The World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Athlete Outreach Program will soon head to the All-African Games in Abuja, Nigeria, the Agency announced today.
The Outreach team, composed of anti-doping experts from across Africa, will head to Abuja from 4-18 October for the Games, which are organised every four years and are considered the premier games of the African continent. This year, more than 6,000 athletes from 53 countries will participate.
WADA's Athlete Outreach Program is the primary vehicle through which the Agency interacts directly with athletes to educate regarding the issues surrounding doping in sport. The program targets multi-sport, multi-national events, where a booth is set up in the Athlete's Village and information regarding doping is disseminated through printed materials and an interactive computer quiz.
"The Outreach Program is the best way for us to hear what information athletes need to know about doping in sport,"
said Stacy SPLETZER, WADA's Outreach manager. "Athletes often tell us they know very little about the topic. This program really highlights the need for better education surrounding the doping issue at all levels of sport."
To fulfill those educational needs, WADA often teams with partners, such as anti-doping agencies, in different regions of the world for Outreach events. The Agency is also looking to work more closely with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athlete's Commission. Spletzer recently presented the Outreach program to the Commission at its September meeting. WADA and Commission members, many of whom have volunteered for Outreach events in the past, will now look for more opportunities to jointly reach out to athletes with an anti-doping message.
Since its inception, the Outreach Program has been presented at a number of international sporting events, such as the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, last year. So far this year, the Outreach team has been present at four major events, including the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic this summer.
Full details are available on the WADA website at the address below.