WADA launches online platform to fight doping
Olivier Niggli. Photo: Play the Game
13.03.2017By Mads A. Wickstrøm
Earlier this month WADA launched its new digital platform, Speak Up!. The platform is intended for “athletes and others to report: alleged Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code); non-compliance violations under the Code; or, any act or omission that could undermine the fight against doping in sport,” writes WADA on its website.
WADA Director General, Olivier Niggli welcomed the launch of the new platform saying he believes it will encourage more whistleblowers to come forward:
“WADA is pleased to launch Speak Up!, which we believe will encourage more informants and whistleblowers to come forward and report suspected doping violations. WADA’s independent Pound and McLaren investigations, which were both triggered by whistleblowers, highlighted the importance of these individuals to the Agency and to clean sport on the whole,” Niggli said, according to WADA.
Following the introduction of Speak Up!, Günter Younger, WADA Director of Intelligence and Investigations underlined WADA’s commitment to protect the rights of whistleblowers.
“We understand that coming forward in good faith is a major decision that takes courage and conviction. Speak Up! answers the call made by athletes and others for a secure, confidential way to report activity that goes against clean sport. My role is to ensure that the information provided is treated with the utmost confidentiality, that allegations are investigated fully; and that, in the case of whistleblowers with whom we contractually engage, they are kept informed of progress and that their rights are protected,” Günter said, as reported by WADA.
In November last year, WADA board members approved the development of a new Whistleblower Program due to widespread criticism for not being able to follow up on information it received from whistleblowers and informants. In 2010 Vitaly Stepanov, a Russian athlete reached out to WADA with information about systematic Russian doping. However, WADA argued that the information could not be investigated until it was granted new powers under the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.