The United States Anti-Doping Agency unveiled its Athlete Anti-Doping Passport (ADP) program prior to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, USADA Chief Executive Director Terry Madden announced Wednesday.
The voluntary pilot program was offered to the athletes from the eight winter sport national governing bodies. USADA plans to make the program available to more than 2,500 athletes during 2002.
The passport provides the U.S. athlete with a convenient method to track their testing history with the USADA, as well as providing educational materials. The passport is one facet of the overall USADA educational program. The United States is one of four countries conducting a pilot program for an athlete anti-doping passport. Each nation has a different approach to the athlete passport program, and it is hoped that the most effective parts of each program can be combined into a unified passport program. The USADA plans to roll out the program to the summer sport athletes later this year.
“This inaugural program is our invitation to U.S. athletes to be active partners with USADA in the movement for doping-free sport. The passport document gives athletes a chance to physically show their commitment to clean sport, and the passport package gives them important information and practical tools to use. We have upcoming educational modules that will continue to invite active learning and provide valuable information,“ said USADA Director of Educational Programs Karen Casey.
“I signed up for the program because I think fighting doping is a very important issue these days in sport and I wanted to a part of this pilot program. The program will hopefully make the drug testing process easier for the athletes. I think doping control is important in all sports,” said Amy Peterson (Ballston Spa, N.Y.), a three-time Olympic medal winner in the sport of short track speed skating. Peterson will be competing in her fifth Olympics in Salt Lake City.
“In this day and age of striving to be the best, it is important to me that all of my competitors and I are on the same playing field. I want anyone who is cheating by using a banned substance to be taken out of competition. I’m glad to be part of USADA’s passport program in its efforts to keep sports clean, “ said four-time Olympic (1992, ’94, ’98, 2002) and 1999 world champion freestyle skier Ann Battelle (Steamboat Springs, Colo.).
“There is a lot of pressure for an athlete to prove that they are clean and playing by the rules. I have been competing for 15 years, and I know I have competed clean throughout my career. The USADA passport gives me a vehicle to show people that I am drug free,” said luge athlete Clay Ives (Kingston, Ont., Canada). Ives is competing in his first Olympic Games with the United States after participating on the Canadian Olympic team in 1994 and 1998.
“Biathlon is not well known in the U.S. and I am proud to have the opportunity to teach people about USADA as well as my own sport,” said 2002 U.S. Olympic Team member Rachel Steer (Anchorage, Alaska). “Every vitamin, every pill has the potential to make you test positive for a banned substance, whether or not you took it for that reason. Athletes need to be educated about how to keep their systems clean, how to communicate with USADA and why it is important to be drug free. I want to be able to show people that I am compete clean with my USADA passport.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) plans to introduce a global athlete passport program. WADA’s eventual goal is for a clearinghouse for all national anti-doping agencies to be linked so that there is one electronically based passport for all athletes worldwide. The WADA Passport is web-based, and provides athlete’s testing history with WADA. Eventually, WADA’s on-line program will involve interactive programs that will help athletes become part of the solution in the fight against doping.
USADA is the independent anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States, and is responsible for managing the testing and adjudication process for U.S. Olympic, Pan Am and Paralympic athletes. USADA is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.
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