The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport concluded yesterday in Katowice, Poland with WADA’s Foundation Board approving the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and the Executive Committee (ExCo) approving the International Standards. All these documents will come into force on 1 January 2021.
Following these approvals, a ‘Katowice Declaration’ called upon “all stakeholders in the fight against doping in sport, including the Sports Movement, Governments, Anti-Doping Organisations and athletes to reinforce their efforts to strengthen their cooperation in every possible way; to present a unified front to strive to eradicate doping in sport; to increase resources dedicated to protecting clean sport; and to bring all perpetrators to account, without limitation.”
In December 2017, WADA initiated a transparent revision process which consisted of three distinct consultation phases for the Code; two for the related International Standards and one for the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act, previously known as the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights. During this time, stakeholders had multiple opportunities to contribute and make recommendations on how to further strengthen the global anti-doping program.
The Board congratulated Beckie Scott, the Chair of WADA’s Athlete Committee, and WADA Athlete Committee member Ben Sandford, the document’s lead drafter, along with the other members of the Committee on the approval of the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act by the ExCo the day prior. The Board acknowledged a two-and-a-half-year effort by the Committee, which involved consultation with thousands of athletes and stakeholders around the world. The purpose of the Act, which is based on the 2021 Code and Standards, is to ensure that athlete rights within anti-doping are clearly set out, accessible, and universally applicable.
Election of WADA President and Vice-President
The Board elected former elite runner and Poland’s Minister for Sport and Tourism, Witold Bańka, as the next WADA President and double Olympic gold-medallist in short-track speed skating, Yang Yang, as Vice-President – an election that will place athletes in the top two leadership roles in WADA when they officially take office on 1 January 2020.
After the election, Witold Bańka said:
– It is a huge honour for me to become President of WADA. I know how important the Agency is for the future of sport and I will work hard to ensure that it continues to lead a global anti-doping program that holds up the values of clean sport at all times. I pledge my commitment to putting the athletes’ interests first so they can have confidence that WADA will always support them to compete clean. Whatever happens, I will always come back to that. I know we will face many challenges in the years ahead. We have a difficult task before us and we will sometimes have to make difficult decisions. Yet, I am convinced we will be able to make them. Together, we will work tirelessly to make the sports world cleaner and safer and something that continues to inspire millions of people around the world.
About the World Conference
The World Conference, which ran from 5-7 November, took stock of the evolution of Clean Sport with stakeholders engaging in high-level discussion and debate about the global anti-doping program. It brought together more than 1,500 representatives from the sport movement, public authorities and anti-doping organisations, along with athletes, other anti-doping experts and members of the media.
Source & More information: WADA