LAUSANNE, Switzerland (April 16, 2015) – More than 470 anti-doping experts from regions across the world met in Lausanne, Switzerland from March 24-26 for the 11th edition of WADA’s annual Symposium for International Sport Federations (IFs), National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs), Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs), Major Games Organizers, WADA’s Athlete Committee and, for the first time, from WADA accredited laboratories and the media, discussed concrete ways and means of ‘Optimizing the Practice of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code’ – the theme of this year’s Symposium.
“This 2015 edition was held less than three months following the entry into force of the revised Code and International Standards,” said Frédéric Donzé, Director of WADA’s European Regional Office and IF Relations. “This was a perfect opportunity for the anti-doping community to come together and discuss ways and means to ensure that the full potential of this promising set of rules is translated into practice. The enthusiasm displayed by the participants, and their willingness to share their practical expertise and experience give us at WADA confidence that ADOs will apply these new rules effectively to further protect clean athletes worldwide.”
This year’s edition of the Symposium provided participants with a number of new features. This included a full day of practical workshops and training sessions related to education, testing, intelligence and investigations, the Athlete Biological Passport, results management, therapeutic use exemptions, ADAMS, and other key areas of the fight for clean sport.
In addition, a number of discussion panels on the first day addressed topics such as the influence of the athletes, their entourage and the media on the fight against doping in sport. These sessions provided participants with the opportunity to interact with the members of WADA’s Athlete Committee, as well as a number of high-profile whistleblowers and specialized reporters.
“We have entered into a new era of anti-doping,” said WADA Director General David Howman, who delivered an introductory presentation on ADOs’ responsibility following the opening address of WADA Vice President, Rev. Dr. Makhenkesi A. Stofile. “With the new Code in place, the world anti-doping community has a renewed responsibility to preserve the integrity of sport. That was the purpose of this Symposium: to get into the details of ADOs’ responsibilities and provide them with additional tools to deliver our collective promise of protecting the rights of all those who reject doping. WADA looks forward to continuing to work with all of its stakeholders in the pursuit of this mission.”
This was a perfect opportunity also for the WTF representatives to get together with the Anti-Doping Community and discuss the experiences regarding the new WTF Anti-Doping Policy which entered into force on the 1st January 2015 and which has a clear focus on protecting the clean athletes.
“It was encouraging, and of course apt, to see athletes take center stage here today,” said WADA Vice President, Rev. Dr. Makhenkesi A. Stofile. “They are clearly asking us to represent their interests by enforcing the Codes’ rules in every region and in every sport.”
The first day of the Symposium included in particular sessions relating to the implementation of the revised Code; stronger sanctions; and the influence of the athlete entourage.
Days two and three of the Symposium will cover themes such as education; anti-doping science; intelligent testing; the Athlete Biological Passport; information sharing and investigations; ADO-laboratory relationships and ADO-ADO partnerships — all of which are considered crucial to the future of the anti-doping movement.