By Dag Vidar Hanstad
OSLO. In the first week of December a meeting attended by many celebrities marked the 10th anniversary of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Stockholm, Sweden. Not surprisingly the representatives agreed that WADA has been a great success. This was underlined by the president of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, who reminded the assembly about the status of anti-doping before WADA:
Anti-doping was ineffective, we had no standards for testing and no harmonization regarding sanctions. WADA has helped change attitudes towards doping and doping is now widely recognized for what it is: a corrosive evil that threatens the integrity of sports
… he said to the members of WADA Foundation Board in Stockholm City Hall.
The IOC is one of the organizations that carries out anti-doping work with more credibility than it could previously. Nevertheless, perhaps, the most significant development in the past ten years has been the increasing involvement of public authorities.
Governments have, in addition to their involvement in WADA, transformed a common policy into the UNESCO Convention which provides a legal framework in which all governments can address the use of drugs. Operations by governmental units, such as the police and customs, have unmasked drug use, for example BALCO in the USA and Operación Puerto in Spain. This seems to have taken anti-doping work in a new direction.
But despite these claims of progress anti-doping activity and WADA are still likely to face numerous challenges in the decade ahead. I have picked ten areas where I feel there is still work to be done.