“Protect better in the future”: Doping is a serious problem for minors

“Protect better in the future”
Doping is a serious problem for minors

Sport is supposed to be a safe space for children and young people – but the World Anti-Doping Agency shows in a report that this is often not the case. Those responsible are concerned and have developed measures to improve the situation.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has presented a report on the impact of doping penalties on the psyche of minors in sport. Under the title “Operation Refuge” it reports in detail about the deep trauma and isolation of young athletes after a positive test and a punishment.

“The data, conclusions and stories in the report should resonate loudly with all of us across the sporting world,” said WADA President Witold Banka. He hopes that, in particular, first-hand accounts from minors and their support networks will create a strong sense of urgency in the anti-doping community to take action to “better protect them in the future.”

Regardless of the level of competition, sport must remain a safe space for children. “First and foremost, better coordination is needed across the anti-doping community in dealing with minors in the anti-doping process,” Banka stressed. The report outlines immediate measures that must be taken by anti-doping organizations and governments to implement specific policies or practices for dealing with minors.

“Operation Refuge shines a spotlight on a difficult but important issue,” said German WADA Director of Investigations Günter Younger. A large number of reports received via the “Speak Up!” platform about doping activities among underage athletes have increased concerns. “Thanks to this initiative, we are in the process of finding a better way for minors around the world,” said Younger. “We are committed to ensuring that the experiences of those interviewed as part of this operation are no longer repeated.”

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