Surfing's ISA and WSL in 'landmark' anti-doping agreement ahead of Tokyo Olympics
The International Surfing Association and World Surf League, the world governing body and top annual international professional series for the sport, respectively, have reached what they called a “landmark” anti-doping agreement ahead of the sport’s debut in the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020.
The ISA and WSL said that they have adopted “a comprehensive anti-doping programme ensuring athletes are eligible for the sport’s Olympic debut in 2020. The programme will be run in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code and the ISA’s Anti-doping Rules and will be run throughout the WSL Championship Tour (CT) in 2019 and 2020 leading into the Olympics.”
As a professional, independent body, the WSL is not a formal signatory to the WADA code, which is a requirement for athletes or events seeking Olympic eligibility. However, to ensure compliance for Olympic qualification, WSL said that it has “agreed to implement a tailored anti-doping programme under the ISA’s anti-doping rules.”
All of WSL’s Championship Tour surfers voluntarily agreed to the programme before the start of the 2019 tour, and will now be subject to both in- and out-of-competition testing and whereabouts requirements, conducted and managed by WSL and the International Testing Authority, the independent body set up last year to conduct testing on behalf of federations.
The ISA and WSL described the agreement as “unprecedented and a powerful example of good collaboration between an international federation and the associated professional league in the long-term Olympic interests of the sport and commitment to clean competition.”
Fernando Aguerre, the ISA’s president, said: “This historical agreement with the WSL and their professional surfers on this critical subject is very important news for our sport and a phenomenal step forward as we continue to prepare for Tokyo 2020. Surfing is a sport of integrity and we are committed to preserving and promoting clean sport.
“I am proud today to see WSL and ISA work together to adopt such a rigorous approach to clean sport. We are on the cusp of a special era in surfing’s history, and I am excited to be entering this era with robust processes and partners.”
Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL’s chief executive, added: “This agreement not only reflects the WSL’s continued commitment to clean sport, but also to being a good partner to the ISA and the Olympic Movement. I am proud that our surfers have understood the importance of this matter and willingly stepped up to this obligation.
“We appreciate this continued collaboration with the ISA on the Olympic qualification process. Olympic inclusion has changed our sport for the better and I cannot wait to see the elite athletes of surfing competing on the greatest stage - it will be an incredible spectacle.”