During his second official visit to China, from September 25 - 28, 2007, as WADA President, Richard W. Pound congratulated Chinese anti-doping and sport officials on the progress that has been achieved in the fight against doping in China since his first visit nearly one year ago.
"I am very encouraged by the progress reported during my meetings with China's sports and anti-doping leaders this week," said Mr. Pound. "Last year we had asked certain questions and provided several recommendations for the preparation of doping-free Olympic Games and for improving a strong and efficient national anti-doping program."
"I was pleased to learn of the measures China has begun to implement, such as establishing an independent national anti-doping organization, increasing human and financial resources dedicated to the national testing program, building a new state-of-the-art laboratory, augmenting testing based on a strategy that emphasizes "smart" out-of-competition testing, and incorporating strong education programs that target athletes of different ages, as well as coaches and officials, in their long-term strategy for prevention. The plans outlined, many of which are already in the early phases of implementation, are first-rate and will put China among the leaders of the world in anti-doping. I look forward to learning more of China's success as it meets critical milestones in the full implementation of its programs."
Mr. Pound noted the significance of China's establishment of a new anti-doping agency, the only new agency created by the central government at a time when it is trying to limit its growth. He also highlighted the progressive way in which the fight against doping is being coordinated in China, involving commitment and coordination of several governmental departments including the sports ministry, the food and drug administration and other relevant function areas, including greater cooperation with provincial and regional governments.
As the international independent agency established by the Sport Movement and the Governments of the world to coordinate and monitor the global fight against doping in sport, WADA's responsibilities include tracking and encouraging national anti-doping program activities, including compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.
In meetings with high-level Chinese officials, Mr. Pound also discussed the recent reports of an international investigation, "Operation Raw Deal," initiated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, into the trafficking of doping substances possibly linked to underground laboratories located in China.
"The manufacture and trafficking of illegal doping substances is an international problem that all nations must confront in an international partnership. We learned that the Chinese officials have been in active communication with the investigative authorities and are committed to rooting out any related illegal activity within Chinese borders and taking the appropriate actions," continued Mr. Pound. "The Chinese understand that not only is doping the greatest threat to ethical sports today, it has become a public health concern of paramount significance having a broad impact on society."
Meetings included those with President of the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee Mr. Liu Qi, China's Sports Minister Mr. Liu Peng, and Vice Minister Mr. Duan Shijie, who is also China's representative on the WADA Foundation Board.