Montreal, Oct 21, 2016: In the keynote speech at the World Forum on Sport and Culture in Tokyo today, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie stressed the importance of sport maintaining positive, ethical values “to mirror the values that we aspire to in our lives” (WADA President stresses importance).
Coming at a time of intense scrutiny for the governance of sport, Reedie called on sport administrators and leaders – those responsible for running the industry – to set an example to athletes and the broader public in upholding the integrity of sport worldwide, stating that “sport’s very future depends on their continued engagement”.
Amidst ongoing debate over broader issues outside of doping that threaten the integrity of sport, the WADA President cited his organization’s unique sport-government hybrid model as an example of “good governance and progress”, and highlighted areas where government can assist sport with levelling the playing field.
“Anti-doping does not work in a vacuum; only through partnerships between the sport movement and governments has progress been made,” he said. “Government provides real clout in areas where sport cannot; particularly with introducing legislation that prevents the trafficking and distribution of banned substances to athletes; and particularly with addressing the creeping trend of performance enhancing drug abuse beyond elite sport and within wider society”, he added.
“Success has only proven possible through cooperation between all partners: that rings true for anti-doping, and it will ring true for any wider sport integrity efforts aimed at addressing good governance, match fixing, illegal betting financial integrity matters or indeed issues of corruption in sport.”
Addressing the ongoing debate surrounding the anti-doping system, Reedie stressed the sport-government eight-point consensus reached at the recent Think Tank meeting at which it was agreed the Agency must be strengthened and empowered with greater independence and sanctioning power.
He stated WADA’s regulatory role was “more important than ever given the serious and shocking breaches to World Anti-Doping Code (Code) rules that were exposed via the Pound Commission and McLaren Investigation”, before continuing: “it was these investigations – particularly the latter that revealed state-organized subversion of the doping control system in Russia – that are contributing to an even greater debate regarding sport integrity.”
Citing the Code, the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, advances in science, the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), WADA’s new investigative powers, the Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) program, and the Agency’s increased links with the pharmaceutical and law enforcement industries, Reedie underlined the significant advances made to the fight against doping since his organization’s arrival on the scene in 1999. “Just think, prior to WADA’s existence there was no one single set of rules, no one standard doping sanction or athlete hearing process.
WADA brought consistency and fairness where there had previously been disparity, a lack of coherence and different rules for different athletes.”
The WADA President’s speech, titled ‘Protection of Sports Integrity’ (English only), is available in full on WADA’s website. —- WADA