International Anti-Doping Seminar in Asia and Oceania

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The Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA), in partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and under the auspices of the Japan Sports Agency of the Japanese Government, held the annual International Anti-Doping Seminar in Asia & Oceania on 12-13 December 2023.

Around 200 participants were united in Tokyo and online. Over two days, the National and Regional Anti-Doping Organisations from Asia and Oceania expanded their thoughts and discussed implementing better practices for a Clean Sport Environment.

Under the theme “#OnePlayTrueTeam because #iplaytrue: United Effort for a Clean Sport Environment”, Prof. Akama Takao, JADA Chair and WADA President Mr. Witold Bańka welcomed the Tokyo participants to this annual International Seminar. Seeing as it is WADA’s 25th anniversary next year, the partnership between JADA and WADA was strengthened further to bring the Asia and Oceania clean sport practitioners together to share one goal.

Following the successful hosting of the 2023 International Seminar in Asia & Oceania, JADA organised the regional Education Workshop with 33 participants, in partnership with the Southeast Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organization (SEARADO) and the Central Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADOCA) on 14 December.

JADA will continue strengthening partnerships with our clean sport community in Asia and Oceania to unite us as “PLAY TRUE Creator” for bringing clean and fair sport into the future.

Supported by:
・International Testing Agency (ITA)
・International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
・Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO)
・Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)
・Japan Sport Council (JSC) Sport for Tomorrow

Celebrate as #OnePlayTrueTeam #iplaytrue:
United Effort for Our New Stage


Prof. Akama Takao, JADA Chair, welcomed participants to the 17th International Anti-Doping Seminar, emphasizing the theme "#OnePlayTrueTeam because #iplaytrue." He highlighted the significance of unity in achieving a clean global sport community, addressing pivotal developments such as the 2021 Code Compliance Questionnaire, the 2027 Code update, and the approaching Paris 2024 Games.

At the welcome remarks, Mr. Witold Banka was pleased to be in Tokyo to attend the International Seminar as the WADA President for the first time. He told the participants that this International Seminar is a great opportunity for sharing knowledge and expertise to promote clean sport. Such partnership and unity brings success to our journey to protect integrity, honesty, and respect in sport.

Mr. Olivier Niggli, Director General, WADA, presented some key achievements, including WADA’s governance reform, increased budget and strengthened athlete representation, notably as the Athlete Council and the Athlete Ombuds. He outlined WADA’s Strategic Plan from 2020-2024, highlighting performance indicators like leadership and collaboration. He encouraged the Asia/Oceania members to actively engage in the 2027 Code updating process, highlighting the importance of compliance for promoting a Clean Sport environment.

Mr. Kevin Haynes, WADA’s Director, Compliance and Standard, highlighted the success of the Code Compliance Monitoring Program in reducing non-conformities, contributing to global anti-doping efforts. He discussed trends from the Code Compliance Questionnaire (CCQ), noting the Asian region's strong investment in education. Looking to 2027, he emphasized challenges such as revising the Code and International Standards, with updated standards effective from 2024.

After decades in WADA and JADA, “Chat with Clean Sport Leaders – Roundtable” was a standout moment where “Leaders” from both organizations shared personal stories. Mr. Banka recounted his first involvement in clean sport through doping control while competing internationally, noting significant shifts since WADA's inception. Mr. Niggli highlighted the dynamic nature of the clean sport movement since his engagement in anti-doping in 1996.

Prof. Akama mentioned JADA's Tokyo 2020 impact through its legacy project, PLAY TRUE 2020 Sport for Tomorrow, and partnership with the Organising Committee. Diverse panelists, including an International-Level athlete, a medical doctor, and a legal professional, offered unique insights. Mr. Banka recounted his Osaka doping testing experience, while Prof. Akama shared his "respect" ethos from rugby, and Mr. Niggli anticipated further evolution in the clean sport journey. Participants interacted with panelists for collective reflections and experiences.

Mr. Aoyama Shuhei, the MEXT State Minister, WADA Foundation Board member representing Asia, serving as host for the seminar, extended a warm welcome to the 17th edition, emphasizing that the Code and International Standards serve as our guiding principles. He highlighted the updating process as a valuable opportunity for everyone to actively participate in the development of clean sport.

