25 January 2012

Play True Generation part of Innsbruck success story

The success of WADA’s Play True Generation program at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria has added to the positive legacy created by the IOC’s inaugural event.

The first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games has been described as “near perfect” by one specialist Olympic reporter, and WADA’s activities were very much a part of that success.

In total, more than 900 athletes, coaches and officials visited the Play True Generation Centre, and the regular sightings around Innsbruck of the WADA-produced hat and scarves were testimony to the number of athletes who were educated on the dangers of doping.

Approximately 50 per cent of the 1,000 competitors from 70 nations took part in the Play True Challenge, and many of the athletes returned to the Play True Generation Centre due to the positive experience gained on their first visit.

“We were delighted with the way the competitors embraced the Play True Generation Center,” said Rob Koehler, WADA Director of Education and Program Development.

“As well as receiving some very strong anti-doping messages, the athletes were given specific guidance with regards to issues such as the importance of verifying medications that may lead to a positive test.

“Play True Generation was launched at the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 and we were able to build on its impact with another very successful program in Innsbruck.”

In addition to the Play True Challenge Centre, WADA also addressed the IOC Young Reporters and initiated a session about anti-doping as part of the IOC’s Chat with a Role Model.