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Independence of Anti-Doping Organisations - the headline topic of 8th iNADO Annual General Meeting

  • iNADO welcomes Greece, Moldova and Nicaragua to its ranks, as well as 14 Regional Anti-Doping Organisations as anti-doping community continues to grow
  • Former WADA Director General and current Athletics Integrity Unit Chair David Howman discussed importance of independence during keynote speech
  • iNADO Chair highlights the importance of the work of NADOs and RADOs for clean athletes

16 November 2020, Bonn, Germany: The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) held the eighth instalment of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) for its 66 National and 14 Regional Anti-Doping Organization members today.

Hosting the meeting virtually for the first time, due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, the meeting centred on the importance of true independence for anti-doping organisations; a topic which has gained importance in recent times as a result of increasing debate over the role of sport organisations in the anti-doping process.

In a keynote speech by former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Director General, David Howman, the significance of fully independent anti-doping operations was raised. As Chair of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for the past three and a half years, Howman - who was introduced to the AGM by fellow New Zealander, the Olympic middle distance Runner, Nikki Hamblin - explained the steps that international athletics had taken to protect the integrity of competition following a troubled era for the sport.

In a sign of the steady growth of the anti-doping community, iNADO welcomed since last AGM three new national members to its ranks, in Greece, Moldova and Nicaragua. The three countries were joined by 14 Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs) who participated in the AGM for the very first time.

In his speech to the 80 members, iNADO Chair, Michael Ask (also CEO of Anti-Doping Denmark) praised the work of NADOs and RADOs in the current environment and reminded them about the opportunity to use the voice of iNADO to advocate constructively for principles of professionalism, objectivity, transparency and good governance.

“It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year for the world at-large, and that includes international sport. With a large volume of sporting competition frozen this year. However, what has become clearer from our virtual AGM today, is that the resolve and efforts of iNADO and its members are stronger than ever to achieve our common objectives” said Ask.

“After our meeting today, I have been buoyed by the positive spirit and the desire of our members to make the anti-doping system better. I am optimistic about our NADO and RADO community as we enter this next phase for anti-doping with the introduction of the new Code from January,” he added.

In addition to speeches, the AGM consisted of a number of practical sessions covering anti-doping education, and a novel testing method in sport, Dried Blood Spots. iNADO presented a report on its activities, including its financial situation. In his first year in post, Chief Executive Officer, Jorge Leyva, highlighted the constructive yet critical position iNADO has taken in terms of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as iNADO and other NADOs and athletes continue to push for reform at the global body under its new Presidency. Leyva also presented an activity report and covered updates iNADO had made during the course of 2020 in relation to: new communication tolls for members; a new website; the transition to a German based organization, and under-development projects that will support members in future.

Chair of NADA Germany, Dr. Andrea Gotzmann, Professor. Aurélien Thomas and Dr. Raphael Faiss shared practical lessons learned from the application of Dried Blood Spot testing, whilst values-based education experts Professor Susan Backhouse and Dr.Laurie Patterson from Leeds Beckett University in the UK, presented a new method that can be used by anti-doping organisations to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-doping programmes – a change that will be required under the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, which takes effect on 1 January.


Jorge Leyva