Photos: Ministry of Youth and Sports
“Globalisation in sport requires joint efforts and enhanced fight against doping based on shared experience. I believe that shared experience and joint actions of all institutions responsible for sport will help observe and implement the world anti-doping policy at international level and that together we can preserve the sport clean and can protect the health of our athletes,” said Mr. Krasen Kralev, Minister of Youth and Sports and member of WADA Foundation Board during the international seminar on “Preventing doping in professional and grassroots sport through education and investigation” in Sofia. Eighty foreign guests and 40 Bulgarian guests took part in the seminar. More than 120 representatives of international organisations involved in anti-doping, representatives of the EU member states and of anti-doping organisations in Europe, as well as representatives of the Bulgarian sports federations attended the seminar. Twenty-five anti-doping organisations and 14 EU member states were represented.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Bulgaria put the fight against doping in sport among the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency because the topic of clean sport and observing the rules of fair play is crucial for the whole sports world”, Minister Kralev further said. He noted that during the recent years, data for the use of doping in leisure time sport have become disturbing. Minister Kralev firmly stated that there is a need to emphasise on the development of specialised anti-doping education programmes intended not only for athletes, coaches, sports staff and parents, but also for people practicing sport as a leisure activity, school students, fitness instructors, and citizens. “Tackling the grassroots sport and sport among adolescents in the context of the topic of the fight against doping was highly appreciated. The representatives of other member states acknowledge that this issue exists across Europe. We notice that amateur athletes use prohibited substances more than professional ones”, Minister Kralev said. He explained that during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU the coordination of a common EU member states’ position in relation to the WADA Anti-Doping Code Review would begin.
During the opening of the seminar, Mr. Jens Nymand Christensen, Deputy Director-General of Education and Culture in the European Commission, and Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener, IOC Vice-President and WADA Foundation Board and Executive Committee member, made a contribution.
The seminar on Preventing doping in professional and grassroots sport through education and investigation took place over two days on 24 and 25 January. Rob Koehler, WADA Deputy Director General, Rafal Piechota, Chairman of CAHAMA in the Council of Europe, Herman Ram, Chief Executive Officer of the Anti-Doping Authority of the Netherlands, Joseph de Pencier, founding Chief Executive Officer of iNADO (the organisation of national anti-doping organisations), Bart van der Sloot, Senior Researcher in the Tilburg Institute for Law, Mathieu Holz, Investigations and Intelligence Manager in WADA, Clement de Maillard from the Interpol Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes Sub-Directorate, the four times Olympic medallist Yordan Yovchev and many other distinguished figures were among the speakers on the two topics.
Dr. Violeta Zarkova, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Anti-Doping Center, Prof. Maria Orbetsova, member of the WADA Medical Committee, Prof. Pencho Geshev, Rector of the National Sports Academy, Belcho Goranov, Secretary General of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee, many famous Bulgarian athletes and representatives of federations were among the guests of the seminar.
The seminar on Preventing doping in professional and grassroots sport through education and investigation is co-funded under the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.