ANADO's Education & Information Workshop, London 5-6 May 2005

Josef Willmerdinger and Tiffany Granfors had the opportunity to attend the Association of National Anti-Doping Organization Workshop in London on their way to the DEAFLYMPICS Executive Committee meeting in Passugg, Switzerland.

The workshop was hosted by UK Sport in London and the emphasis of this conference was to discuss about putting more effort into education instead of doping testing alone as a long-term solution. There is also a need to identify programs that are out there in place that are successful and learn from each other and apply those postive attributes into our own program. There was a lot of discussion about the changing perspectives and attitudes toward Anti-Doping programs and providing factual information.

Another concern is that the rules change so quickly and it is always difficult to keep up date, especially concerning nutritional supplements – should athletes take supplements they use to an expert to make sure they are abiding by the rules and taking care of their bodies?, should all NADO follow the official position of WADA when it comes to advice on taking nutritional supplements?  WADA's stance was that they aim to help athletes wherever possible and it is not always practical to continue saying 'no' to them with regards to supplement use. While WADA will continue to publicize these risks, they have recognized that there is a need to work actively with the supplement industry to try and raise standards within the industry to achieve a higher pharmaceutical standard that protects the integrity of sportsmen and women.

Josef and Tiffany had the opportunity to meet and listen to several speakers including:

  • Marc Maes of Belgium Olympic Committee and IOC Member of Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, his emphasis was on the need to improve the education process in children.
  • Jacques Huget of FIBA, his emphasis was on making athletes sensitive to doping issues and making them fully educated including young players, professional players and team members including coaches and medical staff.
  • Casey Wade of WADA, whose emphasis was on delivering key messages which was the spirit of sport, ethics and targeting young athletes, elite athletes and support personnel such as sports officials and medical staff. He believes that "the younger you are, the more impact the ethical messages you recieve have on you" He believes that there are a lot of good materials out there, and there is no need to reinvent the wheel but rather make use of the information we have and work in partnership with different organizations.
  • Jo Saies of Australian Sport Doping Agency. Her topic was on Social research and athlete motivation. Athletes can now compete all over the globe, which makes it harder to reach them for testing. More commercial opportunities and more pressure to do well. We need to understand what motivates an athlete in their sport then we can better understand what influence the moral and ethical views and choices of athletes.
  • Karen Casey of USA Anti-Doping Agency, her emphasis was on on-line activities for elite and young athletes. They offer Athletes Advantage, The Gold Medal Game and USADA website. There is a toolkit available for all athletes whether they are still competing or not to ensure all athletes have access to and can make choices armed with the most recent information. Also the kids site is aimed for middle school age kids and focuses on choices and ethical decision-making.

The next ANADO conference will be held in Barbados in 2006.

By Secretariat