The two-day Tackling Doping in Sport conference took place at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 March 2014, bringing together many of the world’s leading experts in the field of anti-doping.
Travelling from Montreal to address delegates, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Director General David Howman began the first day with his presentation ‘What Lies Ahead’, discussing the implementation of the new “stronger, clearer and fair” World Anti-Doping Code, effective from 1 January 2015. Howman added that WADA was seeking to measure the quality of testing, rather than the quantity of testing, in the future. He concluded with the need for anti-doping organisations to carry out investigations and share information throughout the anti-doping community, a focal component of the new Code.
The 280 delegates, who came from over 25 countries, also heard about the importance of education in the fight against doping in sport. A panel, including UKAD Head of Education and Athlete Support Amanda Batt, explored the principles of decision making and behaviour change which contribute towards an athlete doping. This was followed by a series of audience-led ‘Preventing Doping through Education’ roundtable discussions.
Other sessions on day one included legal developments in anti-doping, with UKAD solicitor Stacey Shevill, delivering her presentation entitled ’An Intelligence-Led Prosecution’. Shevill focused on the case of former Welsh Rugby Union player Dean Colclough, who was suspended from all sport for eight years after being found guilty of committing anti-doping rule violations involving the possession and trafficking of steroids. The investigation was prompted by the receipt of information from the UK Border Force.
The programme on the second day was led by US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart, presenting on the ‘Perceptual deterrence and fighting for equal protection of athletes’. Using the Lance Armstrong case as a study, Tygart also emphasised the importance of intelligence and information sharing to prosecute sophisticated dopers.
Later, International Cycling Union (UCI) Director General Martin Gibbs addressed the audience alongside leading sports journalists David Walsh and Nick Harris, as he outlined the role of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission to inform and develop cycling’s anti-doping programme.
The event concluded with Jenny Schulze from Nordic Athlete Passports Management Unit (NAPMU) explaining updates to the steroid profile programme, followed by Spanish Anti Doping Agency (AEPSAD) Director General Enrique Gomez Bastida discussing Operation Puerto.
In his closing speech to conference participants, UKAD Chief Executive Andy Parkinson said: “Listening to leaders and experts from across the anti-doping community was extremely insightful and the opportunity to develop new international relationships was invaluable. UKAD has always emphasised the importance of taking an international approach and Tackling Doping in Sport continues to supports this process greatly.”
Launched in 2008, Tackling Doping in Sport is organised by World Sports Law Report, supported by UKAD. Next year's event will again take place at Wembley Stadium between Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 March 2015.
For the full conference programme, please visit www.tacklingdopinginsport.com.