Minister Bańka elected representative of Europe on the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

It is certain now! The head of Polish sport will represent 47 member states of the Council of Europe. Witold Bańka was unanimously supported by all countries represented in the Ad Hoc European Committee for the World Anti-Doping Agency (CAHAMA). Never before has any Pole been elected to the world’s anti-doping structures for a position of such significance.

Entrusting the function of a member of the Executive Committee to Minister Bańka is a result of widespread recognition for the activities of Poland and the head of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism in the fight against doping. In 2016, the Ministry, headed by the Minister, prepared an innovative draft law on combating doping in sport. It provides, among other things, for the creation of a modern and comprehensively equipped Polish Anti-Doping Agency. The draft was adopted by the government on 20 December 2016.

The fight against doping is one of the most important activities in the field of professional sport, and WADA plays a key role in this context. The participation of Minister Bańka in making strategic decisions within this organization will strengthen the image of Poland as a country fighting against negative phenomena in sport.

Minister Witold Bańka will represent the countries of the Council of Europe in the works of the Committee. During his term of office he will express their views and work closely with them through bilateral channels, but also within the Council of Europe. Thus, Poland’s activity within this organization will increase.

The candidacy of Minister Bańka as a member of the WADA Executive Committee was unanimously supported by all States represented in the Ad Hoc European Committee for the World Anti-Doping Agency (CAHAMA) at the end of March. On 5 April this year the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe approved it and informed WADA of its choice. Formally, Minister Bańka will be appointed as a member of the Executive Committee of WADA during the meeting of the Management Board of this organization on May 18. Minister Bańka will complete the term of office of the previous member of the Committee, former Norwegian Minister for Sport, Ms Thorhild Widvey, with the possibility of re-election for the period 2018-2019.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the most important organization for combating doping in sport. It was established in 1999 at the joint initiative of the International Olympic Committee and the public authorities around the world who have signed the declaration on this matter. WADA’s task is to set and monitor standards in the fight against doping. The Agency’s flagship project is the World Anti-Doping Code and supporting documents, international standards that work together to harmonies action in the fight against doping.

The WADA Executive Committee is one of the statutory bodies of the organization, along with the Management Board, whose composition is based on the principle of equal representation of the sports movement and public authorities. This means that the 12-member Committee is composed of six representatives of the sports world and governments designated by each of the continental organizations. The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of WADA also have a seat on the Executive Board. European governments are represented there by the candidate indicated by the Council of Europe.

International context

The nomination of Minister Bańka is the result of a decision taken by the cooperating countries within the Council of Europe. The decision was taken by consensus.

Importantly, the work of Minister Bańka in the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency will have a positive impact on Poland’s position on the international arena, both in the field of sport and in the context of building wider bilateral relations with other countries and international organizations. Representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC Vice Chairman), national Olympic committees and international sports federations (e.g. FIBA Secretary General), among others, take part in the work of the Committee. The meetings of this body are also attended by representatives in the rank of Minister from Australia and Japan, among others, as well as a representative of African countries.

Composition of the Committee

The current members of the Executive Committee include: Sir Craig Reedie (President of the Agency), Linda Hofstad Helleland (Vice-President of the Agency), Jiri Kejval, Patrick Baumann, Ugur Erdener, Tony Estanguet, Francesco Ricci Bitti (representatives of the sports movement), Greg Hunt, Amirra El Fadil, Marcos Diaz, Toshiei Mizuochi, Thorhild Widvey (representatives of the public authorities). Minister Witold Bańka will replace Thorhild Widvey, former Minister of Sports of Norway, on the Executive Committee.

Tasks

The Executive Committee is responsible for the management and the effective conduct of the Agency’s policy. The formalities of WADA’s statutory bodies make the Executive Committee, in practice, the only body in which WADA’s future decisions are discussed. While in most cases the Management Board is competent to take such decisions, the Executive Committee is responsible for preparing them and recommending them to the Management Board. In addition, the Executive Committee adopts a list of prohibited substances and methods and all technical documents, including those related to the practice of anti-doping laboratories.

 

The text and photo downloaded from www.msit.gov.pl