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iNADO Workshop: Women & Anti-Doping: Summary

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Women have been breaking barriers and making strides in sports for decades, yet they are still underrepresented in sport leadership roles. When women’s perspectives and experiences are not part of the decision-making processes in anti-doping, the resulting policies and practices fail to address the needs and concerns of all athletes and the expertise of all anti-doping experts. iNADO, therefore, decided to focus this year’s Workshop theme on Women & Anti-Doping: Working Together Towards Excellence. By doing so, iNADO engaged as many women within our network as possible to speak and share their expertise with the anti-doping community. In total there were 35 speakers, 25 of which were women. Participants heard insights on what can be done to lead the way for the next generation of women in anti-doping, learn about initiatives targeting the enhancement of Gender Equality Standards in anti-doping and tips about that the community including men can do to address gender equality at governance and operational levels. 

The lack of female representation in sport governing bodies can also perpetuate the already existing gender inequalities in sport; iNADO is optimistic, that of iNADO’s 68 member NADOs and RADOs, 30 have women in a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position or similar. This amounts to 44 percent, a higher average than in many other industries. However, this does not mean conditions in our community are favorable for gender equality. iNADO wishes to see all women in anti-doping, at all levels, benefiting from equal opportunities, also as athlete representatives. Therefore, we call upon our members and other anti-doping organizations and stakeholders to reflect on how good (or bad!) we are doing to support women in anti-doping. 

The 2023 iNADO Workshop was held from 12-13 March in Lausanne, Switzerland at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). The Workshop welcomed 227 participants.  The second day of the event (13 March) focused on more technical anti-doping topics, while engaging as many women as possible to speak and share their expertise with the anti-doping community.

On 12 March, there were various speakers addressing the topic of women and anti-doping including representation from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, Kingston University London / Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and the University of Lausanne (UNIL). In addition to the plenary sessions, there were also six different breakout sessions on 12 March. The sessions covered topics ranging from the evolution from an athlete to anti-doping practitioner; defining sex and gender in biomedical research; the challenges and opportunities for women working together in anti-doping in Latin America; women leading in anti-doping with experiences from Kenya; a perspective from India regarding if anti-doping organisations are ready to be led by women; as well as the impact of anti-doping on an island of 21 square miles from Bermuda. The breakout sessions were predominantly led by experiences from iNADO’s members, as well as speakers from research institutions and WADA.

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