Athlete forum lays foundations of Tokyo 2020 anti-doping legacy

Several Paralympians, Olympians and members of WADA athlete committee passed on knowledge and insight to young athletes.

Group picture with young peopleThe 2015 International Athlete Forum for 2020 aimed to pass on anti-doping knowledge to young athletes. © • Tokyo 2020

“The values in sport are very important, playing true, saying no to doping is a major part of it. We need to protect clean athletes and ensure the right environment for all athletes to be able to compete in fair and clean surroundings.”

The 2015 International Athlete Forum for 2020 concluded on 5 October in Tokyo after a successful two-day programme. Among those taking part in the forum were members of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Athlete Committee and role models that have inspired and passed on the values and integrity of sport to young athletes. The forum reflects the Tokyo 2020 Games vision to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

WADA Athlete Committee members Claudia Bokel, Ben Sandford and Koji Murofushi (also Tokyo 2020 Sports Director) as well as Great Britain anti-doping athlete role model Eilish McColgan and several other Olympians and Paralympians joined the forum. Activities on the second day focused on the values of clean sport and Tokyo 2020’s ‘2020 Young Athletes Project,’ involving more than 100 young athletes.

Co-hosted by WADA, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA), the forum was part of the “PLAY TRUE 2020” anti-doping initiative. “PLAY TRUE 2020” was originally established as one of the pillars of the Tokyo 2020’s legacy Sport for Tomorrow programme, and it is now under the management of JADA.

“It is great to see the legacy project for the Tokyo 2020 Games coming into place,” said Bokel. “The values in sport are very important, playing true, saying no to doping is a major part of it. We need to protect clean athletes and ensure the right environment for all athletes to be able to compete in fair and clean surroundings. Anti-doping education is best to start when athletes are young, so that they are aware of threats in sport, but also for them to be able to resist possible negative influence when they grow older.”

The objective of “PLAY TRUE 2020” is to bring about a long-lasting impact by extending partnerships, expanding anti-doping capacities, developing value-based education programmes and social science research. By building even stronger anti-doping capacities and networks, the initiative aims to protect and promote the integrity and positive values of sport.

The project ‘PLAY TRUE Torch Relay’ was also launched during the forum. Athletes representing many different countries, sports and generations will inscribe the truth that they have discovered through sport in a Japanese scroll called a makimono. These messages will be conveyed to the young generation around the world until the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“In the lead up to 2020, we want to bring together the ‘Truths’ of all the athletes, particularly the athletes of tomorrow,” said Murofushi.

He then kick-started this relay with this message for the youth: “The restrictions in sport are the rules. Beauty is bred of rules and restrictions. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are set to be held in Tokyo in 2020. I would like to take this opportunity to assist athletes in achieving pride in themselves through sport and, from where beauty is bred, I would like to contribute to raising the value of sport in society.”

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