– Press release –
The 2nd edition of the Anti-Doping in Sports Conference on 4 June 2019 in Oslo challenged athletes, sports federations, sponsors and broadcasters alike to stand in for a clean and ethical sports by not shying away from the truth and asking uncomfortable, challenging questions.
Oslo, 5 June 2019 – Transparency, Trust and Accountability – these were the keywords that over-echoed the proceedings of the 2nd Anti-Doping in Sports Conference held on 4 June 2019 in Oslo. Organized by the World Forum for Ethics in Business (WFEB) in partnership with Anti-Doping Norway and FairSport for the second year in a row, the conference focused on the importance of placing athletes more at the center of the development of anti-doping work. In addition, speakers pointed out why the media are important contributors to the fight against doping and how sponsors can and should impose sport on anti-doping.
‘Sports unite people across the continents and it is important to keep it clean, said WFEB founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in his keynote address. ‘On one hand, we condemn people who are in this world who are in doping and on the other hand, there are those that encourage it. We need to identify those who supply doping. And also athletes who are trapped in this – they need help and not condemnation. They need compassion’, he added.
‘It is our responsibility to create a world with competition with compassion, a competition with a sense of responsibilities, a competition with values’ he urged the audience.
Giving a voice to the athletes, the panel discussion with international sports stars not only highlighted the importance of
performance support but moreover the importance of mental health support.
‘Performance and mental support should go hand in hand’, urged Bree Schaff, Skeleton and Bobsleigh racer from the United States when discussing a question from the audience on the importance of mental health and psychological support for athletes.
‘The pressure from fans, sponsors, media on us athletes is too big’, added Petr Koukal, Olympic Badminton Athlete from Czech Republic and a member of the WADA Athlete Committee. ‘We should get back to the roots of sports’, he continued.
The proceedings also discussed the amount of money circulating in sports and that sports is drifting away from its pure, original purpose.
About 200 people from 27 countries participated at the event that was themed ”
Athletes, Sports, Sponsors and Broadcasters – A cooperation for clean and ethical sports”. The conference was inaugurated by Oslo’s Vice Mayor Kamzy Gunaratnam.
The conference proceedings also saw the conferment of the WFEB Ethics in Sports Award 2019, an award that recognizes an outstanding organization and / or individual that have been a leading role model in radiating and embodying ethical behaviour in life and in the sports arena. David Walsh, Chief Sports Writer of the Sunday Times and Author received the prize this year.
“We only want to watch something that makes us feel good. A story like Lance Armstrong was so brilliant. He came through cancer and came back on the top of sports and people think ‚this brings us hope’.. It was simply doing my job’ said David Walsh in his speech’. He was a key journalist in uncovering the doping system around Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service Cycling Team and continues promoting sportsmanship and good governance in sports through his work.
Calling for shared responsibility in his closing remarks, Anders Solheim, CEO of Anti-Doping urged that “We want you all to be part of the team for a pure sport – and I ask everyone to think about what the individual of you can do to ensure a clean and ethical sport. Sport has its own ability to gather – and now we have to gather ourselves to protect a clean sport. Change can be demanding, but we need change – and we must use the opportunity now. Speak out, keep your eyes up, ask questions, be critical, challenge.’
WFEB Press Office
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.
For the past 16 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. For further information visit www.wfeb.org.