WADA has signed a key Memorandum of Understanding with south-east Asian countries ©WADA

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to collaborate on a range of anti-doping activities.

The MoU, which was signed by WADA President Witold Bańka and ASEAN secretary general Dato Lim, will run for an initial term of three years with the objective of creating a partnership that will help both organisations to prevent doping in the region.

The signing took place during the 17th Asia/Oceania region intergovernmental meeting on anti-doping in sport, hosted in Dubai by the United Arab Emirates National Anti-Doping Organisation.

Formed in 1967, ASEAN is an intergovernmental organisation established by the ASEAN Charter that is committed to intensifying community building by its 10 member states.

These are Brunei Darrusalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao OR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by WADA and ASEAN will boost anti-doping activity in the south-east Asian region ©Getty Images
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by WADA and ASEAN will boost anti-doping activity in the south-east Asian region ©Getty Images

Bańka said: "The global anti-doping system relies on collaboration between various stakeholders, and this MoU between WADA and the Association of South-East Asian Nations will boost the anti-doping work being carried out by Governments and national anti-doping organisations in that region.

"WADA exists to serve the athletes of the world.

"We are here to provide them with the opportunity to compete to the best of their natural ability on a level playing field.

"The cooperation formalised by this MoU is another example of the practical steps we are taking to do just that.

"I thank ASEAN and its members for their commitment to clean sport."

Lim added: "I am confident that the engagement of member states and relevant stakeholders in anti-doping prevention will enable ASEAN to better harness the potential of its human resources needed for the prevention of doping in ASEAN, in order to provide a fair and equitable playing environment for all athletes."

In addition to the signing of the MoU, the Asia/Oceania region intergovernmental meeting has offered a chance for representatives of Governments from all over Asia and Oceania to discuss important anti-doping issues.

In all, 34 countries are attending the meeting, either virtually or in person.

Bańka highlighted three important aspects of anti-doping, namely the need for each country of the world to have a robust and relevant programme, the importance of appropriate funding being assigned to anti-doping on a global level, and the requirement for meaningful dialogue and engagement with athletes.