The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Government of Japan signed an agreement on Tuesday that continues Japan’s long-running support for Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs) in Asia.
The agreement was signed by WADA President Sir Craig Reedie and Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency (JSA) Daichi Suzuki during a two-day international anti-doping seminar for Asia and Oceania in Tokyo, hosted by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA). The partnership means that the JSA will strengthen its commitment to further develop RADOs in the Asia region beyond 2019.
The funding will continue to assist RADOs with the development of anti-doping programs and provide funds for WADA to help with the training of anti-doping officials in the region.
Sir Craig said: “Japan has been making a significant contribution to the Asian RADOs since 2008 and we are grateful to the Japanese Government for extending it by another 12 months at least. This close cooperation between Japan, WADA and the RADOs has borne fruit over the years, particularly as it relates to building anti-doping capacity. This has led to the RADOs establishing positive reputations and strengthening the overall program throughout the region.”
Mr Suzuki said: “Japan has supported WADA’s international activities ever since its establishment in 1999 and we are committed to seeing that partnership continue into the future. In particular, we have always encouraged the Asian countries for the development of anti-doping activities in the region. In addition, since 2008, Japan has provided assistance to Asian RADOs in cooperation with WADA. It is very significant that we sign today the partnership agreement for the assistance to RADOs to strengthen our cooperation.
“Now we are accelerating promotion of training of Doping Control Officers, enhancement of laboratory and investigation and intelligence programs in cooperation with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Japan Sport Council and JADA for doping-free Games in Tokyo 2020. As a legacy project, we also started the ‘I Play True Relay’ to invite play true messages from all over the world to deliver the value of sport for the future.”
There are five RADOs in Asia working across 36 countries, with particular emphasis on compliance to the World Anti-Doping Code. The RADO program helps develop Code-compliant systems that encompass testing, education and general awareness of anti-doping issues in smaller countries while ensuring that resources can be pooled and used more effectively.
It means that the long-term sustainability and level of testing and anti-doping education worldwide can be enhanced and ensure that athletes, regardless of their location or sport, are subject to robust anti-doping protocols and processes. Globally, the program includes 15 RADOs involving 130 participating nations.
Meanwhile, WADA is taking an active role in the two-day international anti-doping seminar for Asia and Oceania in Tokyo this week with Sir Craig addressing the meeting and Director General Olivier Niggli making a detailed presentation on WADA’s priorities and the continued development of the global anti-doping program.
The event, which is open to media on the morning of the first day, also sees the next WADA President, Witold Banka, and the next WADA Vice-President, Yang Yang, form part of an athlete panel that includes former Olympian Daichi Suzuki as well as member of the IOC Athlete Commission, WADA Athlete Committee and WADA Executive Committee (ExCo), Danka Bartekova and JADA Athlete Committee member Masaki Fujita. The panel will explore the opportunities for athletes to leave a meaningful anti-doping legacy, particularly in the context of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Several WADA Directors and other staff members are playing active roles in the seminar, all of whom are in Tokyo for other meetings, in particular the WADA ExCo on 23 September. A topic that is dominating proceedings is the effective implementation of the Code and associated International Standards in light of their ongoing review, which will culminate with their adoption at the in Katowice, Poland in November. Following what has been an extensive and fully collaborative process, the revised documents will come into force on 1 January 2021.