WADA confirms plans to set up Global Intelligence and Investigations Network at International Anti-Doping Symposium in China
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was pleased to play a prominent role during the 3rd annual International Anti-Doping Symposium, which was hosted in a hybrid fashion on 24-25 September 2023, by the China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA).
Commissioned and supported by CHINADA and Sports Bureau of Zhejiang Province, the symposium was co-organized by the Hangzhou Asian Organizing Committee and the Anti-Doping Branch of the China Sport Science Society. The event has become a staple on the clean sport calendar within the Asia/Oceania region.
Under the theme ‘Reinforcing Governance Capability of National Anti-Doping Organizations’, this year’s event attracted participants from the region and beyond, and its agenda focused on National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) compliance, development and capacity building and supporting NADO’s at major sporting events.
In his opening address, WADA President Witold Bańka thanked CHINADA for hosting the Symposium and commended the NADO for its leadership within the region. He also announced the Agency’s plans for global expansion of its Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department’s Anti-Doping I&I Network.
He said: “Over the past year, we have been bringing together anti-doping experts from NADOs and law enforcement agencies in Europe to build out an Anti-Doping Intelligence and Investigations Network. This project has already delivered tangible results, having dismantled several illicit steroid laboratories, and seized significant amounts of performance enhancing drugs, catching a number of doping athletes in the process.
“Due to its success, the WADA Intelligence and Investigations Department has decided to expand this project worldwide and establish a Global Anti-Doping Intelligence and Investigations Network. We will do this region by region, with the next phase of the project beginning in Asia/Oceania as of 2025. We believe it is a great opportunity to increase I&I capacities here, strengthen our relationships with law enforcement, and make a significant impact in the protection of clean sport just as we are doing in Europe.”
During the first day of the Symposium, Director General Olivier Niggli presented WADA’s Strategic Plan, the Agency’s short and long-term priorities, and went through the various ways the Agency was helping to build capacity within NADOs and Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs) in Asia and around the world. WADA Vice-President Yang Yang also delivered a keynote speech focusing on the importance of education and WADA’s athlete-centered approach.
Yang Yang said: “Education is and must remain our first line of support for athletes. It has a strong voice within our governance structure, and it is also reflected in the fact there is now an International Standard for Education and a dedicated, stand-alone Education Department at WADA.
“As part of the ‘Be Athlete Centered’ priority of the Agency’s Strategic Plan, WADA is always looking at ways to engage and empower athletes to contribute to the development of anti-doping policies. We are constantly striving to simplify the anti-doping journey for athletes so they can forge healthy and sustainable careers in sport. We want to ensure we are listening to the views of athletes worldwide and addressing the matters that are of most interest to them.”
WADA Chief Operating Officer, Stuart Kemp, and Director of WADA’s European Office and Sport Movement Relations, Sébastien Gillot, also contributed their expertise to the symposium with sessions on World Anti-Doping Code compliance, and Anti-Doping Organization development and capacity building.