- Doping, like no other issue, hits athletes where it hurts, says Howman
- Offers insight on the Industry’s shift from discussing a “War on Doping” to instead promoting “Clean Sport”
- Emphasizes WADA’s role as a collaborative partner in the fight to protect the clean athlete
- Highlights recent challenges facing sport, amid signs of public doping fatigue
WADA’s Director General, David Howman delivered a speech during the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) International Anti-Doping Seminar in Asia & Oceania held in Tokyo, Japan last week. During his address at the 27-29 January Conference, he spoke of the spotlight on WADA and the anti-doping industry following the conclusion of the Independent Commission’s investigation into widespread doping in Russian and international athletics; and how WADA is finding new ways to protect the rights of the clean athlete.
Regarding the protection of the clean athlete, Howman offered insight into the anti-doping industry’s move away from “fighting a war on doping” to “protecting the clean athlete”. He explains the change as a “philosophical shift that better captures what we in the anti-doping community stand for”.
“For many years, anti-doping was thought of in negative terms: a war on doping; a battle between cat and mouse; the good guys versus the bad guys. Yet today, it is more apparent that what we are doing in anti-doping in sport is not just fighting a war on these fronts, rather we are protecting the clean athlete. This is our raison d’être – to ensure that clean athletes have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. The clean athletes are the overwhelming majority, after all” he continued.
Howman also pointed to values-based education as the way to protect future generations of athletes. “With today’s win at all costs mentality, the temptation for athletes to cheat and cut corners is higher than ever before. This however, requires full engagement and excellent practice from our anti-doping partners worldwide”, he said. “Unfortunately, recent events have shown that not all of our partners have been practicing anti-doping effectively”, he added.
He also highlighted the important role that investigations now play in anti-doping. “[In Conducting investigations] we are able to demonstrate that we no longer rely on traditional scientific testing to prove doping; our net is wider than ever before and we must not be reticent in using all the powers at our disposal to right wrongs and protect the clean athletes of the world.”
“Doping, like no other issue, hits athletes where it hurts; at their one shot at glory, at their own opportunity of a gold medal, and that is why we must continue to work together to protect clean athletes. As the Chair of the Independent Commission Richard Pound said recently, doping, unlike other ethics and corruption issues, directly affects results and those competing on the field of play,” he concluded.
Read the full transcript of David Howman’s speech here.