Educating the next generation of elite weightlifters on the importance of clean sport and the workings of the anti-doping process has been a key feature of the ongoing 2019 IWF Youth World Championships in Las Vegas. To bring the event’s educational programme to life and ensure its robust future, the IWF has teamed up with leading players in the anti-doping system, including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the International Testing Agency (ITA).
On 12 March, the IWF organized the second education seminar for competitors, their parents, coaches and support staff. The first part of the seminar, presented by USADA Education Manager Tammy Hanson, focused on Anti-Doping fundamentals. This included the prohibited list, the sample collection process, therapuetic use exemptions and Whereabouts. Many of these also form part of the #iLiftClean E-learning platform.
USA Weightlifting Senior Director of Engagement Kevin Farley provided information and insights on the relationship between social media and weightlifting in the second part of the seminar, with social media understood to play a vital role among behavioural influences on young athletes.
All together 370 athletes visited the IWF anti-doping outreach booth, a part of the WADA Legacy Outreach Programme at the Youth World Championships (and Las Vegas International Open). These outreach and educational programmes were also organised in conjunction with USADA, which aims to increase awareness and understanding of clean sport. All these partnerships are further clear examples of the IWF’s own commitment to promoting a culture of clean sport, and to protecting clean athletes by educating young athletes, coaches and spectators.
Alarna Nightingale, Anti-Doping Coordinator of the International Testing Agency (ITA) participated in the event as part of the Transfer of Knowledge partnership between the IWF and the ITA. This Transfer of Knowledge work has enabled the ITA to get more familiar with the specificity of the IWF’s advanced in-competition testing and education efforts, in order to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities from the IWF’s anti-doping activities to the ITA.
“Protecting clean athletes and promoting clean sport takes a huge team effort,” said IWF President Tamas Ajan. “The IWF is grateful to have a great team of strong players alongside us as, we all work together for the future of weightlifters and weightlifting.”