Jakarta: The Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi, along with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Banka and WADA Director-General Olivier Niggli, on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the 17th Asia/Oceania Region Intergovernmental Ministerial Meeting on Anti-Doping in Sport.
The signing ceremony took place virtually in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and in Jakarta, Indonesia, witnessed by Sports Ministers and Leaders of National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) from ASEAN Member States.
The MoU was spearheaded by Singapore, in its capacity as Chair of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Sports, and supported by the Southeast Asian Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (SEARADO).
The development of the MOU, which spanned a period of close to 1.5 years, marks the establishment of a formal cooperation between the two entities to prevent doping in sports across ASEAN.
"I am confident that the engagement of our member states and relevant stakeholders will enable ASEAN to better harness its human capital to prevent doping in the region, as well as create a fair and equitable playing environment for all athletes," Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim said in a media release on Monday.
The three-year agreement will guide ASEAN and WADA in promoting the protection of the integrity of sport by preventing doping and promoting a commitment to the concepts of ethics in sports and fair play in ASEAN region.
"The global anti-doping system relies on collaboration between various stakeholders, and this MOU between WADA and the Association of South-East Asian Nations will boost the anti-doping work being carried out by Governments and National Anti-Doping Organizations in that region," WADA President Banka said
"WADA exists to serve the athletes of the world. We are here to provide them with the opportunity to compete to the best of their natural ability on a level playing field. The cooperation formalized by this MOU is another example of the practical steps we are taking to do just that. I thank ASEAN and its members for their commitment to clean sport," he added.
The scope of collaboration includes implementation of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport (the Code); review and harmonisation of national anti-doping policies and programmes with the World Anti-Doping Programme (including the Code, its International Standards), models of best practice; support for the operational independence and sustainability of NADOs; education and outreach activities on the prevention of doping in sports (including protecting the athletes’ health); and support for WADA Asia/Oceania Office and SEARADO.
Other activities will also lead to the recognition of human resources in ASEAN Member States to implement the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code through technical assistance from WADA experts.