In his Keynote Welcome, Mr. Banka emphasized the importance of collaboration in achieving anti-doping success and reiterated WADA's commitment to supporting these efforts. Mr. Banka highlighted strategic priorities including increasing financial resources through independent sponsorship, fostering athlete-centered structures, developing anti-doping workforce as well as strengthening intelligence and investigation efforts, especially in Asia starting from 2025.

WADA Athlete Council Chair, Mr. Ryan Pini outlined the changing role as Athlete Council after the WADA Governance Reform, by emphasizing its central theme – “it’s all about the athlete.” He elucidated the seven roles of WADA’s Athlete Council and shared the launched “Ombuds Program” to facilitate athlete engagement as follows:

Role of WADA’s Athlete Council:
  1.Generate awareness and support for clean sport;
  2.Solicit and share athlete feedback on the World Anti-Doping Program;
  3.Act as ambassadors for WADA and clean sport;
  4.Support WADA’s Athlete Engagement activities at Major Events;
  5.Recommend effective ways to reach athletes and their entourage;
  6. Expand WADA’s reach by engaging with their governments, sports and regional/national sports organizations;
  7.Represent athletes in WADA's governance and expert committees.

The Athlete Cross Talk session is always at the center of the International Seminar. This year explored key themes and challenges in engaging athletes and promoting clean sport initiatives. The Panelists including Dr. Murofushi Koji, the Olympian, the Commissioner of Japan Sports Agency, WADA Executive Committee member representing Asia, emphasized the need for athlete-centered strategies, citing WADA and Athlete Council initiatives that empower athletes in anti-doping decision-making. Educating athlete support networks (coaches, families, doctors) was deemed crucial. Discussions also addressed recent 2021 Code provisions on statute of limitations and the IOC's Medal Reallocation Program.

This session also highlighted the importance of integrity and athlete-centered clean sport efforts. The polls from the participants suggested the need for improvement on information provisions on supplement risks. The session concluded by stressing the critical role of an athlete-centered approach in shaping the future of anti-doping efforts with a transcending need of integrity and accountability. The panelist shared the necessity for protecting athletes' well-being and preserving the integrity of sport globally.

Mr. Haynes outlined the Code and International Standard revision timeline for 2027, including the new International Standard for Intelligence and Investigations. The Stakeholder Engagement Phase, a new introduction, aims to gather feedback on key concepts presented by WADA. The Code emphasizes four key areas, especially in result management, drawing from 2021 cases and legal expertise. This phase offers NADOs a crucial chance to provide practical input and shape rules.

Dr. Yamamoto Yaya, WADA Education Committee member, discussed updates to the ISE, focusing on 7 key concepts including recognition of education programs and athlete support personnel. She emphasized the importance of quality education practices and raising the bar. Dr. Yamamoto previewed the workshop’s agenda for day 2.

Moving together as #OnePlayTrueTeam: Creating Clean Sport


#OnePlayTrueTeam Workshop:Stakeholders Engagement for the 2027 Code and International Standards

The Tokyo participants had a hands-on opportunity to share their thoughts for the 2027 World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards by considering their specific needs and challenges. All the participants were divided into two groups based on the Code Compliance tiers as Tier1-2 and Tier3-4 and contributed to giving their inputs as being shared the idea as “OUR Code”.

Topic A: 2027 Code & International Standard
for Testing (IST):Inputs and ideas

Topic A focused on three key areas: 1) Clarifying the criteria on athletes attempting to provide a lack of intent when an Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) was questioned; 2) Revising the changes of results management of Whereabouts cases; and 3) Harmonizing sanctioning for Substances of Abuse and clarifications.

The IST discussion was focused on the timely analysis of the samples collected before a Major Event, including some set standard for returning the analysis, to minimize the risk of non-reporting before the events. Reflecting the transgender and gender diverse situation, promoting the calls for effective doping control procedures was discussed. The participants raised the need to harmonize the standardised regulations by taking into account the diverse cultures concerned and balancing biological with legal status. The need for DCO training with individual sensitivities was emphasized.

The enhancement of Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) was welcomed in general, while the participants wished to see more user-friendly ADAMS. Clarity on a criteria for long-term storage of samples and its discard was welcomed. The participants shared their thoughts that ultimately, meeting stricter requirements demands more resources within their organisations.

