From 24-25 October 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) held its second Global Education Conference in Beijing, China, which was graciously hosted by the China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) in partnership with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Under the theme ‘Innovation, Harmonization and Cooperation’, the Conference convened over 150 participants, from over 70 countries, representing National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs); Regional Anti-Doping Organisations (RADOs); National and International Federations; National Olympic Committees; and, Research Institutions.
Emceed by Malian basketball Olympian and WADA Education Committee member, Kady Kanouté Tounkara, Conference participants were welcomed and joined by Honourable Sport Minister, Mr. Gou Zhongwen; Vice Sport Minister, Mr. Li Yingchuan; Executive Director General, CHINADA, Mr. Chen Zhiyu; Dr. Edwin Moses, USADA Board Chair and Chair of WADA’s Education Committee; and, Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President.
Together, anti-doping practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders involved in clean sport, examined emerging trends; contributed to development of WADA’s new International Standard for Education and examined how Anti-Doping Organisations (ADOs) could enhance their education programs and, ultimately, strengthen the global anti-doping programme, while keeping the athlete at the centre of their strategies.
As outlined in the Agenda
, day one of the Conference addressed the athlete’s perspective, including the WADA Athlete Committee’s development of an Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights; the role of education in clean sport programmes; as well as, roundtable analysis of the International Standard for Education. Day two of the Conference consisted of presentations and workshops regarding existing and emerging education programmes and materials; and, provided sessions tailored to specific stakeholders.
In his address
to Conference participants, WADA President Sir Craig Reedie thanked CHINADA for hosting the vitally important Conference and thanked USADA for its partnership. He expressed how heartening it was to see such great attendance from those responsible for anti-doping education around the world and said: “Traditionally, the anti-doping movement relied on detection and deterrence to enforce clean sport. However, more and more, it is becoming clear to WADA and the wider anti-doping community of the need to implement longer-term solutions to educate today’s athletes and future generations on doping. Accordingly, one of WADA’s key priorities is to increase and enhance research-led anti-doping education including the development of an International Standard for Education.
The International Standard, which will elevate the status of education to ensure a requirement for ADOs to deliver effective education programs, will also:
- Enhance and clarify the definitions of education, information, prevention and values-based education (ethical rationales);
- Define roles and responsibilities of stakeholders;
- Ensure enhanced cooperation between stakeholders; and
- Emphasize the need to plan, evaluate and implement education programs effectively.
This is a hugely important step towards the advancement of education across the world and is another way in which WADA is helping to create a level playing field for athletes to compete clean. So, whether it is athlete outreach at major events, online courses that help athletes understand their rights and responsibilities, training of educators or a regulatory framework to ensure it all happens in the right way, WADA will continue to provide an education programme worthy of an ethical and values-based sporting world.”
Mr. Chen Zhiyu, Executive Director General, CHINADA said: “CHINADA highly appreciates and fully supports WADA in developing and implementing the International Standard for Education. China carries out mandatory education on athletes and their support personnel before they enter the national team and represent their country. Today, CHINADA has a fully developed system, contents, procedure and platform to support this work. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share this experience with our colleagues from around the world, to improve the effectiveness of anti-doping education and the global anti-doping programme.”
Dr. Edwin Moses, USADA Board Chair and Chair of WADA’s Education Committee said: “I am privileged to support the unwavering commitment of those striving to empower fair play and ethical sport. This week’s Conference offers a rare opportunity to build synergy as a global movement and to further develop and strengthen cooperative partnerships. As we continue to collaborate and find inspiration in shared values, anti-doping educational thought leaders are seeking to explore rigorous best practices and evidence-based theories to inform our practical educational applications. This is critically important work.”
At the end of day two, Conference participants were presented with a declaration surmising the key themes to emerge, which will be published shortly, that is aimed at advancing the Clean Sport movement. It includes such principles as ensuring: that the athletes’ voice is engaged and that their rights are protected; that the International Standard is developed, implemented and supported by ADOs; that ADOs work together to provide easy access to education tools; and, that ADOs continue to collaborate on best practices to further resources and goals; and, advance education.