The principle of fair play is adherence to the rules – and therefore a harmonised, sensible and robust set of anti-doping rules form the backbone of a sports federation’s engagement for clean sport. With a new 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (Code) coming into force in January 2021, all International Sports Federations (IFs) need to make sure their rules follow this updated framework. In order to provide support and ensure compliance, the ITA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GAISF at the end of 2019 to provide assistance on updating the Anti-Doping Rules for GAISF’s Member IFs.
Since then, the two organisations have worked in a collaborative approach, and in cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), to prepare IFs for a smooth transition to the new Code. Two-thirds of GAISF Members requested this support at no cost, from smaller federations to those representing Olympic sports. The newly established ITA Regulatory Compliance department and GAISF experts helped in the process of drafting, submitting and reviewing each federation’s anti-doping rules, enabling IFs to access both organisations’ expertise, knowledge and experience to assist in making the necessary changes. Additionally, in order to provide relevant guidance, the two organisations held a virtual seminar on the topics of compliance and rules adaptation in March 2020.
Of the 62 IFs that were supported, 19 are members of the Association of Summer Olympic Federations (ASOIF), 1 of the Association of Winter Olympic Federations (AIOWF), 25 of the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF), 13 of the Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS) and 4 other sports organisations. The ITA is also supporting a number of Major Event Organisers in the revision of their anti-doping rules.
ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen is convinced of the benefits of this supportive project for the wider sports community and the harmonisation of anti-doping rules across sports and disciplines: “Having a clear set of anti-doping rules in line with the World Anti-Doping Code is very important for all IFs. In line with our mission to fight doping in sport globally, the ITA is pleased to have supported any interested GAISF Member with this piece of work. More than 60 IFs have benefited from GAISF’s and ITA’s commitment to ensure that the world of sport is well equipped to face the many challenges ahead of us in 2021 for the protection of sport and its athletes. The ITA will remain firmly committed to this partnership with GAISF and will continue to support any IF with its anti-doping operations.”
GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli said: “GAISF is proud to be a part of efforts to promote clean sport, which all of our Members are fully committed to. This is an invaluable service we are offering to our Members, and it is testament to the fact that, when something must be applied universally across all IFs, the ideal conduit is GAISF. Our collaboration with the ITA on this project has been highly successful, and I truly believe that this partnership will continue to benefit clean sport and the global sports community in the future.”
WADA European Office and IF Relations Director Sébastien Gillot said: “Ensuring that all Signatories have Anti-Doping Rules in line with the Code is the only way to guarantee a level playing field for all athletes globally, and WADA, as the global anti-doping regulator, is grateful to GAISF and the ITA for their support to IFs as it relates to this important task. We appreciate that adapting to a new World Anti-Doping Program is a challenging endeavour that has not been helped by the challenging times we are all facing this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance from GAISF and the ITA to IFs has been very valuable and we look forward to continuing our common effort over the final stretch of 2020.”