WADA partners with Japan Anti-Doping Agency for International Anti-Doping Seminar for Asia-Oceania
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) played a significant role at this week’s annual International Anti-Doping Seminar for Asia and Oceania that was held from 14-15 December 2022 in Tokyo, Japan.
The hybrid event, which was hosted by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) in partnership with WADA, welcomed over 200 participants and was once again commissioned and supported by the Japan Sports Agency (JSA) of the government of Japan. A staple in the clean sport calendar, the theme of this year’s edition was ‘Re-uniting the Clean Sport Community and preserving the values of sport’.
The event opened with participants being welcomed by Japan’s State Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (and WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board member from Asia) Ide Yosei, and by JADA Chair Professor Akama Takao.
Later in the day, WADA’s President, Witold Bańka, delivered the keynote welcome address. In his speech, Mr. Bańka commended Japan’s efforts to promote international cooperation in the region. He said: “WADA has always recognized the importance of partnerships in the pursuit of clean sport, and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) and the Government of Japan are key partners for us. Japan has been very supportive of National and Regional Anti-Doping Organization (NADO and RADO) development over the years, and I am delighted that JADA’s influence will continue to be felt around the region for years to come.
“I want to thank the Japan Sports Agency and JADA for running this seminar in partnership with WADA. It is a great opportunity to listen to one another, strengthen existing connections, build new relationships and reflect on our role as leaders of the anti-doping movement. I am pleased to see many Governments, sports organizations and National Anti-Doping Organizations of the Asia and Oceania regions working together, with WADA’s support, for the good of the overall system.”
WADA Vice-President Yang Yang also played an integral role in the seminar, specifically as a participant in an athlete panel session focused on ‘reuniting the clean sport community and continuing to promote the Play True message’.
During the session, Yang Yang emphasized the importance of anti-doping prevention and supporting athletes to do the right thing. She said: “A major element of WADA’s athlete-centered philosophy revolves around education as a key pillar of anti-doping. Education is the single best long-term solution for protecting clean sport, and it is a critical component of the global anti-doping system. We are continuously seeing the tangible results that education delivers in preventing doping and supporting athletes in their efforts to compete clean throughout their careers.
“We must continue to make a concerted effort to inform and equip the athlete entourage – specifically parents, coaches, trainers and doctors. Athletes can rely heavily on their entourage. When we provide education so that they understand the importance and the rules of anti-doping, it filters down to the athlete and has a positive impact, even on those of a very young age.”
WADA Director General, Olivier Niggli, delivered a detailed presentation that was focused on ‘WADA’s strategies to raise the bar together’. Mr. Niggli started by highlighting what the Agency had achieved with stakeholders over the past year; in particular, progress with its governance reform that is resulting in greater independence and enhanced representation for athletes and National Anti-Doping Organizations. He then turned his attention to the future and WADA’s delivery against its 2020-2024 Strategic Plan.
Mr. Niggli concluded by saying: “While WADA has made significant strides over the past year, there is still plenty of work to be done. We must continue to engage and empower athletes; to build anti-doping capacity and community worldwide; and, to secure additional funding to further enable doping-free sport. By continuing to work collaboratively with all of our partners, we will raise the bar together.”
A number of other WADA staff contributed to the seminar, including: Director of the Asia/Oceania Office, Kazuhiro Hayashi; General Counsel, Ross Wenzel; Director of Testing, Tim Ricketts; and Associate Director of Compliance, Rules and Standards, Kevin Haynes.