After a successful pilot series of publicly available clean sport webinars tailored to the needs of athletes and support personnel, the International Testing Agency (ITA) continues to cover important anti-doping topics in 2021. Supporting the delivery of this important initiative is Informed Sport, a global testing and certification program for sports supplements.
In an effort to provide continuous and relevant anti-doping education during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the ITA shifted its learning activities from event-based education to virtual sessions. In addition to custom education programs delivered to its partners, the ITA rolled out a series of five webinars that covered key anti-doping topics. These webinars were public and freely accessible, consistent with ITA’s belief in athlete empowerment with knowledge and information as one of the most effective ways to protect clean sport.
Thousands of athletes, athlete support personnel, members of federations and medical staff from all over the world joined the sessions and contributed to a dynamic discussion with the ITA education staff, guest athletes and expert voices. New topics and questions that needed to be covered emerged, and so the ITA continues the series on the 28th of January (please find the details further below) and is planning to introduce one webinar per month to the sports community.
“The ITA webinar series is a great opportunity for the global anti-doping community to connect, learn and discuss key topics and important issues”, says Christine Girard, Olympic bronze and gold medalist in weightlifting. “After sharing my story during the ITA webinar pilot series last year, I joined the ITA team as an ambassador and I am looking forward to delivering educational events once the pandemic is under control. In the meantime, it is important that we remain connected virtually and keep clean sport conversations going.”
Supporting this initiative is Informed Sport, a certification program for sports supplements, making sure that athletes do not ingest substances that are listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Prohibited List. The ITA has entered a collaboration with Informed Sport that will ensure professional delivery of the webinars throughout the year and that athletes from all over the world have free access to high-quality anti-doping education.
Terence O’Rorke, Business Development Manager of LGC (the managing company of Informed Sport) is convinced about the aligned objectives of both organisations: “Informed Sport was created to help athletes manage the risks associated with supplements use, so we are delighted to support the ITA and its webinar series. We have a long and distinguished heritage in testing and anti-doping, and sponsorship of the ITA webinar series for athletes will help to further continue this. Supplements are a reality of modern sport at all levels, and through our agreement with the ITA we are looking to provide additional guidance to athletes on how to minimize any risks and improve decision making around supplements use.”