FAI at the 2023 WADA Anti-doping Symposium
The 2023 Annual Symposium of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took place last week in Lausanne, Switzerland. It gathered more than 1,000 participants (around 850 in person and 150 virtually) from the global anti-doping community, under this year’s theme: ’United Toward a World of Doping-Free Sport’. Among them were FAI representatives Geoffrey McCarthy MD and Kamila Vokoun Hajkova.
Geoffrey McCarthy MD and Kamila Vokoun Hajkova
Geoffrey is Vice President of the FAI Medico-Physiological Commission (CIMP) and Chairperson of the FAI TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemptions) Panel. He was present alongside Kamila, the FAI Anti-Doping Manager, to keep abreast of the latest information and initiatives in the field of anti-doping, such as the growing role of education, the importance of privacy, the new Human Rights Impact Assessment and Athletes’ Anti-Doping Ombuds programme, and the formation of a new Athlete Council. They also had the opportunity to meet and discuss these topics with their counterparts in other Sports Federations, with WADA officials and experts from all around the world.
“The fight for doping-free sport takes many forms, from educating athletes and officials to implementing the Code. Not only is this subject varied, but it is also ever changing and evolving,” said Kamila, after the event. “Participating in the WADA Symposium is important for FAI and its medical commission CIMP, to help us stay current and to exchange with other entities that face similar challenges to our Federation. This way we can keep delivering the best and most up-to-date services and information to our athletes and officials through our Fly Clean programme.”
FAI Fly Clean Programme
The FAI endorsed the World Anti-Doping Code in 2003. Thanks to this commitment, FAI sports and NACs can receive official Government support and subsidies and have the right to host FAI World Championships.
FAI runs the “Fly Clean” programme which aims at preserving "the spirit of sport". It also seeks to inform and provide guidance to athletes and their entourage, event organisers and all other officials.
In his keynote speech at the opening of the event, the WADA President Witold Bańka called for
“a strengthening of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization’s (UNESCO’s) International Convention Against Doping in Sport, in order to hold to account Governments with weak anti-doping policies, just like athletes and Anti-Doping Organizations are held to account under the World Anti-Doping Code .”
He also declared:
“What we have to do now as a global anti-doping community is to keep raising the game for athletes. We must innovate to find new and more effective methods, both in the areas of detection and prevention. For this to happen we must be united and work together for the common goal. We are constantly developing new strategies and tools for our daily work. However, there is still much to be done. The only way to do that is by joining forces and working closely together. We need to be united as one ‘Play True’ team.”
Credit (top & bottom picture): WADA