WADA recognised at the Finnish Sports Gala for worldwide promotion of equality between athletes

The work of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in standardising doping control worldwide received recognition of high repute at the annual gala and awards ceremony for Finnish sports today in Helsinki. In its grounds for granting the award, the Finnish Sports Gala thanks also the WADA for its active work in promoting sports ethics and fair play through training and communication.

According to the decision of the Finnish Sports Gala, WADA’s uncompromising and long-standing work guarantees equal possibilities for success for all athletes. WADA has engaged in active and groundbreaking cooperation with national and international partners alike. The Finnish Antidoping Agency (FINADA), for example, is involved in WADA-led projects in which doping control systems have been created for different countries. The Finnish Sports Gala also recognised WADA’s broad-ranging proactive work. This has been seen in Finland in the World Floorball Championship, where WADA, the International Floorball Federation, FINADA’s Clean Win programme and the organisers of the competition organised a collective antidoping campaign for the players and spectators.

– I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of WADA and thank the Finnish Sports Gala for recognizing the work of WADA and highlighting the importance of the fight against doping in sport, said David Howman, Director General of WADA, who accepted the award.

– An important aspect of WADA’s role is to develop close relationships with antidoping organizations worldwide and this we have already achieved with FINADA.

– FINADA’s Clean Win antidoping campaign is a good example of what can be achieved through inter-agency co-operation and WADA looks forward to working with FINADA in the future, and supporting Finnish sport as a whole.

– Doping control exists for us athletes. It allows us to demonstrate that we are playing a fair game. It has also been amazing to see successful antidoping projects, such as the “Doping is Offside” green puck campaign led by the International Ice Hockey Federation and WADA. We have made a good impression in Finland, too: In 2010, the golden baton of clean sport was passed on to all teams of the Finnish national ice hockey league. Through this deed, Finnish ice hockey players made a visible statement on behalf of clean sport.  Ice hockey is a sport requiring skill, and one in which atmosphere plays a key role. Doping has no place on the rink, said hockey player Jari Kurri, who has worked as a member of WADA’s Athlete Committee. Kurri presented an award of recognition to a representative from WADA at the Finnish Sports Gala, together with Kari-Pekka Tiitinen, (2008-2011) Chair of the Finnish Antidoping Association (FINADA), and Secretary General Pirjo Ruutu.

The Finnish Sports Gala organisation (Suomen Urheilugaala Yhdistys ry) was founded in the spring of 2008 with the goal of increasing the status and appreciation of Finnish sports. Prizes are awarded at the Finnish Sports Gala based on selections through audience votes and by a large awards committee comprised of society leaders and sports journalists. From the very start, a prize has been awarded for the Antidoping Deed of the Year, a testimony to the fact that winning in sports is based not only on results, but also on the means used to achieve them. The Finnish Sports Gala has also recognised PowerCup and the Finnish Volleyball Association (2011), the European Youth Olympic Festival (2010), the sporting stars of the Clean Win programme (2009) and Mäkelänrinne Sports High School (2008) for their exemplary antidoping work.

Additional information:

Susanna Sokka

The Finnish Antidoping Agency FINADA

Information Manager

T +358 40 740 7477

Terence O’Rorke

World Anti-Doping Agency

Senior Manager Media Relations and Communications

T +1 514 904 8820