World Orienteering Championships to be an international messenger for clean sport

Things will heat up in the forests of Vuokatti on 6–14 July, when orienteers compete in the World Championships. The message of clean sport will be on display at the event, symbolised by the Golden Baton which travels around to international sporting events organised in Finland. The event organisers, the International Orienteering Federation, the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA and the Finnish Antidoping Agency FINADA are working together to bring forth the message of clean sport.

The Golden Baton of Clean Sport challenges its receiver to promote fair play. The baton is arriving at the World Orienteering Championships from the World Ice Hockey Championship, which was held in May in Finland and in Sweden.

– Hockey and orienteering are very different sports: we move around inside while orienteers are surrounded by nature. But we still share common values: fair play is at the heart of it all. Both athletes and spectators have the right to clean sport. If we abandon it, we will also abandon the core and the key idea of sport, notes Matti Nurminen, Managing Director of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association.

– We are holding the Golden Baton as close to us as we hold our maps and compasses, and it is splendid to accept the challenge of clean sport. Around mid-July, Finland is the world’s centre for all sports: the message of clean sport continues to travel through Finland both at the World Orienteering Championships and at the European U23 Championships in Athletics, which we orienteers are challenging to get involved with spreading the message of fair play, says Mika Tuononen, Secretary General of the World Orienteering Championships.

– I would like to wish all competitors a warm welcome to the beautiful forests of Finland, where they can enjoy our unique nature and clean sport. For us orienteers the direction is clear: clean athletes deserve all the glory! says top orienteer Minna Kauppi.

The Clean Win programme information stand will be open in Vuokatti on Monday 8 July from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesday 9 July from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. At the stand, you can chat with athletes about the use and consequences of doping, test your knowledge of antidoping questions and win great prizes. The medalists at the competition are also taking a stand for clean sport by signing the petition: their public commitment to clean sport can be seen on the poster near the awards stage, where all medalists will write their name.

At the championships, athletes compete for medals in sprint, middle distance, long distance and relay. There are also qualification rounds for two days. In addition to these, the World Trail Orienteering Championships and Kainuu Orienteering Week will also be held at the same time.

The Clean Win programme was launched in May 2008. It honours clean athletes and the values of fair play. FINADA and Fazer want to put the spotlight on athletes who play ethically: respecting their sport, their competitors and themselves. This programme invites Finnish sports fans, sporting organisations, the friends and relatives of athletes and athletes themselves to get involved in fair play.

Further information:

Susanna Sokka
FINADA Information Manager
Mobile +358 (0)40 740 7477