WADA calls on anti-doping stakeholders to take action to protect minors as 2024 Global Education Conference concludes in France


Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) concluded its 2024 Global Education Conference in Cannes, France, with a clear call to action for anti-doping stakeholders internationally: stronger steps must be taken to further protect minors in sport. 

This fourth edition of the conference, which kicked off on 27 February, wrapped up with WADA stating its intentions to make anti-doping education mandatory for minors through revisions to the International Standard for Education (ISE) for Signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code, while also encouraging policy or legislative changes by Governments of the world. 

WADA President Witold Bańka said: “As evidenced by the efforts of our Education Department to put together this enlightening and productive conference, WADA has fully embraced education and made it a priority. It is time for all Anti-Doping Organizations and Governments to do the same. Athletes must be supported and equipped with the tools they need to compete clean throughout their careers. That process must start early with a positive introduction to the anti-doping system. In particular, children who are competing at an elite level of sport must be protected by ensuring they and their support personnel receive strong, values-based education at the earliest possible stage. 

“The first edition of the International Standard for Education that entered into force in January 2021 was a strong first step, now the time has come for the next phase of the evolution. WADA will work collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure that the 2027 World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards Update process, which is currently underway, includes clear directives with regards to the education of minors and their entourages.” 

This year’s GEC was hosted by the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD) and welcomed more than 400 participants from around the globe. The event brought together anti-doping practitioners, researchers, Government officials and athletes to share and discuss emerging trends, contribute to education program development, and examine how education can continue to further anti-doping efforts internationally.  

WADA’s Director of Education, Amanda Hudson, said: “This year’s Global Education Conference was about harnessing the work carried out by the anti-doping community over the past few years into a common education agenda. With the mandate from the 2022 GEC and the momentum of this year's conference, we are well on the way to formally identifying how we as a community can fully realize the potential of education for the good of clean sport.  

“With the diverse and engaged audience in attendance, the level of discussion and the willingness to share and work collaboratively, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the outcomes, and we are already looking forward to the next edition of the GEC.” 

Chair of WADA’s Education Committee, Kady Kanouté Tounkara, said: “The record number of participants in Cannes for this edition of the conference is a good sign for the future of anti-doping education. Now, those in attendance can take what they have learned at the conference back to their respective regions of the world and truly adopt a prevention mindset. Anti-doping organizations should take this opportunity to reflect and review their current education infrastructure and investment and challenge themselves, and their Governments, to implement proper measures to ensure that minors in sport are well educated from before they start competing at major events and interacting with the anti-doping system.” 

On Tuesday, WADA also hosted a Social Science Research (SSR) Symposium at l’Université Côte d’Azur in Nice, France. Held in connection with the GEC, the SSR Symposium served as a mechanism to facilitate conversations and inspire collaborations between researchers and practitioners from the anti-doping community. 

WADA will shortly be seeking a host for the next edition of the GEC (in 2026 or 2027) and its associated events; and, encourages stakeholders to consider this potential in their future plans. To date, the GEC has been held in the Americas, Asia, Oceania and now Europe, so interest is especially welcomed from Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.  

To express interest, please contact Anaïs Lefevre, WADA’s Senior Manager, Projects and Events at