As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting young athletes around the world and protecting clean sport, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is deploying its Athlete Outreach (AO) program at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which are running from 9-22 January 2020 and will involve approximately 1,880 athletes (15-18 years old) from 79 countries.
WADA’s AO team, which is staffed with anti-doping experts from WADA, the International Testing Agency (ITA) and various International Federations, is already on the ground and will be active throughout the YOG in the athletes’ villages both in Lausanne and St. Moritz as part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) ‘Learn and Share Program’. The aim of the team is to build awareness among young athletes, their support personnel and others as to the reasons for competing clean and the dangers and consequences of doping; in addition to, athletes’ rights and responsibilities under the .
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “WADA is thrilled to have an outreach team in action at the Youth Olympic Games, as has been the case since the creation of this event in 2010. The young athletes participating in these Games are the very best in their field and many will be part of the next generation of Olympians. It is vital that we reach these athletes as early as possible to reinforce clean sport values in them and help them to understand the importance of ‘Playing True’ if we want them to contribute to building a level playing field for the years to come.”
Visitors to the AO booth are encouraged to complete the , which is now available in 43 languages, to sign a pledge explaining why they ‘Play True’, and to share their experience on social media using the hashtag #PlayTrue. Athletes who take part in WADA’s Outreach activities will be rewarded with a winter neck buff that highlights a unique design prepared exclusively for the 2020 YOG.