WADA celebrates ‘Play True Day’ 2018 during RADO conference – AthleticsAfrica
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WADA celebrates ‘Play True Day’ 2018 during RADO conference

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) celebrated ‘Play True Day’ along with athletes, National and Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs and RADOs), sporting federations and others around the world on Tuesday.

WADA ADO Symposium 2015
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Anti-Doping Organisation annual symposium in Lausanne 2015

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) celebrated ‘Play True Day’ along with athletes, National and Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs and RADOs), sporting federations and others around the world on Tuesday.

‘Play True Day’ is dedicated to clean sport and is intended to raise awareness among athletes, the sporting public and others about the global fight against doping. Today, we are asking athletes why they #PlayTrue.

The inspiration for this initiative stems from a WADA-hosted education conference in 2013, which was attended by 17 South American countries that were the driving force behind 10 April being declared ‘Play True Day’.

While it started as a South American initiative, over the years, this grassroots movement has gained momentum with numerous European countries celebrating in 2016 and more joining the campaign from around the globe the following year.

This year, it coincides with day one of the fifth biannual RADO Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, giving those in attendance the opportunity to show unity and solidarity with the ‘Play True Day’ cause.

The two-day RADO meeting, run in collaboration with the Olympic Council of Asia, will include addresses by Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports Weerasak Kowsurat, the Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand Sakon Wannapong, as well as a number of key presentations by leading figures in the anti-doping world.

These presentations will cover important topics, such as the current anti-doping landscape; the activities, achievements and challenges of each region; testing requirements; education strategies; Code compliance and how to overcome related challenges.

There will also be a number of breakout groups, workshops and discussions tackling all the burning issues currently facing RADOs around the world with a view to establishing how they can best collaborate to overcome the challenges together.

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “WADA wishes to acknowledge the organizers of ‘Play True Day’ that focusses the world on clean sport and to congratulate everyone who is participating in ‘Play True Day’ activities within their communities.

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“It is fitting that on the same day, a major anti-doping conference is taking place and we will be engaging in our own ‘Play True Day’ activities while in Bangkok.

“This is an example of what a grassroots movement can achieve. The organizers saw an opportunity to educate, to promote clean sport and to celebrate the many reasons to play true – and they seized it.

“Together, we can leverage this momentum to create a world where the clean athlete prevails, a world where athletes choose to stay clean out of self-respect, fairness to their fellow competitors, and for the pure joy that sport brings.”

Anti-doping organizations, national and international sport federations, and educational institutions are running events dedicated to clean sport and/or including relevant content in their existing events before, during and after ‘Play True Day’.

The organizers are encouraging others to leverage outreach programs, media interviews and social media activities as ways to celebrate the day. Events are being promoted HERE.

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Yomog Meje is a former Nigerian junior athlete and the Associate editor at Athletics Africa.

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