World Anti-Doping Agency President Witold Banka gestures as he delivers a speech at the opening of the two-day annual symposium in Lausanne on March 14, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
SHANGHAI - Witold Banka, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, praised China's anti-doping education and expressed hopes to further cooperate with the country in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Banka's schedule in China includes the WADA executive committee meeting in Shanghai on Friday, the Hangzhou Asian Games, and the third CHINADA International Anti-Doping Symposium set for Sept 24 and 25 in Hangzhou.
"I will have a few meetings with different stakeholders. I hope that I will find time to see competitions, visit the athletes' village and our outreach program to promote clean sport," Banka said about his plans for the Hangzhou Asia Games.
We have very good collaboration with China in the area of anti-doping. The dry blood spot is actually the very good example of good collaboration. Thanks to this collective work, we are able to launch this new testing method.
Witold Banka, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency
"Our role is an anti-doping global regulator," Banka stated. "WADA will be running an independent observer program to oversee the anti-doping testing activities during the Asian Games, and we will have a report after the Games."
While this is Banka's first visit to Shanghai, he is familiar with China due to previous collaborations.
"We have very good collaboration with China in the area of anti-doping. The dry blood spot is actually the very good example of good collaboration. Thanks to this collective work, we are able to launch this new testing method," said the former sports and tourism minister of Poland.
According to the International Anti-Doping Symposium last year, the DBS testing method, applied at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, received positive feedback from athletes and international officials.
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For future cooperation, Banka looks to work with China in education to further promote the values of clean sports globally.
"China is very strong in the area of education. Education is a very important pillar for our activity; this is the future of anti-doping to not only catch but also support and prevent. So catch, punish, support and prevent, it has to be properly balanced. That's why education is very important," Banka explained.
"I'm glad that China is doing a good job in the area of education," he added, noting WADA's interest in collaborating with China in this domain.
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