Western Cape Government to Support the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
Following the signing of an agreement between the Western Cape Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, met with David Howman, the International Director-General of WADAon Tuesday, 27 November 2012.
WADA serves as the independent international body responsible for coordinating and monitoring the global fight against doping in sport and is a unique partnership between the sport movement and governments of the world.
Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer expressed his excitement about the strengthening of the relationship between the Western Cape Government and WADA. “Our partnership goes back to 2005 and today’s signing confirms our commitment to WADA’s aim to tackle doping in sport and spread the message of ethics and fair-play. Recent incidences of doping within sport highlight the importance of the work that WADA does. It also creates the opportunity for WADA to muster all his resources, strengthen partnerships and tackle the problem of doping with renewed vigour” said Meyer.
WADA’s Director General, David Howman, who signed on behalf of the Agency, commended both the National and provincial governments for the positive support they have provided to WADA in order to fulfil its mandate in the African region. Howman noted that, “WADA could not have achieved the kind of successes in promoting anti-doping in the African region had it not been for our hosts here in South Africa. Their commitment, dedication and generosity are much appreciated and respected. As one of our Executive Committee Members, representing Africa, South Africa remains a valuable partner of WADA, the extent of which transcends their support to hosting our office here in Cape Town. In November 2013, South Africa will host the 4th World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg and we are confident that South Africa will deliver a successful and unforgettable event”.
Recent revelations of doping within cycling certainly highlight the need for the work of organisations such as WADA and the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport to be supported. A worrying trend has been the increasing incidence of doping within school sport.
Substance abuse is however a wider social problem. It is for this reason that the Western Cape Government launched its strategy to reduce drug and alcohol related harms in the province. “We launched this strategy because we realised that our initiatives to reduce crime, provide better schooling and health care and create jobs through economic growth would be hampered by the social damage done by drug and alcohol abuse. It is for this reason that we cannot but support the work of all organisations who share our commitment to eradicating the scourge of drug abuse wherever it may appear, said Meyer.
The agreement will see the Western Cape continuing its support to the WADA African Regional Office which is based in Cape Town.