August 2014 – Spirit of Sport
Protecting the rights of clean athletes, and providing the best resources and support possible to ensure athletes can achieve their dreams on a clean and level playing field, is at the core of USADA’s mission. USADA’s focus on education is an important part of its commitment to athletes, and the Olympic education team regularly meets with athletes at all levels around the country, providing opportunities to learn more about topics including: the important role athletes play in a successful anti-doping program, the testing process, the value of providing accurate whereabouts information, the prohibited list and therapeutic use exemption process, and the principles of TrueSport. National sport governing bodies (NGBs) and international sport federations (IFs) also play an important role in helping to support clean competition, and USADA regularly works on educational initiatives with its partners in the sports community, including having a presence at national and international events.
USADA recently joined the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to conduct outreach education efforts at the IAAF Junior World Championships held in July at the fabled Hayward Field on the University of Oregon’s campus in Eugene, Oregon. This was the first time an American city has hosted the biannual event which was first held in 1986 in Athens, Greece.
Athletes engaged in a variety of activities at the education table hosted by USADA and the IAAF. A main attraction was the Play True Quiz, which is available in over 30 languages. Participants answered 10 questions about anti-doping rules, the Prohibited List, supplements, and more, as fast as possible and were rewarded with fun prizes.
Athletes also enjoyed interacting with USADA’s education representatives, and elite athlete ambassadors from both organizations who made appearances and discussed clean sport with the event’s participants and signed autographs.
One of the other popular booth elements was a commemorative event banner created by USADA. Athletes, coaches, and team staff from all 189 nations represented were encouraged to stop by and sign the banner with their names and where they were from to demonstrate their commitment to clean sport. By the end of the competition, over 300 signatures were collected and the banner was donated to TrackTownUSA, the event’s local organizing committee, to display in a nearby building.
USADA enjoyed the opportunity to support clean sport, and meet with athletes from many different countries, and looks forward to future opportunities to work with our international partners.