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New WADA Vice President Yang Yang emphasizes promoting anti-doping education

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-01-02 09:52
Yang Yang speaks at the fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice, Poland, Nov 7, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- New World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Vice President Yang Yang stressed the importance of education in the global fight against doping as she talked to Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

Yang became the first Chinese to assume a leadership role in WADA's 20-year history after being elected vice president on Nov 7 in Poland. Beginning her term on Wednesday, she believed it is important to both teach the athletes anti-doping knowledge and shape their values.

"I used to be an athlete, so I totally understand the importance of education both on a technical level and values," said the former winter Olympics champion.

Yang said anti-doping orgazations should not only teach athletes how to avoid using banned drugs, but also give them the education based on correct value of fair play and honesty.

"And more importantly is the value-based education. We aim to let more people, not just the athletes, realize that doping is cheating. We hope athletes can be determined to be clean and be proud of it from a young age and WADA has good programs on this," she continued, adding that such education on athletes' supporting team is also necessary.

Yang believed China has done a good job in the area of anti-doping education and she once introduced the experience at international meetings.

"Athletes have to pass an anti-doping knowledge exam in order to qualify for international and major national events. I heard two athletes was disqualified for the 2nd National Youth Games in 2019 because they failed the exam," she said.

When it comes to future work, Yang said WADA eyes for greater transparency as "transparency leads to trust."

The new WADA President Banka also hopes to establish a Solidarity Fund to help develop anti-doping worldwide in a more balanced way .

"At Rio 2016, 10 percent medalists were from countries and regions with no anti-doping centers or labs. They lack access to anti-doping education and are not subject to anti-doping tests in everyday life. This is not fair for athletes who constantly receive doping tests. So this fund aims to help those places to build their anti-doping systems, which is critical for the world anti-doping effort," Yang said.

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