The Executive Committee and Foundation Board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will meet respectively on Saturday, May 10, and Sunday, May 11, 2008, in Montreal, Canada, for the first time this year. These Executive Committee and Foundation Board meetings will also be the first to be held under the presidency of the Hon. John Fahey since the commencement of his term as WADA President on January 1, 2008.
During these two days, members representing Governments of the world and the Olympic Movement will review the latest advances made in relation to WADA's investigations strategy. This strategy, launched in 2006, is based on the recognition that doping controls do not catch all cheaters and that evidence gathered by enforcement agencies and others, shared in a legally appropriate manner, with anti-doping and sport authorities helps to uncover anti-doping rule violations that might otherwise escape detection. On May 1-2, in collaboration with the Australian government, WADA is co-organizing in Sydney a third symposium convening representatives from these groups to discuss the drafting of protocols and best practices for the sharing of evidence and information among organizations. This will be completed in 2008 and will be a significant addition to WADA's strategies to remove cheaters from competition.
WADA's Board and Executive Committee will also discuss stakeholders' compliance with the 2003 World Anti-Doping Code (Code). 2008 is the first year in which signatories to the 2003 Code must officially report their status in relation to Code-compliance. The Code requires that signatories report to WADA every second year, explaining reasons for any non-compliance. In November this year, WADA will, for the first time, through its Foundation Board, report on cases of non-compliance to stakeholders, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who have jurisdiction to impose sanctions. The Olympic Charter was amended in 2003 so that adoption of the Code by the Olympic Movement is mandatory and that only Code-compliant sports can be included and remain in the program of the Olympic Games.
In addition, members will discuss the implementation of the revised Code, which will come into force on January 1, 2009, and revisions to the International Standards for Testing and for Therapeutic Use Exemption—which can be approved by the Executive Committee—as well as a new draft International Standard for the Protection of Privacy. International Standards are aimed at bringing harmonization among anti-doping organizations in various technical areas and are mandatory for Code signatories. If approved, these revised Standards shall come into force on or prior to January 1, 2009.
Among other topics to be addressed at the meetings are updates on preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games in the field of anti-doping; ratifications by individual countries of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport (ratified by 83 countries to date); the latest advances in the area of science; progress of anti-doping organizations in their implementation of the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS); current issues in relation to recent doping cases and investigations; and WADA's 2009 draft budget.
Members will be updated on the Agency's activities in all areas, including athlete education for fair play and prevention, anti-doping development, Independent Observers, and regional offices.