Record attendance at WADA 2024 Global Education Conference. 'X' (AFLD-FRANCE)

This week, from Tuesday to Thursday, the Palais des Festivals in Cannes (France) is hosting an event organised by the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD). More than 400 people are taking part and the aim is to contribute to the fight against doping, especially in the year when Paris will host the 2024 Olympic Games.

The event brings together anti-doping practitioners, researchers, government officials and athletes to share and discuss emerging trends, help develop educational programmes and explore how education can continue to drive anti-doping efforts internationally. The conference started last Tuesday and ends on 29 February at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France. This is the fourth edition of the GEC. Previous editions were held in Ottawa, Canada (2015), Beijing, China (2018) and Sydney, Australia (2022).

The event has exceeded all expectations, with a record 400 participants from all over the world. The opening ceremony was held last Tuesday. Bańka and AFLD President Béatrice Bourgeois addressed the participants.

WADA President Witold Bańka said: "WADA is pleased to welcome participants to the fourth Global Education Conference, which continues to grow. This conference has become an integral part of the anti-doping calendar. We are pleased to work with the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage and the French government in organising this important event. 

The Global Education Conference is once again proving that education is an integral pillar of anti-doping and a key resource in protecting clean sport, with the highest attendance to date. Over the next few days, participants will explore a range of topics focusing on design thinking, modern anti-doping programmes, behavioural science, the athlete experience and how we can all contribute to a common education agenda under the theme 'Cultivating Our Collective Creativity'.

Nathalie Péchalat, former ice dancing champion, at the Global Education Conferences. 'X' (AFLD-FRANCE)
Nathalie Péchalat, former ice dancing champion, at the Global Education Conferences. 'X' (AFLD-FRANCE)

We look forward to the results of these interactive sessions. We hope they will further strengthen the system, especially in the run-up to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. Ms Bourgeois said: "Education is essential to reduce the risk of doping through negligence. It is also essential to enable everyone to train and prepare for competitions with confidence. A lack of information and awareness can lead to inadvertent violations of anti-doping rules. This can have serious consequences for an athlete's career."

"The Global Education Conference is an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment to anti-doping based equally on education and deterrence."

Today marks the end of a full programme of eleven sessions. The following topics will be covered:

1. The importance of athlete engagement.

2. The basics of educational planning and design.  

3. Developing clean sport behaviours. 

4. Unintentional doping.

5. Values-based education. The GEC will also be an opportunity to discuss the global clean sport education agenda in general and the development of the International Standard for Education.

The WADA Education Committee held its annual meeting. It took advantage of the presence of many of the parties involved in the fight against doping. Anti-Doping Organisations (ADOs) were able to share their experience and knowledge in a way that was beneficial to all. In this way, we can learn from each other. We can continue to develop programmes, activities and exchanges.