Multiple Olympic medalist and anti-doping advocate, Kirsty Coventry, recently spoke with “WADA Talks”, a media program which discusses the progress and challenges the anti-doping movement faces across all sports.
In the interview, Coventry explains how her interest in anti-doping action comes from simply “being naive on the whole doping world and not being around it.” She stresses that her up-bringing of identifying ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ fed her desire to “level all playing fields.” Coventry believes that all athletes have the ability enough within themselves, through such actions as eating and sleeping, to become a great athlete.
As a member of WADA’s Athlete Committee, Coventry uses the position as a springboard to raise awareness on doping in sports, as well as to lobby for stricter punishment on offenders. She spent time at the 2014 Youth Olympics, informing the young athletes of policies and procedures as part of her goal to boost communication among the athletes, WADA and other national and international anti-doping committees. “Communication makes us stronger”, says Coventry.
The video discusses Coventry’s stance that upping a 2-year ban to a 4-year ban is at least a positive step towards a lifetime ban, but that she understands this movement is not as easy as it sounds from a legal perspective. Interestingly, Coventry also sheds light on a unique athlete-targeting system, which would potentially look for certain substances depending on if an athlete, say, a swimmer, has a sprint versus mid-distance versus distance focus.