«The strongest World Anti-Doping Code in WADA’s history»

Widveys innlegg under verdenskonferansen i Polen.

Solheim wada polen

Denne uka avholder WADA den femte verdenskonferansen i Katowice i Polen. Der skal en ny president endelig velges og en ny World Anti-Doping Code skal vedtas. I ettermiddag holdt Anders Solheim et innlegg på vegne av styreleder Thorhild Widvey. Innlegget gjengis i sin helhet under.

Speech by Thorhild Widvey

The strongest World Anti-Doping Code in WADA’s history offers us an unparalleled opportunity to deliver for athletes

Delivered at the Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport
Katowice, Poland
5-7 November 2019

Good Afternoon,

My name is Thorhild Widvey. As someone who served on the WADA Executive Committee at a time when the first wave of serious doping allegations started back in 2014, I have closely followed the path of anti-doping since. I know only too well the challenges that our movement has encountered followingscrutiny from the public and, most importantly, the athlete community.

I believe one thing this chapter has taught me is just how resilient our movement – the clean sport community – is. The proof, as they say, “is in the pudding”. The proof, my fellow delegates, of our collective ability to stand tall and make progress for all athletes is in the revised World Anti-Doping Code and Standards. For it is this new version of the anti-doping rulebook, the 2021 Code, that demonstrates so clearly our steadfast commitment to real progress for clean sport. Anti-doping has evolved significantly, and I am pleased to say that this new Code accurately reflects that.

I am pleased to see more emphasis on ‘health’ within the Code. The definition of ‘Athlete Rights’ is improving. There is also more protection for those individuals reporting doping; this, to me, must be viewed as positive progress given that so much exposure of doping in recent years has been through the testimonies of individuals and whistle-blowers. We must support those people who are courageous in bringing forward information on doping.

Above all, however, I must commend my colleagues at WADA and across the anti-doping community for prioritising ‘Education’. This is best evidenced by the creation of a new International Standard; namely for Education. I surely speak for many in this room when I say just how important education is for our long-term vision of doping-free sport.

In other areas, I wish we could have improved further, especially when it comes to framework for Anti-Doping Organizations. We must ensure there is real independence for ADOs responsible for detecting doping. Investigations, testing and reporting to the judiciary must not be conflicted and the system must not allow the possibility of improper influence from sports organisations or sports ministries. This is an area where we still need to see significant improvement.

My fellow delegates, this is the strongest World Anti-Doping Code in WADA’s history, and it gives us great possibilities to continue our efforts for clean sport. We have to be as ambitious as our athletes and look for opportunities to perform better each and every day. That is the mindset we must adopt as we enter this next chapter.

I commend you all for the significant amount of work and energy that has been dedicated to the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code. It offers great potential, but this potential can only be achieved if the collective will of strong practice of the rules exists across the entire clean sport community. Good rules must be followed up with good practice.

And surely, there can be no greater reminder than the doping scandals of the last few years of the need for us all to re-double our efforts to fulfil the Code’s potential.

Thank you.