Historic WADA anti-doping athlete forum in Calgary leads to over a dozen key outcomes
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has wrapped up its first-ever Global Athlete Forum held at the Westin Hotel in Calgary.
Over 100 athletes from 50 countries met for two days and reached over a dozen key outcomes to try to achieve doping-free sport and support athlete rights.
Scroll down to read the full list of the key outcomes from the 2018 Global Athlete Forum
Among the key outcomes, the forum supports the drafting of an anti-doping charter of athlete rights, calls on leaders of sport and government to allow athletes to express their opinions and knowledge on doping without fear of retribution, and expressed concerns about sporting organizations hosting events in WADA non-code-compliant countries, such as the upcoming FIFA World Cup of Soccer in Russia.
Athlete forum chair Beckie Scott won a bronze medal in cross country skiing at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Her bronze medal was turned into a gold medal two years later, when the gold and silver medallists–both from Russia–were stripped of their medals for doping violations.
Scott says she hopes this forum will start an athlete movement to help clean up sport.
“The movement has started and the momentum is gaining,” Scott said. “We spoke a lot about unifying the athlete voice here–about strengthening the athlete voice within the movement.”
WADA founding president Richard (Dick) Pound attended the forum and says he’s proud Canada is at the forefront of the anti-doping movement.
“I thought it was a great success,” Pound said. “I’m very happy that it’s Canada that is taking the lead on this.
“I think Canada is regarded as a leader in the fight against doping in sport and this is another manifestation of that commitment.”
Pound said he thought the sanctions on Russia during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea were too light, but will provide a deterrent for others who try to break doping laws in sport.
“There is some deterrent effect,” Pound said. “Everybody in the world knows there was state-sponsored cheating in Russia. They went from the host of the 2014 Games to not being allowed to participate as a country in 2018. There’s going to be a big gap that will be there forever, so there was a price that was paid, but I think it was a bit light.”
LISTEN: Beckie Scott joins Gord Gillies to review the inaugural forum and key outcomes
The athlete forum was hosted by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) with the support of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. COC athlete advocate Andreanne Morin says this movement has great momentum now.
“Absolutely, power in numbers,” Morin said. “I come from a sport of rowing, where we’re a big team, and the more power behind the oar, the better it is. I think that’s the same here and you want to limit the outliers and make sure everyone has the same message going forward.”
WADA is based in Montreal but has regional offices around the globe. Organizers hope to make this an annual athlete forum, with a meeting in Europe set for next spring.
Read the full list of the key outcomes from the 2018 Global Athlete Forum:
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