This week, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to promote clean and fair sports competition, including in the upcoming Paris Olympics, at the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) 2024 Executive Committee meeting and Annual Symposium. As the elected representative of the Americas Sports Council (Consejo Americano del Deporte or CADE), the United States serves on WADA’s Executive Committee, the organization’s key governing board.

“The United States is proud to partner with WADA, the sports movement, and the many governments across the globe committed to fair competition,” said Dr. Gupta. “Over 25 years ago, the sport world was reeling from persistent doping in international sport. Since then, WADA has undertaken the daunting challenge of preserving the integrity of sport by deepening its relationships with athletes, adopting new approaches to investigating potential violations, and educating national anti-doping organizations. Preserving and promoting clean sport is as urgent and essential today as it was 25 years ago when WADA was established. Working together, we will continue to protect international athletic competition from doping, and ensure every athlete has a fair competition and a fair shot at winning.”

On Sunday, Dr. Gupta chaired the “One Voice” governmental coordination forum, which enables governments to participate in WADA’s Executive Committee with unified positions among public authorities, and work more effectively with the sports movement and independent members of the group. He also met with WADA leadership and senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials to discuss their participation in the upcoming ministerial level CADE meeting the United States will host in Washington, D.C. later this spring as well as the importance of utilizing intelligence and law enforcement information – not just testing – to address doping, and the continuing challenge to fair sport posed by Russia.

On Monday, Dr. Gupta participated in WADA’s Executive Committee meeting, where he emphasized the following priorities:

  • Ensuring that neutral athletes competing in the Olympics are subject to rigorous high-quality drug testing – equal to what elite athletes from the United States and other countries must complete;
  • Educating athletes who will compete in the upcoming Paris Olympics about the extent to which neutral athletes are tested prior to the start of the games;
  • Recommending that the Paris Olympics Pre-Games Expert Group not only address any gaps in drug testing before the games, but carefully assess the results of global testing efforts in a comprehensive “After Action Report,” which can guide testing efforts for subsequent Olympics, including in Los Angeles in 2028;
  • Encouraging WADA to work closely with governments to ensure that efforts to correct outdated national doping legislation occur in an as efficient manner as possible, minimizing the use of sanctions against national anti-doping organizations;
  • Joining with WADA, other governments, and the IOC to express deep concerns over both the planned “Enhanced Games” without anti-doping requirements, and the Russian organized “Friendship Games” alternative to the Olympics;
  • Welcoming the appointment of Francisco León, WADA’s Head of Program Development, as the Director of WADA’s Latin America and Caribbean Region Office; and
  • Praising WADA’s increased reliance on intelligence and investigations to identify doping in sports, as well as their evolving efforts to use data and artificial intelligence (AI).

On Tuesday, Dr. Gupta received an award on behalf of all governments for their long-term support of anti-doping at WADA’s 25th Anniversary Gala. In his remarks, Dr. Gupta recognized WADA for their achievements, and highlighted the importance of promoting clean sport for all athletes.

On Wednesday, Dr. Gupta met with IOC President Thomas Bach at their global headquarters to discuss the United States’ anti-doping priorities, the challenges posed by combatting cheating in all its forms, and the need to improve drug testing and anti-doping education efforts around the world to ensure fair competition.


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