WADA Independent Observer and Athlete Outreach programs in action at Lima 2019 Games

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) outlined its Independent Observer (IO) and Athlete Outreach (AO) programs at the Lima 2019 Pan American (Pan Am) Games, which run from 26 July to 11 August; and, the Parapan American (Parapan Am) Games, to be held from 23 August to 1 September 2019.

The IO and AO teams (listed below) will be active throughout the Pan Am Games and, respectively, are providing real-time expert advice to organizers on all matters relating to the doping control program in place, and giving athletes and their supporting teams the opportunity to learn more about anti-doping and how the anti-doping community works to protect clean sport. The AO Team will also be staying on throughout the Parapan Am Games in order to conduct their activities with para-athletes and their support teams as well.

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “The Pan American Games are an important event on the sporting calendar with almost 7,000 athletes from 41 American countries competing in 39 sports. In the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, it is especially important for our experienced team of observers to be present as many of the Pan Am events are qualifiers for the Olympic Games.

“In addition to our IO team, a dynamic WADA Athlete Outreach team is also on hand to provide an opportunity for all competitors to engage with anti-doping in an informal and fun environment. Raising anti-doping awareness with the world’s competing athletes and their support personnel, reminding them of clean sport values and asking them to reflect on all the reasons why they choose to play true is a critical task for the anti-doping community, and I wish to thank Pan Am Sports and the Games’ organizing committee for partnering with WADA on such an important occasion.”

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 is observing all aspects of the Pan Am 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 is providing daily feedback to Pan Am Sports as well as the Lima 2019 Organizing Committee. 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 Pan Am Games.

WADA’s AO team, which is staffed by anti-doping experts from across the Americas, is active in the athletes’ village during the Pan Am Games and will be active during the Parapan Am Games as well. The aim of the team is to build 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.

Beyond WADA’s IO and AO activities during the Lima 2019 Games, in connection with the mandate of WADA’s Prevalence Working Group, WADA and Pan Am Sports have an agreement to carry out a pilot study during the Games. Specifically, the study seeks to validate a survey method among athletes during the Games with the objective of developing a tool or set of tools to estimate the prevalence of doping in sports and countries; and, to enable measurement of the impact of anti-doping policies and actions on the prevalence of doping over time.

THE IO AND AO TEAM MEMBERS

The IO Team – Pan Am Games

  • Ilaria Baudo (Chair), WADA
  • Juan Manuel Lauria (Team Manager), WADA
  • Saul Salcedo, National Anti-Doping Organization of Panama
  • Andrés Gonzalez, National Anti-Doping Organization of Chile

The AO Team – Pan Am Games

  • Stacy Spletzer-Jegen (Team Manager), WADA
  • Edna Serra, WADA

Phase 1:

  • Patricia Esposito, National Anti-Doping Organization of Guatemala
  • Patrick Werleman, National Olympic Committee of Aruba
  • Carolina Joly, IOC Youth Change Maker, National Olympic Committee of Panama

Phase 2:

  • Jorge Laurence, National Anti-Doping Organization of Argentina
  • Paulina de la Loza, National Anti-Doping Organization of Mexico
  • Christopher Thompson, Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission

The AO Team – Parapan Am Games

  • Edna Serra (Team Manager), WADA
  • Elizabeth Gimenez, National Anti-Doping Organization of Paraguay
  • Cathlyn Pistolas, United States Anti-Doping Agency
  • Adriana Taboza, National Anti-Doping Organization of Brazil

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