International Testing Agency (ITA) keeping karate real with outreach programme at World Championships

20th November 2018:  On 5th and 6th November, the International Testing Agency (ITA) delivered an anti-doping educational outreach programme at the 2018 World Karate Championships in Madrid, on behalf of the World Karate Federation (WKF).

On the first day, a training session was delivered to coaches and the athletes’ entourages during the Accredited Coach Briefing. The goal of the presentation was to stress the importance of a doping-free sport environment as part of WKF’s core mission, and raise awareness of the risks of doping and its detrimental effects on human health, the integrity of sport and the core values of karate.

Coaches had the opportunity to learn more about the spirit of the sport and its intrinsic values, the definition of doping and the different types of doping behaviours, the risk of nutritional supplements, the potential consequences of doping offences, the therapeutic use exemptions and athletes’ rights and responsibilities with reference to doping control processes. A great deal of emphasis was also put on the risk of inadvertent doping and the importance of preventing doping behaviours, especially at grassroots level. Values-based education was encouraged to ensure that athletes avoid making decisions that will jeopardise their careers and irreversibly detriment their personal reputation.

Coaches are part of the closest sphere of influence on athletes and thus have a crucial responsibility to detect, prevent and deter any inclination towards doping behaviours.

The event attracted the participation of over 100 coaches and was greeted with much appreciation by the attending delegations.

The second day of the outreach saw the direct participation of athletes and provided them with the opportunity to reflect on the importance of clean sport. A dedicated stand was made available in the WKF Athletes Commission area and more than 120 athletes and participants from all over the world were engaged in various educational initiatives.

Key topics such as therapeutic use exemptions, athletes’ whereabouts, doping control processes, risk of nutritional supplements were discussed with the athletes, and leaflets, brochures and informational materials in three different languages were distributed to the competitors.

Athletes also had the opportunity to test and enhance their anti-doping knowledge through the online “Play True Quiz” developed by WADA. For the youngest competitors, it marked an early opportunity to familiarise themselves with anti-doping, while having fun and challenging their teammates.

The WKF is just one of the many International Federations that joined the ITA in July, having been a member of the Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU) since 2014.

You can read more about it on WKF’s website here.

About the author
Arunaabh Shah
IT Services Assistant, ITA