The chairperson of the FIAS Athletes Commission attended the 1st WADA Global Athlete Forum in Calgary, along with more than 100 athlete leaders representing 54 countries from all around the world. The athlete forum was hosted by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) with the support of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
Under the theme ‘The sport we want’, the Forum saw athlete leaders and leading Anti-Doping experts discussing the current Anti-Doping system and stressing the importance of the athlete’s voice being further engaged in the decision-making process.
Laure Fournier from France, represented SAMBO athletes at the Forum on behalf of FIAS. Protecting the rights of clean athletes is the WADA Athlete Committee’s highest priority.
Athlete forum chair Beckie Scott from Canada, won a bronze medal in cross country skiing at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Her bronze medal was turned into a gold medal two years later, when the gold and silver medallists were stripped of their medals for Anti-Doping rules violations.
Scott says she hopes this forum will start an athlete movement to help clean up sport: “The movement has started and the momentum is gaining,” Scott said. “We spoke a lot about unifying the athlete voice here, about strengthening the athlete voice within the movement.”
The athletes heard from President of WADA Sir Craig Reedie and Olivier Niggli the WADA Director General, who said the recent breaches in the system and concerns have led to much needed change and reform in the system to bring more research and resources to program development, laboratory accreditation, education and science research.
Ms Fournier said: “WADA education programmes are important for the protection of clean sport. We listened to the individual stories and realised how many athletes have been directly impacted by doping. Ms Fournier also said that FIAS is fully compliant to the all latest trends emphasised by WADA such us Speak Up! Programme, values based education seminars organised at different FIAS events. In 2014, FIAS developed and launched its own very effective educational programmes specifically prepared to the athletes and athletes entourage with different topics every year.”
Ms Fournier said to FIAS website the days gave her great insight into athletes’ right to clean and fair sport. The athletes present suggested amendments on the current draft of the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights with the hope of including key principles within the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code. In the end all athletes have the right to clean and fair sport. Those who use the performance enhanced substances to cheat the Forum send strong message, that violates the Anti-Doping rules decreases the integrity and passion of true sport.”
On behalf of all SAMBO athletes Ms Fournier expressed appreciation to WADA, the WADA Athlete Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport for hosting this historical event.
And she reminds all SAMBO athletes shall continually visit the Anti-Doping section of the FIAS website to become familiar with the resources available. FIAS will continue to promote camping ”I Play True” and initiatives in the areas of supporting Clean Sport on all levels.