WADA Athlete Committee hosts athlete session in Lausanne
On Monday, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Athlete Committee hosted an important hybrid information-sharing and discussion session for athletes and athlete representatives in Lausanne, Switzerland. With 60 registrants, the session brought together athletes and athlete representatives from across the world for a half-day session with the aim of engaging athletes, updating them on developments in the world of anti-doping and listening to their points of view.
The session was held the day after WADA’s 2022 Annual Symposium wrapped up, reinforcing the importance of athlete involvement in clean sport while underscoring the Agency’s commitment to be more athlete-centered. Specifically, the session addressed topics such as WADA’s governance reforms, the development of the Agency’s new 20-person Athlete Council and recruitment of an Athletes’ Anti-Doping Ombuds as part of a pilot project approved by WADA last year. A broader discussion was also held on the anti-doping system, and hearing from athletes on where possible ‘pain points’ were in the system that athletes could support WADA in addressing going forward.
In particular, the meeting heard how the process of WADA governance reform, which started in 2016, had resulted in a shift towards more representation for athletes within WADA’s decision-making and advisory bodies, including more places on the Agency’s Foundation Board, Executive Committee and all Standing Committees. There was a discussion focusing on transitional elements related to the formation of the WADA Athlete Council and how members will be selected by other athletes, including via an upcoming election.