|—- Montreal, 15 August 2019 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to outline its planned Independent Observer (IO) and Athlete Outreach (AO) programs for the 12th African Games, taking place from 19 to 31 August 2019 in Rabat, Morocco. The Games will involve almost 7,000 athletes from 54 African countries competing in 26 sports.
The IO and AO teams (listed below) will be active during the African Games and, respectively, will provide real-time expert advice to organizers on all matters relating to the doping control program in place, and will give athletes and their supporting teams the opportunity to learn more about anti-doping and how the anti-doping community works to protect clean sport.
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “The African Games are another important event on this year’s sporting calendar as we inch closer to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. WADA is pleased that an Independent Observer team will be present in Rabat, working alongside the African Games’ doping control team and organizers, to assess every aspect of the anti-doping program in place for the benefit of clean athletes.
“We also welcome the opportunity for a dynamic WADA outreach team to be on hand to engage and educate participating athletes and their support personnel about anti-doping and the importance of instilling clean sport values within the larger sporting community. These are key priorities for WADA and I wish to thank the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the African Games’ organizing committee for their ongoing support in helping us to execute these programs on the ground.”
WADA’s IO team, which is composed of international experts in anti-doping, is intended to instill confidence in athletes and other stakeholders as to the quality, effectiveness and reliability of anti-doping programs being carried out at major events around the world.
The IO team will observe all aspects of the African Games’ anti-doping program, including:
- Test distribution planning
- Selection of competitors for testing
- Notification of doping control
- Sample collection procedures
- Therapeutic Use Exemption procedures
- Results management
The team will provide daily feedback to ANOCA and the African Games Organization Committee of Rabat 2019 (RAGOC). The team will then issue a post-event report that will include a series of observations and recommendations designed to enhance anti-doping activities at future African Games.
A WADA AO team will also be present to provide an opportunity for all competitors to engage with anti-doping in an informal and fun environment. The AO team, which will be staffed by anti-doping experts from across the African continent, will be active in the athletes’ village during the first week of the Games. The aim of the team is to raise awareness among athletes, support personnel and others as to the dangers and consequences of doping and as it relates to athletes’ rights and responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code.
Visitors to the AO booth will be encouraged to complete the Play True Quiz, which is now available in 43 languages, to sign a pledge explaining why they Play True, and to share their experience on social media using the hashtag #PlayTrue.
THE IO AND AO TEAM MEMBERS
The IO Team
- Sophie Berwick (IO Chair), Anti-Doping Consultant
- Sameh Elray (Team Manager), WADA
- Dr. Elske Schabort, South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS)
- Issoufou Aliou, African Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) Zone II and III
The AO Team
- Anica Manuel Joao Neto Troso, RADO Zone VI
- Jason Hilton Snyders, RADO Zone VI
- Mohamed Habib Zaoui, RADO Zone I
- Nathalie Bashala, WADA
- Prince Addo Osei, RADO Zone VI
- Stacy Spletzer-Jegen, WADA