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Interview with Frederic Donze, WADA Director, European Office and IF Relations

IWF had a great step forward

Q: Close to one hundred countries perform on the platform of the 2011 World Weightlifting Championships in Paris, the IWF grabbed the opportunity to launch its Say No!To Doping campaign with its slogan: Lift CLEAN and Jerk.

A: I think it is a very positive thing that the IWF have adopted this program. WADA launched this campaign two years ago together with International Ice hockey Federation and now we have 13 partners including some international federations like hockey, football, triathlon, just to name some of them. United Kingdom recently launched a campaign called ‘Win Clean’ and they are part of the Say No! to doping anti doping campaign as well. We are quite happy that IWF have contacted us to follow the campaign. We are working closely together because education as we all know is a key part of the fight against doping. We think it is a great step forward – Frederic Donzé, WADA Director, European Office and IF Relations says.

Q: It is really positive to see some big stars representing the campaign because they are all icons for the other athletes, for the young children. What do you think of weightlifting hero, three times Olympic Champion Pyrros Dimas?

A: It is very important that a caliber like Dimas supports the campaign. He is a strong symbol and through his personality and mentality a strong message is sent to the weightlifting community.

Q: What makes WADA really satisfied about its results? When do you consider your work successful?
A: I think that doping will never disappear as it is related to human nature. You always find cheaters in life. Since WADA has been created since 1999 the world anti doping community has really progressed tremendously. But let’s not being naive we always need to do more and we always need improvement in our fight against doping to actually catch as many cheaters as possible. We certainly hope by working together there will be really on day with minimum doping in sport. But doping free sport is an utopia.

Q: What are the next steps ahead of WADA?

A: We have always said that the world anti doping code is not set in stone. We knew world anti doping code had to improved as time was passing. There was the first revision in 2006 and 2007 which gave birth to a new code which took place in January 2009 and now there will be another revision of the world anti-doping code starting next year. The new code will be approved at the time of the 4th world conference in doping in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2013. We really encourage any individual, any organization, and any national federation in the weightlifting family to take part in this process. This work is done very openly and transparently. We hope that the weightlifting family will contribute a lot.

Q: At IWF Congress the doping control results of weightlifting were displayed by Mónika Ungár. What do these numbers say to a real expert like you?

A: Unfortunately you can interpret results the way you want. Some people always ask us do you think there is more doping or less doping based simply on numbers.
The fight against doping is so comprehensive and complex that it is never possible to say: look you have more cases that means you have more doping involved. May be have become more efficient in your way fighting doping. May be you have less cases but it may say that education and information helped to reduce the numbers. So really I think the numbers presented by Mónika Ungár say that IWF is conducting a comprehensive fight against doping.