World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Bańka has highlighted the importance of confidential sources in the success of anti-doping investigations and has appealed to anyone with information to come forward in complete confidence via WADA’s online whistleblower platform, ‘Speak Up!’
Bringing greetings at the 2023 Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission Symposium, Witold Bańka addressed the theme for the seminar, by highlighting the work of WADA’s independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department in the protection of clean sport as it continues to expose doping conspiracies and wrongdoing around the world.
In recent years, successful operations carried out by WADA I&I have included ‘Operation LIMS’ into institutionalised doping and data manipulation in Russia, as well as investigations into the Romanian Laboratory, the International Weightlifting Federation, the International Biathlon Union, the National Anti-Doping Organisations of Romania and Ukraine, Kenyan athletics, and many more.
Witold Bańka, said, “At the centre of these investigations has been information sourced from whistleblowers or informants. These are the unseen heroes of anti-doping.
Their contribution, often in very difficult circumstances, cannot be overstated. We know that it takes great courage to come forward. We acknowledge the tremendous value that whistleblowers bring to clean sport, often at great personal risk. The athlete community and the global anti-doping system are extremely grateful for their efforts. They are making a real difference for the integrity of sport.”
WADA I&I works closely with law enforcement agencies around the world as well as various stakeholders within Anti-Doping Organisations. WADA I&I has agreements with INTERPOL, the World Customs Organisation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and as the latest addition, with Europol. Together, they share intelligence on doping cases or situations where performance-enhancing substances
are being moved around the world. These collaborations have been important additions to the work of WADA I&I. However, there is no substitute for information and evidence coming directly from those who see the rules being broken.
“The best way for potential whistleblowers to pass on information to WADA is through ‘Speak Up!’, our online global reporting platform. Some National Anti-Doping Organisations also have ways for whistleblowers to come forward, including the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, which facilitates reporting doping on the JADCO website.”
President Bańka added, “If someone witnesses wrongdoing in anti-doping, at any level, it is so important that they come forward with that information. Above all, they can rest easy in the knowledge that our team will treat all approaches with respect, with integrity and with the utmost confidence.”
“WADA I&I never reveals the identity of its sources. Together we can continuously strengthen global efforts to level the playing field and protect the dreams of athletes worldwide,” he said.