The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is partnering this week with the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) to promote clean sport during the IBSF’s World Cup stop from 5-9 January in iconic Lake Placid. The partnership is the latest installment of WADA’s Legacy Outreach program, which provides additional support to International Federations (IFs) in developing and delivering sustainable anti-doping awareness programs for their athletes.
“WADA is pleased to partner with the IBSF and to bring the Legacy Outreach program to their athletes in Lake Placid, an internationally-renowned Winter sports centre,” said David Howman, Director General, WADA. “As the leader of clean sport, WADA encourages all athletes to embrace this opportunity to learn more about anti-doping; and, their rights and responsibilities in this regard,” he continued. “As ambassadors of their sport, not only are all athletes encouraged to ‘Slide Clean’ and entitled to race against clean competitors; they are also expected to convey the anti-doping message on to their peers, in particular the next generation.”
“Federations such as the IBSF must ensure that their athletes are well informed about the dangers of doping; and, more widely, its impact on the integrity of sport,” said Ben Sandford, Vice President, Legal Affairs, IBSF. “WADA’s Legacy Outreach program puts us on the right path in this regard,” he continued. “One of the best ways to curb doping is to reach athletes as early as possible; to inform them of the many anti-doping resources available to them; and, to make them aware of the avenues that they have to voice concerns regarding doping that may exist within their teams or federations,” Sandford continued.
The Outreach team will be led by Ben Sandford and Lauryn Williams -- both members of WADA’s Athlete Committee. Williams is best remembered as the first U.S athlete to compete and medal at both the Summer (track and field) and Winter Olympic Games (bobsled); whilst Sandford is a seasoned two-time Olympic skeleton racer. Both athletes are vocal supporters of the clean sport movement and have firsthand knowledge of the pressures surrounding doping in sport.
Building on the success of similar Outreach Programs held in 2015, during the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the WADA Outreach team will invite athletes, coaches and other support staff to take part in fun and educational activities. With a WADA-branded ‘Play True’ bobsleigh as the backdrop, athletes will be encouraged to take pictures to share via social media citing the reasons why they choose to ‘Play True’. Using the hashtags #SlideClean and #PlayTrue, they will invite their followers to support clean athletes worldwide. Competitors will also be invited to pledge their loyalty to the clean sport movement by signing the Clean Sport Pledge -- a WADA initiative that has proven hugely popular in previous major sports events.