Exactly ten years after the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 10 November 1999, WADA’s President John Fahey emphasized today the impact the Agency has had on the protection of clean sport and called on all parties involved in the fight against doping in sport to further enhance their efforts.
"There is no doubt that the fight against doping in sport has experienced a seachange under WADA's leadership and guidance," said Mr Fahey. "As the independent international organization responsible for promoting, co-ordinating and monitoring the global fight, WADA has made a significant difference in the protection of athletic integrity and has offered athletes good reasons to believe in the future of sport."
WADA’s Director General David Howman highlighted a number of areas where the Agency’s role has been instrumental. "All over the world, awareness is much higher today than it was ten years ago," he said. "Using a comprehensive approach to the issue of doping, WADA has continuously enhanced activities in areas such as education, athlete outreach, scientific research, harmonization and independent monitoring of anti-doping activities, development of capacities in underserved regions, and innovations through partnerships inside and outside of the anti-doping community. Global anti-doping efforts in general have become smarter and much more sophisticated with experience."
However, President Fahey cautioned that these achievements are just the beginning. "To succeed in our common quest to rid sport of doping, all those involved – athletes, the sport movement, governments, and others – must continue to constantly increase their efforts," he said. "We need to continue to act with determination and resolve. We need to continue to be innovative. Most importantly, we need to further step up education efforts in order to change mentalities and ensure that incentives for athletes to compete clean are stronger than incentives to cheat."
WADA was constituted as a Swiss private law foundation on 10 November 1999. The Agency held an initial Foundation Board Meeting on 13 January 2000, followed by a first full Board Meeting on 22 March 2000.
To mark WADA’s anniversary, the Government of Sweden has offered to contribute to the hosting of WADA’s annual end-of-the-year Executive Committee and Foundation Board Meetings on 1-2 December in Stockholm.
In addition, WADA has published a "Special Tenth Anniversary Issue" of its Play True Magazine. This issue highlights some of WADA’s most significant accomplishments and presents ideas for the way forward. It includes testimonials from athletes and other key actors in the fight against doping in sport. The new electronic version of Play True includes additional video clip messages from WADA’s President, Director General and other personalities.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven congratulated WADA: "On behalf of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) I would like to congratulate WADA on an incredibly successful ten years since its establishment. The IPC recognizes that WADA has initiated and continues to fine-tune an effective anti-doping strategy which translates into more fair events, competitions and clean athletes."
"It is my belief that international co-operation and shared access to information has proven it is the key to success. Over the past years, WADA in co-operation with IPC and other ADOs, has run very successful 'Outreach' programmes at Paralympic Sport events. We will continue to encourage such co-operation in anti-doping educational programmes in the spirit of fair play in Paralympic Sport. With positive outcomes like in WADA’s Independent Observers Reports over the past Paralympic Games, the advantages of the IPC being a committed stakeholder to the WADA programme are countless," he added in his congratulary message.
For more information about WADA, please visit the official website at www.wada-ama.org.