This is an extremely exciting time for the Olympic Movement. The unanimous approval of the 40 Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations at the end of last year began a period of change under IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach’s leadership which will see numerous reforms and measures implemented throughout 2015.
Many of the recommendations are focused on strengthening and maximising the existing assets of the Olympic Movement. But other recommendations necessarily highlighted that the Olympic Movement still faces significant challenges.
World Archery president and IOC member Ugur Erdener (ATR)
There is perhaps no greater challenge to the Olympic Movement than doping. Doping is a global problem which, to a lesser or greater extent, affects all sports and all nations. The actions of a minority tarnish the reputation of sport that so many millions of clean athletes around the world tirelessly contribute to.
It is imperative that all Olympic stakeholders – from the IOC, WADA and governments to International Federations (IF) and National Olympic Committees (NOC) – work together to protect clean athletes and tackle this serious issue.
When he was elected as IOC President, Dr. Thomas Bach immediately arranged an extra $20 million fund to protect clean athletes – Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation 16 – which will be vital in the on-going campaign against doping. The $10 million fund allocated by the IOC to support projects investigating new scientific methods to keep sport clean will play a pivotal role in finding better and less intrusive ways of protecting athletes.
This top-down approach will send out a clear message to cheats that they have nowhere to hide. It is expected that that governments, as WADA partners, will match the IOC’s contribution to anti-doping initiatives worldwide.
As an IOC member, WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board member and President of an IF and NOC, I have seen first-hand how effective education and awareness programmes can be.
In 2010, World Archery joined some of other International Federations in supporting the across sport ‘Say NO! to Doping’ campaign. Working in partnership with WADA, archery’s programme was named “Shoot Clean” and its aim was to spread awareness among all archers – from elite to amateur – about the importance of clean sport.
The programme was first implemented at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Working closely with athletes, World Archery used the day of official practice to educate young athletes and coaches on the dangers of doping and prohibited substances.
We want to give athletes and their entourages the tools and understanding to be better equipped to excel in the right way. Archery is a lower risk sport in terms of the threat of doping at the international level, but that does not mean World Archery should not do its utmost to protect the sport’s integrity and implement effective education and procedures to ensure it remains low risk in the future.
The success of the Shoot Clean programme meant it was introduced at numerous other World Archery events and international archers are encouraged to share the lessons they learn in their countries and clubs.
All sports, no matter how big or small, have an important role to play in the fight against doping. Progress is certainly being made but doping is still a significant issue and, as the IOC has identified, the situation is unlikely to improve unless changes are made.
There is a long way to go but I am confident that under the leadership of the IOC, WADA and Olympic Agenda 2020 we are heading in the direction of a doping-free future.
Content provided by Ugur Erdener, World Archery
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