22 December 2017

End of year message to Stakeholders from WADA President and Director General

Thank you to our partners in the pursuit of Clean Sport

Dear Colleagues,
As 2017 comes to a close and we look forward to quality time with family and friends, we would like to thank you for your ongoing partnership; and, to take a look back at some of the challenges and opportunities that made 2017 a defining year for WADA and the pursuit of Clean Sport. As you all know, similar to 2015 and 2016, the year was largely consumed by the Russian doping scandal. Yet, in addition to managing the challenging outcomes of the McLaren Investigation and working hard to try to bring the Russian Anti-Doping Agency back to compliance, the WADA team proudly delivered on a number of key priorities that were established per stakeholder feedback in 2016. Of particular note, the Agency:

  • Developed and implemented a strong WADA-led World Anti-Doping Code (Code) Compliance Program that includes a new International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories, which will come into effect on 1 April 2018.
  • Strengthened WADA’s capability for investigations through such measures as the creation of an Investigations Policy and framework and a strong network among Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs); developed and launched a robust Whistleblower Program branded Speak Up!, which generated many cases; and, carried out numerous investigations.
  • Reviewed the laboratory model with the view to further strengthening the accreditation process to ensure high quality results and a high-performing analytical system; for which, a dedicated Working Group presented its recommendations to the November Foundation Board meeting.
  • Initiated a third revision of the Code, which will culminate with approval and acceptance at the Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in 2019 in Katowice, Poland.
  • Formed and oversaw two other Working Groups -- one that is focused on strengthening the Agency’s Governance Structure and another that related to the IOC’s Independent Testing Authority (ITA), which evaluated the feasibility of an ITA.
  • Worked with National Anti-Doping Organizations, Regional Anti-Doping Organizations and International Federations to enhance anti-doping capacity.
  • Completed development of WADA’s new eLearning platform (ADEL) that will launch in January; and, initiated development of an International Standard for Education and Information that will be considered by WADA’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board in May 2018.
  • Made significant progress with the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) ‘Next Gen’ project, which aims at ensuring a system at the highest technical and security levels to support the global anti-doping system.
  • Further developed the Athlete Biological Passport Program through increased analysis and research into new biomarkers.
  • Further developed scientific-based knowledge in other areas including the Prohibited List, Therapeutic Use Exemptions and the assessment of the prevalence of doping.

Together, we have laid the foundation to ‘change the game’ for clean sport; which was acknowledged during our November Board meeting with an 8% budget increase for 2018. To us, this was a clear recognition of our team’s achievements, our increasing mandate and our ability to deliver on our important mission. Armed with these additional resources, WADA looks forward to working with you to strengthen existing activities and initiate new ones in 2018 related to compliance, investigations, science/medical, education, ADAMS and other areas; which will increase athlete confidence and trust that we too ‘are in it to win it’.
In the meantime, on behalf of the WADA team, we wish you and yours a holiday season and New Year filled with health, happiness and prosperity; and, we look forward to working together, with renewed vigor, in 2018!

Sir Craig Reedie                                                         Olivier Niggli
President                                                                    Director General