Topic B: International Standard for Education:
Inputs and Ideas

All participants had the chance to say “Yes/No” to the proposed direction of ISE. Tier 3-4 participants endorsed the direction of “raising the bar” in Education, acknowledging the potential benefits for clean sport environment, while expressing concern about the challenges in resources and limited access to the internet. Tier 1-2 countries also agreed on the overall direction of “raising the bar” and stressed the needs of educating the Athlete Support Personnel, particularly the coaches of international-level athletes. Discussions prioritized the structural needs of streamlining athlete pathway, which for many faces substantial hurdles within a country to establish the meaningful partnership.

Mr. Gobinathan Nair, SEARADO Director General, as rapporteur, had summarized the discussed areas from the workshop by bringing the overall inputs for ISE, IST, and the Code. The questions about Code compliance were raised from the audience.
Mr. Asakawa, JADA CEO, contributed the insights from the Japanese context, highlighting the continuous cooperative relationships among NOC, NPC, NFs, and JADA. He advised not relinquishing coordination power but finding ways to garner financial and human resource support from national stakeholders.
Mr. Kazuhiro Hayashi, Director, Asia/Oceania office, WADA, warmly welcomed the attendees for the Day2 hybrid session. As his final welcome introduction, he explained what we would expect in 2024, focusing on the journey toward the 2027 World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standards.
Additionally, he highlighted WADA's recent notable accomplishments, including the Guideline for Human Source Management, the Professional Standard for Testing Practitioners, and the revised Technical Document for Sport Specific Analysis (TDSSA).

The session “Clean Sport Education for Paris 2024 and beyond” consisted of 2 parts, the presentation from JADA and ITA.

From JADA, #OnePlayTrueTeam strategy in Japan was introduced for an effective and sustainable Clean Sport Education framework.

With the ISE coming into effect, Japan’s 4-year Education Strategic Plan in line with the 2021Code and the ISE was introduced. Its main area is to clarify “who is to be educated”, “by whom they are educated”, “why they should be educated”, and “how the education should be delivered, monitored and evaluated”. The Strategic Plan was developed into the partnership agreement, called “Major Event Agreement” between the Japanese Olympic Committee, the Japanese Paralympic Committee and JADA. This could be seen as good practice to collectively ensure all athletes and ASPs to be educated before the Major Event. Ms. Hori and Ms. Morokoshi stressed that education should not be one time, but continuous with a long-term vision to foster an individual’s lifelong clean sport behavior and values.

Ms. Irvine, Manager, Education, International Testing Agency (ITA), shared the plans of Pre-Games Education for the Winter Youth Olympic Games and Paris 2024. For the former event, the NOC Clean Sport Education Guide, ADEL for talented athletes competing at major games, webinar, and on-site education were introduced. For Paris 2024, she mentioned Clean Sport Survey, updated NOC Guide, webinar for athletes and ASP, and ADEL for Paris 2024 as the contents of Pre-Games Education. The importance of the partnerships sharing resources and information to the clean sport education community was emphasized.

At the Session “2027 Code and International Standards: Way forward Sharing from Tokyo session outcomes”, ensuring the online participants were to be engaged, at first, Mr. Gobinathan Nair shared the outcomes of the morning workshop in Tokyo. Then, various questions from the floor and on the online question board were raised. The questions included, among others, the possible idea of “education portfolios or passport” as testing history is done in ADAMS, the streamlined, useful resources for the Code and IS implementation, and operational independence.

Dr. Yamamoto finally summarized the outputs by looking back at the aims of this year’s International Seminar. She strongly encouraged the participants to take time for self-reflection and shared their take-aways, aiming to raise the bar as #OnePlayTrueTeam.
Some key words/phrases heard from the two-day session were summarized, including Partnership, United effort, Long-term vision, shared value. The importance of being united for the shared goal, that is, a global clean sport environment and sport values, was highlighted even though our resources and approach may differ.

Education Workshop:
International Standard for Education (ISE) in Action:
JADA led the Education Workshop with SEARADO and RADOCA

JADA held an Education Workshop with SEARADO and RADOCA, in partnership with WADA. The Workshop was held to share the update from Singapore’s Education Symposium held in July. The education experts from 15 countries’ NADO/RADO gathered, and each shared their progress and challenges of ISE implementation. The collaboration and athlete-centered approaches were emphasized as the key to achieving a clean sport environment.

At the beginning of the Workshop, WADA President praised the commitment by all, and JADA pledged the continuous support of Education in Asia and Oceania through the Real Champion Education Package and inputs.

Participating countries (15):Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, and Turkmenistan

Seminar Report