European Athletics Championships aim to be a celebration of clean sport and fair play

The Finnish team has challenged its fellow competitors at the European Athletics Championships, the high point of the sports summer, to compete cleanly and to take a stand on behalf of fair play. European Athletics, the ultimate rights holder of the event, the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA and FINADA’s Clean Win programme are cooperating in the spirit of fair play.

The Championships will be a meeting place for the best athletes in Europe and clean sport professionals, the representatives of FINADA’s Clean Win programme. The programme representatives will visit the hotels where athletes will be staying. The athletes can, for instance, test their knowledge in the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA’s Play True quiz and receive a golden drinking bottle as a prize.

– Finnish Athletics and the European Athletics Championships are proud to promote clean and fair sport. Winning by any means available is not a part of the collective value basis of sports. Fighting against prohibited substances and methods is a common mission shared by the entire athletics family. Fair play and clean sport are values for which we have worked for a long time, and we are deeply committed to continuing this work in the future, says Antti Pihlakoski, President of Finnish Athletics and Helsinki 2012 Local Organising Committee President.

– European Athletics continues to be a relentless and leading organisation in the battle to secure fairness in sport. We are 100 percent behind the IAAF, the world governing body for athletics, the International Olympic Committee and WADA in the fight against doping in athletics. Athletes who cheat should never be comfortable that they will avoid detection, and today we are more equipped than ever to catch these cheats who bring disrepute to our sport. We strive to provide the best possible environment for drug-free competition at all European Athletics events. We must ensure a clean sport and fairness amongst all competitors. One way is to search for cheating athletes through doping controls, says European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz.

– WADA applauds the anti-doping activities of FINADA as well as the organizers of the European Athletics Championships. Competitors in Helsinki will have the chance to learn more about the dangers of doping through the Play True Quiz, which will supplement the anti-doping program that is in place. Education and awareness is one of cornerstones of the fight against doping in sport. FINADA’s activities during the Championships demonstrate their commitment to implement a comprehensive anti-doping strategy, says WADA President John Fahey.

At the Championships, FINADA will carry out the doping tests at the request of European Athletics according to high quality standards. In the testing organisation, there will be approximately 30 FINADA doping control officers and assistants, and in addition trained volunteers will act as athletes’ chaperones at tests. FINADA will give Golden Shoelaces to all athletes who are tested, to serve as a reminder of clean sport. Furthermore, at the award ceremony site there will be a Clean Win picture rack where the top European athletes will make a very high-profile and public gesture by signing the petition on behalf of clean sport.

– Finnish antidoping work is internationally renowned. At the European Athletics Championships, we will once again have a chance to show our expertise and do our part to promote clean sport. It’s a tough job, but also an interesting one, states FINADA Chair Pekka Ilmivalta.

The European Athletics Championships will be held at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium from 27 June to 1 July. Altogether 1,600 athletes from 50 countries are expected to participate in the Championships, one of the most popular sports events in Europe.

For further details, please contact:

Susanna Sokka

FINADA – Information Manager

Mobile +358 (0)40 740 7477

Eero Rämö

Helsinki 2012 – Media Services Manager

Mobile: +358 40 539 2737