According to a media release from WADA, their “Athlete Committee has called on anti-doping organizations (ADOs) to increase the levels of education and information in their anti-doping programs.
At a meeting in New York hosted by Major League Baseball (MLB), the Athlete Committee reiterated the need for reaching out to athletes and educating them on the dangers of doping and why it is morally wrong.
During the two-day meeting, Committee members discussed the importance of international sports federations having values-based anti-doping education programs in their activities and for governments to introduce them through school curricula.
The Committee also encouraged athletes and members of the athlete entourage to embrace the idea of signing a moral contract with their respective sports that would involve making an anti-doping pledge.
“Education is a hugely important component of anti-doping and there should be more emphasis on education and awareness with the anti-doping organisations,” said Athlete Committee Chair Vyacheslav Fetisov.
“We would also like to see athletes accepting the concept of a moral contract that stipulates they will not to partake in doping activities, and for this concept to be introduced into schools at an early age.”
The Athlete Committee meets twice a year, and the main objective of the New York meeting was to discuss the latest changes suggested to the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) through the ongoing Code Review Process.
The discussion resulted in many comments and recommendations, and the Committee was very firm in calling for stronger penalties for serious doping violations. It also called on sanctioned former cyclist Lance Armstrong to make a full confession to the anti-doping authorities for the sake of clean athletes across the world.
Armstrong last year received a lifetime ban from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a series of doping violations,, and he recently publicly admitted that he took performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
“While Lance Armstrong admitted to doping, it was also obvious that he was withholding information,” added Fetisov.
“What he must do is make a full confession to the anti-doping authorities, make it under oath and disclose everything he knows about the doping that went on during his career.
“He owes it to cycling, and he owes it to clean athletes the world over. He needs to take full responsibility for his actions.”
The WADA Athlete Committee represents the views and rights of athletes who compete in sports that are signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code. It is the unified voice of clean athletes from these sports and encourages integrity and fairness in sport.”
ITU would be interested in hearing from athletes about ways of improving its own anti-doping education programme. Please contact ITU’s anti-doping department to provide feedback.