competition. Powerlifters will be required to join their national Powerlifting federation and may be subject to drug testing in the year prior to the Gay Games. Drug tests will still take place at the Gay Games.
Powerlifters who are not part of the new Athletes Register will receive their medals only after automatic drug tests come back negative. Details on how to signup are available by viewing the Powerlifting Competition Details at www.GayGamesChicago.org .
'This groundbreaking policy will make sure that Gay Games Powerlifters are treated fairly,' said Chris Morgan, the British Powerlifter who is an international Gay Games Ambassador. As an openly gay man, Morgan won a Silver medal in the 2004 World Drug Free Powerlifting Championships, a Silver medal in the 1998 Gay Games in Amsterdam and Gold in the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney.
'Those who compete without the use of performance-enhancing drugs are to be rewarded,' added Morgan. 'The Federation of Gay Games continues to be a worldwide leader in finding solutions for gay and lesbian athletes through cooperation with international sports governing bodies like the IPF. I'm very proud to have the led the team that negotiated this new policy and I encourage all my fellow Powerlifters to register for Gay Games VII and join the 'Out-of-Competition Athletes Register' by July 15, 2005.'
'Our Powerlifting competition remains inclusive,' said Nancy Harris, the CGI Sports consultant who worked with the Federation of Gay Games on the new policy. 'Powerlifting at Gay Games VII will feature a 'Guest Lifter' classification that will allow athletes using otherwise banned medical therapies for conditions such as HIV to participate and be judged alongside their peers without being subjected to drug testing. While 'Guest Lifters' will not be eligible for Gold, Silver or Bronze medals, all will receive a Gay Games participation medal and the opportunity to perform their personal best.'
'Gay Games sports policies continue to improve from the input of athletes and international federations worldwide,' said Gene Dermody, international Federation of Gay Games Sports Committee Co-Chair. 'These policies are athlete-centered, meet international standards, and yet remain inclusive of all parts of our community. This new policy rewards athletes who agree to take extra steps to prove that they are drug-free while maintaining the integrity of the competition. We‚re grateful to the IPF and Chris Morgan for their hard work.'