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New WADA VP Yang stresses on promoting anti-doping education

Beijing, Jan 1 (IANS) New World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) vice president Yang Yang stressed the importance of education in the global fight against doping.

Yang became the first Chinese to assume a leadership role in WADA’s 20-year history after being elected vice president on November 7 in Poland. Beginning her term on Wednesday, she believed it is important to both give the athletes anti-doping knowledge and shape their values.

“I used to be an athlete, so I totally understand the importance of education both on a technical level and values,” the former winter Olympics champion told Xinhua.

Yang said anti-doping organisations should not only teach athletes how to avoid using banned drugs, but also give them education based on the correct values of fair play and honesty.

“And more importantly is the value-based education. We aim to let more people, not just the athletes, realize that doping is cheating. We hope athletes can be determined to be clean and be proud of it from a young age and WADA has good programmes on this,” she continued, adding that such an education for the athletes’ supporting staff is also necessary.

“Athletes have to pass an anti-doping knowledge exam in order to qualify for international and major national events. I heard two athletes were disqualified for the 2nd National Youth Games in 2019 because they failed the exam,” she said.

When it comes to future work, Yang said WADA eyes greater transparency as “transparency leads to trust.”

The new WADA President Banka also hoped to establish a Solidarity Fund to help develop anti-doping measures worldwide in a more balanced way .

“At Rio 2016, 10% medallists were from countries and regions with no anti-doping centres or labs. They lack access to anti-doping education and are not subject to anti-doping tests in everyday life. This is not fair for athletes who constantly receive doping tests. So this fund aims to help those places to build their anti-doping systems, which is critical for the world anti-doping effort,” Yang said.

–IANS

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