The Olympic Charter speaks of the promotion of “friendship, solidarity and fair play”. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an independent foundation built upon these important values. It is one of the most recent and impressive examples of collaboration in international sport.
Through a collective initiative led by the International Olympic Committee, WADA was created in November 1999 to support and promote fundamental values in sport. With one historic associative act, sport organizations and governments are now united in their efforts to achieve completely drug free sport. This level of unprecedented solidarity constitutes today our greatest hope of eradicating the improper use of drugs in sport.
2004 will represent a crucial year, not just for WADA, but for the entire fight against doping in sport. This is the year when the World Anti-Doping Code will be implemented by sports organizations prior to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The Code will ensure that, for the first time, the rules and regulations governing anti-doping will be the same across all sports and all countries. Athletes will now face a level playing field when it comes to doping.
The Code represents an historic achievement for those concerned with doping in sport. At a World Conference in March last year, sports organizations, governments, and anti-doping agencies from around the world unanimously accepted the Code. Governments will soon follow the example being set this year by the sports movement and will implement the Code in their countries prior to the Olympic Games in Italy in 2006. With the Code in place, there will soon be no place for cheaters to hide.
The key to continued success in the fight against doping is for the collaboration between the sports movement and the public authorities to continue in force. With each playing an active and critical role, and each pledging its complete support to the Code, we are much closer to achieving our goal of doping-free sport.
Richard W. POUND, Q.C.
Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency