WADA calls on Governments of Americas to strengthen anti-doping
Yesterday, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Director General, Olivier Niggli, addressed the 22nd General Assembly of the Americas Sports Council (CADE) at its in-person meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to call upon the Governments of the region to do everything in their power to strengthen anti-doping and make sure that all clean sport stakeholders are properly resourced. He also outlined WADA’s strategic priorities and gave an update on recent activities.
The annual General Assembly of CADE brings together Sports Ministers and other Government representatives from all over the Americas region with anti-doping in sport featuring as an important element of the discussions.
In his presentation, Mr. Niggli explained how the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the global anti-doping system but that thanks to the hard work and dedication of the clean sport community, at the global level, testing and other programs had returned to normal levels. He added that despite the ongoing challenges, considerable progress had been made by WADA, particularly in the areas of education, compliance monitoring, capacity building, scientific research and investigations.
The WADA Director General outlined the Agency’s priorities under the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, and encouraged ongoing partnership and collaboration. He highlighted WADA’s ongoing governance reforms that are putting athletes at the center of the organization, as well as the need for all countries from the Americas to have robust, relevant and well-funded anti-doping programs. He also highlighted some recent examples of how countries in Latin America were collaborating in the region to ensure increasing strength of the overall system.
Mr. Niggli told the meeting: “Governments are vital to ensuring that the best possible safeguards are provided for the well-being of athletes. This comes in the form of quality testing regimes, effective values-based education, intelligence-led investigations and anti-doping programs that comply with the World Anti-Doping Code. At WADA, we know it is crucial that we put athletes at the center of the mission, listening to what they are saying and ensuring they are part of the decision-making process.
“Your vision and leadership are key to the success of clean sport in this region and WADA is here to help. Whether from our headquarters in Montreal, Canada or our Latin America office in Montevideo, Uruguay, our staff are on hand to provide you with the guidance you need to succeed. Yes, the challenges are significant, but together we can accomplish so much for the benefit of athletes worldwide.”
Mr. Niggli and other senior WADA officials also used the CADE General Assembly as an opportunity to meet on a bilateral basis with various Sports Ministers and Government representatives from the region in order to exchange views and, where appropriate, offer WADA’s assistance on national anti-doping matters.