WADA kicks off world doping conference

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will host its third World Conference on Doping in Sport, with...

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will host its third World Conference on Doping in Sport, with support from the Spanish High Council for Sport, beginning Thursday in Madrid, Spain and running through November 17. More than 1,500 representatives will convene to cover topics on the agenda include debating future anti-doping strategies and revising the World Anti-Doping Code, which was adopted in 2003.

Outgoing WADA President Dick Pound drew a connection between doping and endangered public health. "Doping is without doubt the greatest threat ethical sport has ever known and has become so pervasive that it places public health at grave risk. It is incumbent upon the Sport Movement and Governments of the world to continue to bolster efforts to battle the scourge of doping ... by approving refinements to the World Anti-Doping Code and by discussing emerging trends and strategies for continued progress."

Representatives of public authorities, sport movement, the anti-doping community, athletes, observers and of course the media will attend the conference to review WADA's work since its inception in late 1999 and to formulate strategies going forward.

The first such world conference happened in 1999 and "led to the establishment of WADA as the international independent body to coordinate and monitor the global fight against doping." The second conference, held in 2003, resulted in "the adoption of the Code by Sport and Governments as the basis for the global harmonized fight against doping in sport" according to Pound.

At the conference, two of WADA's decision making bodies, the Executive Committee and Foundation Board, will hold their annual November meetings. The Executive Committee will look at revisions to the Code as well as revisions to the International Standards for Testing and for Laboratories. It will also discuss strategies for monitoring the stakeholder compliance with the Code and look at the allocation of grants for the 2008 Social Science research program.

The Foundation Board will, upon recommendation of the WADA Executive Committee, consider approval of the revised Anti-Doping Code. It will also consider for election the candidates presented by the Governments for WADA's next Chair, and by the Sports Movement for WADA's next Vice Chair, whose three-year terms begin on January 1, 2008. The Board will appoint the 2008 Executive Committee, approve the 2008 Foundation Board and Standing Committee memberships and approve the 2008 budget.

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