Speaking up for anti-doping
Global experts in the anti-doping world met on 25 June 2018 during the ‘Anti-Doping in Sports Conference’ in Oslo seeking for alternatives and valuable inputs to protect clean sports and athletes
Oslo, 25 June 2018 – While the world media is discussing whether FIFA was aware of the doping cover-ups in Russian football over the past 18 months, the World Forum for Ethics in Business (WFEB), Anti-Doping Norway and Fairsport convened the international ‘Anti-Doping in Sports’ Conference today in Oslo.
In a heated debate more than 250 high-level participants from around the world argued about the responsibility of the different federations and who is to blame for this crisis and contradictions in jurisdiction.
At a time when the world of sports is facing increasingly large governance challenges and has moved far away from its original objective, a focus on true sportsmanship and absolute adherence to the rules of the game on and off the pitch were at the forefront of the agenda.
Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg opened the conference by saying: ‘Sports plays a vital role in people’s lives. Sports bring us together and are a quality of life. We are disappointed when athletes cheat. We need to stand together, united to fight for clean sports. I thank the World Forum for Ethics in Business, Anti-Doping Norway and FairSport for organising this event, she added. This is about the values we want our children to live up to and it’s not about cheating but about fair competition.’’
Adding to this in his keynote address, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the World Forum for Ethics in Business and global peace ambassador who travelled all the way from India to Oslo emphasized that ‘For a while commerce has been attached to sports – it has been associated with sports but it should just be the frame of a picture. If commerce gets the bigger picture, match-fixing starts, erosion of ethics, either in business, politics and sports starts’, he added. ‘The goal is not sports if it becomes about business. We need to create awareness that winning is not the goal but playing the game with values is important. We need to inspire our young people to live s stress-free and happy life so that they can become role-models for the coming generations.’
WADA Vice President Linda Hofstad Helleland called for a new roadmap of trust which is based on common values and athletes’ voices as guide and further suggested a review of the current anti-doping system with independence and transparency at the core.
Speaking on the occasion, Hajo Seppelt, a German journalist whose investigations exposed Russian state-sponsored doping in high-level sports urged that ‘It is becoming increasingly clear that the fight against doping must be taken out of the hands of the sport. The classic conflict of interest between promoters of sport and those who supervise sports is obvious. It cannot be that the controllers control themselves.’
This multi-stakeholder conference not only addressed governance issues in sports but also celebrated role models by announcing the winner of the 2018 Ethics in Sports Award.
The Ethics in Sports Award in the category ‘Outstanding Individual’ was conferred upon David Howman, Chair, Athletics Integrity Unit, for his longtime service to the sport and for his battle against doping and corruption in sports.
‘It was a great honor and a big shock for me to be awarded this prestigious honor from a body that has done a huge work on ethics in life – from business to sport and in between’, David Howman said after receipt of the Award. ‘I am a great believer that sport is a mirror to society and that what you are doing in the Forum is moving from the society or business to sport; that is effective in your messaging and I applaud that.’
With top athletes still cheating, there is a need for accountability and integrity in sport from the grass roots to Olympic level.
This conference not only tackled the rigorous testing and investigation that is required for instilling greater anti-doping measures, but gave an in depth view on the human side of sportsmanship and team playing without the aggression to win but for the true passion of the sport.
The Anti-Doping in Sports conference was organized by the World Forum for Ethics in Business in partnership with Anti-Doping Norway and FairSport. For the past 15 years, the WFEB has convened in worldwide conference and since 2006 annually at the European Parliament in Brussels to advocate and act towards ethics and good governance. The Anti-Doping in Sports conference is a continuation of WFEB’s conference series on ‘ethics in sports’. Earlier editions were held at the FIFA headquarters (2014, 2016) and at the stadium of Germany’s soccer club Union Berlin (2015). WFEB was founded in 2010 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
The World Forum for Ethics in Business is a registered public interest foundation based in Belgium (N° 822.216.342). The mandate of the Forum includes all manners of pursuing and establishing the indispensable ethical foundations of business in a globalized world. Providing a platform for the promotion and defense of ethical approaches to business enterprise and corporate governance and facilitating global dialogue and fostering cooperation among the private sector, the academic world, government agencies, international organizations, the media, spiritual as well as secular communities and all other stakeholders are among the organization’s main objectives. The World Forum for Ethics in Business is governed by its President Rajita Kulkarni and its Board Members Abha Joshi-Ghani, Acting Vice-President, Leadership, Learning and Innovation, The World Bank; Jo Leinen, Member of European Parliament, Nirj Deva, Member of European Parliament; Madhu Rao, Former Chairman Shangri-La Hotels; Michael Steiner, German Ambassador (ret.), Roland Glaser, Former CEO Minerva Schools and Ram Lakhina, Chairman of The Netherlands India Chamber of Commerce and Trade. For further information visit www.wfeb.org.