The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) today urged the Sports Movement and Governments of the world to build on progress to date in the fight against doping in sport and to intensify their momentum through increased coordination activities, remarking that the recent rash of high-profile doping cases and investigations in various sports and countries underscores that fact that no sport, nor country, is immune to the threat.
WADA further noted that combined efforts by certain sports and public authorities in relation to these cases send two powerful messages: those who cheat will be caught; and, when Sports and Governments coordinate efforts, the fight against doping gains efficiency.
WADA Chairman Richard W. Pound warned however that, while the spate of doping cases may indicate progress towards rooting out those who cheat, it also demonstrates that much still is needed to protect the health of athletes and the integrity of sport. “Doping is deliberate cheating that compromises the values of sport and the health of athletes. With these recent cases, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg. The fight against doping is therefore a constant fight requiring Sport and Government to follow-through on their commitments to coordinate anti-doping activities and level the playing field for clean athletes worldwide.”
By its structure—an equal partnership between the Sports Movement and Governments of the world—WADA is uniquely positioned to bring together the strengths and resources of these partners, and has done so since its creation in late 1999 as the international body responsible for promoting, coordinating, and monitoring the global fight against doping in all its forms. “It is significant that the Sports Movement understands the necessity of partnering with Governments in this battle,” continued Pound. “WADA’s role is to ensure that Sport and Government meet their respective responsibilities so that this partnership works, and the Agency’s efforts in this respect, since its creation in 1999, have been quite remarkable.”
The Sports Movement now needs to step up efforts by rigorously implementing and adhering to the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), the fundamental set of rules harmonizing the global fight against doping.
For their part, Governments must move forward without delay in their individual ratifications of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport (UNESCO Convention) so that domestic policies worldwide can be aligned with the Code. This first universal treaty to address doping in sport was unanimously adopted by the UNESCO General Conference on October 19, 2005. Thirty individual ratifications are needed for the treaty to enter into force, and so far, fifteen have been received. “We expect that all European countries will proceed with ratifying the UNESCO Convention following the summer holidays and prior to the meeting of the European Sports Ministers in Moscow in October,” added Pound. “We look forward to the culmination of the ratification process of the Convention so that this international treaty gives full effect to governmental anti-doping efforts.”
“Because WADA’s perspective must be global in working with Government and Sport, our activities are focused on key areas that will advance anti-doping worldwide in a comprehensive way, including scientific research, harmonization of anti-doping rules, and education,” said WADA Director General David Howman. “Through our anti-doping development program, initiated by WADA to help underserved regions share and combine resources to establish Regional Anti-Doping Organizations, many countries, previously without anti-doping controls or education, now are part of this global effort helping to level the playing field for athletes worldwide.”