BIRMINGHAM: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has outlined how it is partnering to promote clean sport during the 22nd Commonwealth Games (Birmingham 2022), which commenced Thursday and concludes on 8 August.
WADA’s Athlete Engagement Program team, which has been on site at the Birmingham University Village since Wednesday and will be there until 30 July, is raising awareness about clean sport while making connections with athletes competing at the Games. The team is working closely with another team from UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), which will take over the athlete engagement activities for the remainder of the event.
In particular, the team will:
Encourage athletes and their entourage to engage digitally with WADA’s athlete-focused campaign by sharing ‘Who inspires them to Play True?’;
Invite athletes to complete a WADA perception survey; and
Raise awareness among athletes of the election campaign, which WADA is holding in October that will see eight athletes being elected to WADA’s new 20-member Athlete Council by the Athlete Commissions of International Federations. The Council will represent, support and promote the voices of athletes on anti-doping matters, and will be the avenue for athletes, chosen by athletes, to assume important seats within WADA’s governing bodies, including seats on the Executive Committee and Foundation Board.
The team will also aim to build stronger relationships with the CGF’s Athlete Advisory Committee, the UKAD Athlete Commission and the Birmingham 2022 Athlete Advisory Committee.
WADA Athlete Committee chair Ben Sandford said: “This Athlete Engagement Program is a great opportunity to speak directly with athletes from all Commonwealth countries, to respond to their questions, and listen to their views. On behalf of WADA’s Athlete Committee, I would like to thank those athletes and their support personnel who take the time to join us at our booth in the athlete village. Now more than ever, it is important to engage athletes in the area of anti-doping and make sure they know how to be involved in shaping the future of clean sport.”
Independent Observer Program
WADA will also be running an Independent Observer (IO) program during Birmingham 2022 – a program that is designed to enhance athlete and public confidence as to the quality, effectiveness, and reliability of anti-doping programs during major international multisport events.
The anti-doping program of Birmingham 2022 will be operated by the CGF with support from UKAD; and, WADA’s IO team will collaborate with them to help strengthen the program.
Providing daily feedback to the organizers, the IO team will observe all aspects of Birmingham 2022’s anti-doping program, including:
Test distribution planning and implementation;
Recruitment and training of sample collection personnel;
Athlete selection, notification and sample collection procedures;
Transport and chain of custody of samples;
Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) procedures; and
Following the Games, the IO team will issue a post-Games report that will formalize observations and recommendations designed to enhance anti-doping activities for future events.
Well before this week’s signing of a formal MoU between WADA and the CGF, the two organizations joined forces to create and launch an interactive e-learning education course designed for athletes and coaches participating at Birmingham 2022. The course is hosted on WADA’s Anti-Doping Education and Learning platform, known as ADEL, and features modules explaining which substances and methods are prohibited, whereabouts information and requirements at the Games, how testing will be carried out, and what to do if an athlete needs to apply for a therapeutic use exemption. The course also outlines the important dates that athletes needed to be aware of and which organization has jurisdiction over them during the Games, as well as offering learning activities that allow participants to apply their knowledge.
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