The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has published its 5-year strategic plan for combating doping.
The plan, which carries the primary theme of “Leading Anti-Doping in a New Era” will be implemented from 2020-2024.
Under the plan, the WADA has identified Strategic Priorities that they believe are key to tackling the most prominent issues that the organization is facing:
- Lead: Lead by example by taking bold steps to proactively tackle emerging issues with agility and innovative solutions across all facets of anti-doping.
- Grow Impact: Expand the reach and impact of anti-doping programs by enhancing capacity building and knowledge sharing between Anti-Doping Organizations and empowering local program delivery.
- Be Athlete-Centered: Engage and empower athletes to contribute to the development of anti-doping policies, build an easier anti-doping journey for athletes, and increase the contribution that our programs deliver for athletes and their entourage so that they can build healthy and sustainable careers in sport.
- Collaborate and Unite: Engage and collaborate with everyone involved in anti-doping, in particular with the sports movement and public authorities, to increase support, unity and coherence in everyone’s efforts.
- Be Visible: Raise awareness and shape a proactive narrative that will demonstrate the positive impact of doping-free sport and WADA’s role.
- Perform: Provide greater value to our stakeholders by reducing operational complexities and maximizing impact and cost-effectiveness.
In order to meet the point of being “athlete-centered” the organization is also holding meetings with athletes from several different sports. Through this process, WADA hopes to engage athletes to participate in anti-doping activities and spread education to their own communities.
WADA’s President Witold Bańka, a former elite runner said, “At the core of this plan is a desire and commitment to ensure that our activities and priorities are athlete centered. As a former elite athlete, I understand the importance of listening to the views of athletes worldwide and addressing the matters that are of most interest to them. The Agency will be looking for every opportunity to engage with them to further enhance the global anti-doping system. Over the last months, I have personally met with many of the athletes that sit on our Foundation Board, Executive Committee, Athlete Committee and expert committees. I will continue this engagement and much more throughout my presidency.”
Recently, WADA has come under fire from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) for various reasons, including levying harsh sanctions against Russian sport back in December. ONDCP has threatened to pull approximately $2.7 million in funding from WADA if the organization does not implement key reforms.