September 30, 2010
October 1, 2010 Marks the Anniversary of the Agency’s First Decade
Ten years ago, on October 1, 2000, the U.S. Anti- Doping Agency (USADA) began operations as the independent, non-profit entity established to carry out the anti-doping program in the United States for Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American sport athletes.
Originally led by inaugural Chair and Gold-medalist, Frank Shorter and founding Chief Executive Officer Terry Madden, USADA has been governed since its inception by an independent Board and professional staff, all devoted to protecting the rights of athletes to compete healthy and clean, and to preserving the integrity of athletic competition.
Today, ten years since its inception, USADA and its efforts are recognized throughout the world as one of the leaders in the global anti-doping movement. The entire U.S. Olympic movement has been praised for implementing one of the toughest and most effective anti-doping programs and for making great strides in the advancement of all anti-doping programs. USADA is recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping organization for Olympic, Pan American, and Paralympic sport in the United States.
USADA’s formation was the result of the courage of the USOC and its Joint Task Force on Externalization, co-chaired in 1999 by former USOC CEO, Baaron Pittenger and former USOC Executive Board Member and Olympic Hall of Famer, Frank Marshall. This team thoroughly analyzed the doping problem in Olympic sport and recommended that an independent entity operate its anti-doping program. The independent model is now recognized world-wide as the gold standard for effective anti- doping programs.
“The U.S. Olympic family stands together in commemorating USADA’s tenth anniversary and celebrating their tremendous success,” said Scott Blackmun, USOC CEO. “Today, we congratulate USADA for helping preserve a fair and level playing field for all with an unwavering commitment to education, research and testing. During their 10-year history, they have become the torchbearers for the eradication of drugs in sport and we wish them much more continued success in the future. “
“USADA has been an invaluable partner in our efforts to educate young athletes about the health dangers involved with doping in sport,” said the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in a statement. “The energy, vision, and integrity consistently demonstrated by the entire USADA team are respected around the globe. ONDCP looks forward to our continued collaboration. Congratulations.”
John Fahey, World Anti-Doping Agency President, said, “Over its ten years of existence, USADA has been one of the leading national anti-doping organizations. USADA has developed a comprehensive anti-doping approach including education, research, target testing, sanctioning and other key programs. Fahey added, “It has, in particular, been one of the first anti-doping organizations to effectively cooperate with law enforcement agencies and use intelligence to catch those who conspire to deprive clean athletes from their legitimate achievements. WADA wishes USADA a happy anniversary and looks forward to continued fruitful collaboration.”
The First Ten Years
Over the past ten years, USADA has served the nearly 50 national governing bodies for the Olympic, Paralympic, and Pan American sports, as well as the tens of thousands of clean athletes who demand and deserve the right to compete drug-free. During this time, USADA has appeared in front of more than 50,000 athletes, coaches, parents and youth, educating on the rights and responsibilities of the anti-doping program, as well as to impart and instill a commitment to the core principles of true sport. USADA leadership has also testified before a number of U.S. Congressional and Senate subcommittees hearings on the topic of anti-doping and other critical sport issues.
More than ten million dollars have been allocated to cutting-edge scientific research aimed at understanding and effectively combating the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The agency has collected and managed the results of more than 70,000 drug tests, including tests for EPO and hGH, utilizing the most sophisticated analysis available. USADA has also developed and cultivated relationships with federal, state and local governments to facilitate greater effectiveness, and has seen great success in its efforts with the BALCO investigation, Operation Raw Deal, and others. Most importantly, the agency has restored the image of U.S. athletes abroad, given them the hope that competing ethically is worth it, and assured them that USADA is dedicated to supporting them.
USADA is the non-profit, independent and non-governmental entity responsible for the testing and results management process in the U.S. for athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, upholding the Olympic ideal of fair play, and representing the interests of athletes. USADA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs. The agency manages a drug reference phone hotline and Global Drug Reference Online, conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as curriculums, themed brochures and nutrition and dietary guides, easy- reference wallet cards for the prohibited substance list, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference publications, all of which can be found at www.USADA.org.