The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was strongly represented at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC's) International Athlete Forum, which brought together around 350 athletes from more than 200 countries in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week (13-14 April).
© IOC/Fabrice Coffrini
As part of a panel on the protection of clean sport featuring representatives from the IOC, WADA, the International Testing Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Chair of the WADA Athletes Committee Beckie Scott spoke in particular about the work of the committee in the fight against doping and highlighted some of the group’s current priorities, including the development of the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights and of a strategy to ensure that the committee continues to strengthen the athletes’ voice within WADA and the wider anti-doping movement.
Also speaking in this panel, Chief Operating Officer Frédéric Donzé updated the forum on recent developments in WADA’s activities.
He told the meeting that real progress had been made by WADA in light of the Russian doping crisis, particularly in the areas of WADA’s compliance monitoring of World Anti-Doping Code Signatories, investigations and whistleblowing, and review of the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards.
He said: “While work is ongoing in terms of the authentication and analysis of the data retrieved from the former Moscow Laboratory in January, we have tried to use the lessons learned in the past few years as much as possible to help rebuild a strong and credible Russian Anti-Doping Agency and to further enhance our programs for the benefit of clean sport, in partnership with the global anti-doping community.
“We as a community need to continuously look at new and creative ways and means to better protect clean athletes, and the involvement and input of the athlete’s community is a critical part of this work.”
The Athlete Committee was also represented by member Ben Sandford, who brought the forum up to speed on the development of the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights, which will be further discussed at the May meetings of WADA’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board.
Lastly, WADA Deputy Director, Standards and Harmonization, Stuart Kemp gave athletes an update on the latest developments regarding the revamp of the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS). He indicated, in particular, that the first phase of this overhaul was close to completion, which will see a brand-new athletes’ whereabouts application rolled out shortly.
During the International Athlete Forum, as well as the World Olympians’ Forum held on 15 April at the same venue, hundreds of athletes visited the WADA outreach booth to ask questions and interact with the WADA Athlete Committee and WADA Management members present in Lausanne.
This year’s IOC International Athlete Forum brought together athletes representing the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee, WADA, Olympic Continental Associations, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, Organizing Committees of upcoming Olympic Games, and the World Olympians Association. This Forum is usually held every two years.