16 September 2009

WADA Athlete Committee Offers Recommendations to Further Enhance Anti-Doping Programs

During its meeting on August 20-21 in Berlin, Germany, WADA’s Athlete Committee offered recommendations to further enhance anti-doping programs.

Chaired by Russian ice hockey champion, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Chair of the Commission for Physical Education, Sports and the Olympic Movement of the Russian Federation, the Committee consists of 16 international elite athletes especially concerned about the prevalence of doping in sport. In working with WADA and providing input on anti-doping programs and initiatives, WADA’s Athlete Committee members represent the voice of clean athletes and work to help level the playing field for athletes worldwide.

At the meeting, WADA’s Athlete Committee members provided their views on current anti-doping programs and activities.

With regards to ADAMS and Whereabouts, Committee Members:

• Support the Whereabouts Program which is part of top elite athletes’ anti-doping responsibilities;

• Reiterate their position that all Sports Federations and Anti-Doping Organizations should be using the ADAMS* database management system as the unique tool for their anti-doping programs as it would be simpler for athletes to use around the world. This would also help improve testing strategies and maximize resources of all organizations involved;

• Encourage WADA to explore the possibility to make it mandatory for  WADA’s stakeholders to use this tool;

• Suggest WADA to communicate stricter or mandatory criteria for being in a Registered Testing Pool (RTP). The fact that it is a discretionary decision for the International Federation (IF) and the National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) means that it is perceived quite differently from one sport to another, from a country to another, and uneven to athletes;

• Stress the importance that organizations regularly test athletes in RTP. Testing serves not only for detection of doping, but also as a deterrent, and if athletes do not believe that they will be tested, then they are at greater risk of doping.

With regards to testing, Committee Members:

• Emphasize the need for National Sports Federations, NADOs and Major Games Organizers to better coordinate testing plans;

• Ask that Sports Federations be more proactive and take responsibility for communicating and sharing information with their own athletes on anti-doping programs as information does not consistently trickle down to athletes;

• Deplore the fact that some organizations cannot or do not perform enough tests because of lack of funds.

With regards to Outreach and Education Programs, Committee Members:

• Encourage IFs and NADOs to use WADA’s Outreach Program to ensure harmonized and appropriate information about the dangers and consequences of doping is being disseminated to all athletes in all sports and in all countries.

• Commend WADA for enhancing its Education Program with the Play True Generation Program to actively reach out to youths.

*ADAMS: Anti-Doping Administration and Management System