WADA’s 2024 Global Education Conference opens in France attracting a record attendance


Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomed a record number of participants to the opening of the 2024 Global Education Conference (GEC) at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.  

The conference, which runs from 27-29 February, is being hosted by the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD) and will welcome more than 400 participants from around the globe. The event brings 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. This is the fourth edition of the GEC, having previously been staged in Ottawa, Canada (2015), Beijing, China (2018) and Sydney, Australia (2022). 

The Conference’s official Welcome and Opening Ceremony took place today, where Mr. Bańka and AFLD President Béatrice Bourgeois addressed participants. 

WADA President Witold Bańka said: “WADA is pleased to welcome participants to the fourth edition of the Global Education Conference. This conference has become an integral part of the anti-doping calendar, and we are happy to be collaborating with the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage and the Government of France to put on this important event. 

“With its highest attendance to date, the Global Education Conference is once again demonstrating that education is an integral pillar of anti-doping, and a central resource in the protection of clean sport. Under the theme of ‘Cultivating Our Collective Creativity’, participants will spend the next few days exploring various topics focused on design thinking, modern anti-doping programs, behavioral science, athlete experience and how we can all contribute to a common education agenda. We look forward to the outcomes stemming from these interactive sessions that we hope will further strengthen the system, especially in the lead-up to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.” 

Ms. Bourgeois said: “Education is imperative to reduce the risk of doping through negligence and enable everyone to train and prepare for competitions with serenity. Lack of information and awareness can lead to unintentional violations of anti-doping rules, sometimes with serious consequences for athletes' careers. The Global Education Conference is an opportunity to reiterate the commitment to antidoping based equally on education and deterrence." 

Tomorrow, the Conference starts its wide-ranging agenda featuring a total of eleven sessions that will highlight topics such as: 

  • The importance of athlete engagement; 

  • The fundamentals of education planning and design; 

  • Education for developing clean sport behaviors; 

  • Unintentional doping; and  

  • Values-based education. 

The GEC will also be an opportunity to discuss the Global Clean Sport Education Agenda more broadly as well as the evolution of the International Standard for Education.   

WADA’s Education Committee also convened for its annual in-person meeting yesterday; and, earlier today, WADA facilitated regional and community conversations, which provided an opportunity for Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) to share their recent education experiences as part of ‘Show and Tell’ sessions.