As part of its 2024 Annual Symposium, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) celebrated its 25th anniversary in Lausanne, Switzerland. “Since its establishment in 1999, WADA has been a basis for our mission to organize a doping-free sport”, said IFA President Jörn Verleger, who represented IFA in Lausanne.

The 25th Anniversary Gala gathered 1,100+ Symposium attendees and other invited guests to celebrate WADA’s first quarter century, the accomplishments of the global anti-doping community and some of its key contributors.

WADA President Witold Bańka thanked everyone that has contributed to the work of the global anti-doping movement over the past 25 years. “Today, we want to celebrate the collective, because we are proud of how many people have recognized the importance of, and have joined, our global collaborative movement for doping-free sport. We know that the roles and responsibilities of our various stakeholder groups are complementary to the goal of protecting clean sport; and that, as ONE TEAM, we are stronger”, he said.

Mr. Bańka then highlighted how certain stakeholder groups and individuals had been particularly instrumental to the creation, evolution and strengthening of WADA and Clean Sport, which the Agency wanted to acknowledge with inaugural “Play True Awards,” to recognize long-lasting and significant contributions to the anti-doping movement.

The 2024 Play True Awards were presented to:
• Ben Sandford, former Chair of WADA’s Athlete Committee, on behalf of Athletes of the World;
• Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, on behalf of the Sport Movement;
• Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House National Drug Control Policy and Chair of One Voice, on behalf of the Public Authorities;
• Richard Pound, WADA Founding President 1999-2007;
• The late Honorable John Fahey, WADA President 2008-2013; and
• Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President 2014-2019

For this first year of WADA’s Play True Awards, WADA identified a short-list of important contributors over the past 25 years. Going forward, the Agency will launch a Play True Award program that will encourage the global anti-doping community to submit nominations for individuals or teams, based on certain categories and criteria that will be established and communicated over the coming months. Those that would then be selected by a jury as Play True Award winners will be publicly recognized and awarded during a dedicated session of WADA’s future Symposiums.