WADA delivers first workshop as part of European Intelligence and Investigations project
This week, the independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has successfully brought together representatives of law enforcement agencies and National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) from 10 European countries for the first of six workshops as part of a European Union-funded project aimed at building I&I capabilities across the continent.
The five-day workshop, which concluded today, took place in Warsaw, Poland, and included representatives from Austria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Ukraine. During the week, sessions covered such topics as confidential source management, analytical and interviewing techniques, and open-source research, as collaboration opportunities between law enforcement and NADOs were also explored. The workshop offered a mix of presentations and practical, interactive exercises, including real-time interviews.
WADA Director of I&I, Gunter Younger, said: “Intelligence and investigations are vital to the success of any effective anti-doping program and collaboration is a key element of what we do. The development of a productive relationship between Anti-Doping Organizations and law enforcement is crucial and this project is giving both those stakeholders the skills and support necessary to succeed. I am very pleased with how the first workshop went and we look forward to including a total of 48 nations in the first 12-months of the two-year project.
“Ultimately, the goal of the project is to increase anti-doping intelligence and investigation capacity in Europe, reduce the prevalence of doping in sport and maximize the health benefits for European young people through practicing clean sport. Already, as a result of the collaboration promoted by this project, two law enforcement/NADO investigative operations are now ongoing in this region. We are grateful for the vision and commitment of the European Union and the European Education and Culture Executive Agency for supporting this important project.”
As part of the project, earlier this month, more than 300 participants joined a session that focused on ‘Raising Awareness of Decision-Makers of the Importance of I&I in the Fight Against Doping’ at WADA’s 2023 Annual Symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The project also features a range of complementary activities, including:
- An e-learning platform for law enforcement officers and an online tool for sharing information across the 48 countries;
- A campaign later this year, designed to raise awareness of youth to the dangers of doping;
- The provision of assistance to develop robust legislative frameworks where necessary, especially in the area of whistleblowers;
- Ongoing advice, support and collaborative meetings; and
- A thorough process of monitoring and evaluation to ensure the project remains on track as per the agreed criteria.
The remaining five project workshops will be carried out in May, July, September, November 2023, and January 2024.