The 25th Workshop

5 September 2017
"Thinking about the Role and Meaning of Anti-Doping Activities through the Lens of Russia Doping Scandal"
Mr. Shin ASAKAWA, Chief Executive Officer, Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA)

The Russia's doping scandal was momentous when we think of anti-doping activities in the world of sports. In particular, the scandal exposed anew the complexity of anti-doping rules and the structure for imposing sanctions when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) diverged on their decisions on the participation of Russian athletes at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. The IPC, consistent in its recognition of "the importance of guaranteeing fairness and integrity of Paralympic sports," suspended Russia's participation in the Paralympic Games.

A solution to the doping problem in Russia that is acceptable to all requires sports organizations in Russia, the Russian government, the IOC, the IPC, and related international sports federations to deal squarely with the heart of the problem. The IPC has established reinstatement criteria for Russia, and is supporting the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) lay down an anti-doping system. It will be interesting to see what improvements will be made so that Russian athletes can again openly participate in the Paralympic Games.

Doping poses a major risk that may harm the value of Olympic and Paralympic Games. A single case of anti-doping violation is enough to completely alter the image of Olympic and Paralympic Games. Therefore, in preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we must once again consider the meaning of anti-doping activities and how those activities should be. Instead of resting on our laurels that we derive from the long-established clean image of Japanese athletes, we must prepare a system for preventing anti-doping violations and detecting abases during the games, including violations by athletes from other countries.

Anti-doping activities not only ensure a fair competitive environment, but also preserve the intrinsic value of sports. Sports are public goods and need to be recognized for its value in society. It is only in such an environment that sports can contribute to social development. For the Olympic and Paralympic Games to stimulate social development in Japan, we must protect the integral value and power of sports, and each athlete must promote anti-doping activities to bring the value of sports to the fore.