DFSNZ’s second annual symposium again highlights need to integrate the athlete viewpoint in anti-doping

Tuesday - December 01st 2020

Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) hosted another successful annual anti-doping conference at AUT Millennium last week, with Chief Executive Nick Paterson delighted with the response from athletes, national sports organisations and key figures in sport coming together to exchange ideas in the service of clean athletes and clean sport.

“We want to preserve the high level of sports integrity that we already have in New Zealand, and push for other countries to hold themselves to the same high standards.”

“Our international speakers were clear on the challenges of operating in an anti-doping system where athletes can be held to higher and more rigid standards of accountability than other stakeholders and sporting bodies, yet have limited input. It was great to hear from WADA’s Athlete Commission chair Ben Sandford about his work on the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act, which is a charter of athletes’ rights in anti-doping. This Act protects an athlete’s fundamental right to participate in clean sport, promotes health, fairness and equal opportunity for all athletes worldwide, and coexists alongside athlete’s responsibilities to comply with anti-doping measures.”

“DFSNZ is here to help athletes and their support personnel preserve the spirit of sport and fair competition. Our education programmes are designed to help national sports organisations and team at all levels build a values-based culture in sport where athletes make good decisions.”

The day concluded with a lively panel discussion about dealing with a crisis. “It is clear that all national sports organisations need to plan for a crisis event: get your facts clear first, understand roles, and make sure your athletes can talk to you regardless of the nature of the issue. DFSNZ is happy to work through the detail with NSOs and provide support and more information.” Mr Paterson concluded.

DFSNZ would like to thank all the speakers: David Sharpe, CEO of Sport Integrity Australia; Rob Koehler, Director-General of Global Athlete; Sarah Winckless and Callum Skinner, UK Anti-Doping Athlete Commission; WADA Athlete Commission chair Ben Sandford; athletes Adam Blair, Hayden Wilde, and Racquel Sheath; Hon Grant Robertson, Minister for Sport and Recreation; Dr Bruce Hamilton, Director of Performance Health at High Performance Sport New Zealand; DJ Forbes, NZOC Athlete Engagement Manager; New Zealand Netball CEO Jennie Wyllie; journalist Jim Kayes and LockerRoom editor Suzanne McFadden; Netball New Zealand’s Head of Communications and Marketing Kerry Manders; and Weightlifting New Zealand CEO Richie Patterson.