On the occasion of WADA's fourth Media Symposium, held at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne on February 24, WADA's President John Fahey urged all parties involved in the fight against doping in sport to further strengthen the foundations of the anti-doping system and to intensify the implementation of new strategies to supplement the traditional means used in this field.
Mr Fahey emphasized the importance of continued innovations in order to protect the integrity of sport. "Under WADA's leadership, the traditional anti-doping model has evolved from a strategy focusing only on the athlete and relying mainly on testing, research and education, to a new kind of model incorporating also the athlete's entourage and the upstream elements of doping," he said. "We need to continue to implement innovations through new types of cooperation, new strategies and ideas borrowed from other fields."
WADA's President referred in particular to a number of new strategies developed by WADA in the past few months and years: the early detection of potentially performance-enhancing substances in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies; the partnership recently formalized by the Agency with Interpol, which will in particular facilitate evidence and information gathering and sharing between law enforcement and anti-doping organizations; and the involvement of governments to combat production and trafficking of illegal substances.
In his opening address, Mr Fahey also expressed confidence that the Athlete Passport championed by WADA could become a powerful tool to deter and detect cheating in the near future by using an increasingly global approach to monitor an athlete's selected biological parameters. "Potentially, the Athlete Passport developed under WADA's leadership could represent one of the most significant advances in the global fight against doping in sport in the coming months and years."
"Are we winning the fight against doping in sport?" asked Mr Fahey. "I believe we are on the right path. And I believe that, with the commitment of all those involved in this fight, we can continue to overcome challenges and keep the momentum going forward."
"We combat doping because we believe in the universal principles of truth, fairness, health, hard work and respect. We believe it is our responsibility to preserve these values for our youth and the generations to come. It may take a while to reach the finishing line in this fight, but I have no doubt we are much closer to that finishing line than we were last year and we will be even closer next year."