Stanislav Pozdnyakov: “Our task is to make athletes’ careers independent of doping”

‘Fight against doping will be our priority task for the following years’, said the President of the ROC Stanislav Pozdnyakov at the opening ceremony of the first Young Olympians Forum, held today, on June 1, in the Sports Technologies Center (Moscomsport) under the support of the IOC and the WADA.

A few days ago, when Stanislav Pozdnyacov, a candidate for the ROC presidency at that time, gave a speech, in which he promised that the ROC will work hard on increasing the level of anti-doping culture among athletes of different ages.

His words were supported by action at once. The Young Olympians Forum, which lasted for more than 4 hours, was mostly devoted to the anti-doping issues.

On the invitation of the organizers, ROC and RUSADA, the Forum was attended by the Head of the Olympic Values Department of the IOC Olympic Solidarity Nicole Girard-Savoy and Head of the Winter Sports and Interaction with the International Federations Sector of the IOC Sports Department Irina Gladkikh.

Nicole Girard-Savoy started her performance with congratulations to Stanislav Pozdnyakov on his election as President of the ROC.

– The ROC is a very important part of the IOC in the framework of the Olympic movement and the whole international sports community, said Nicole Girard-Savoy. – The new stage of our close cooperation with the ROC will include realization of a number of joint educational projects. The Young Olympians Forum is the first event; and I am very glad that the agenda is aimed at improving the anti-doping culture of athletes.

We will discuss our cooperation in details next week in Lausanne; and now it is my pleasure to great all the participants of the Forum. It is especially pleasant that there are many young athletes among them. Olympic Solidarity devotes much attention to athletes’ support.

Winter Sports Director and Head of Sports and International Relations at the IOC Irina Gladkikh introduced the concept of the Youth Olympic Games.

– For young athletes this is not just another step on their way to the Olympic Games, but also an opportunity to find new friends from all over the world, and learn more about the values of the international Olympic movement, stressed Irina Gladkikh. – The ambassadors of the youth Olympics are well-known athletes. They are ready to share experience with everybody. Remember, that the primary goal of sports was, is and will be the fair fight. That is why, when you go to the start, respect yourself and your rivals.

Educational workshops for future stars of Russian sports, many of whom will take part in the III Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, were held by the WADA international expert Eva Lucasite-Stanikuniene, Deputy Director General of the International and Anti-Doping Issues Department, RUSADA Margarita Pagnotskaya, specialist of the Educational Programs Department, RUSADA Eugene Khristenko and expert of the regional anti-doping organization Central Asia Venera Abdullah.

They told the young Olympians about the core values of the Olympic movement, health threats arising from the use of banned substances, basic rules that any athlete should follow during his career, and what he should not do under any circumstances.

Among the honorary guests of the forum were: President of the ROC, 4-time Olympic fencing champion Stanislav Pozdnyakov, Deputy Minister of sport of the Russian Federation Sergei Kosilov, Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on physical culture, sport, tourism and youth Affairs Mikhail Degtyarev, head of the Department of sports and tourism of the city of Moscow, the Olympic champion in speed skating Nikolai Gulyaev, General Director of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Yuri Hanus and first Vice-President of the Russian Paralympic Committee Pavel Rozhkov.

According to Stanislav Pozdnyakov, such events have a positive impact on the image of Russian sports and prove that the country is changing its attitude to doping, including at the children’s and youth level.

– Our task is to make your sports career independent from doping, to make you reach high results not by manipulating with prohibited substances, but thanks to your skills and will to win, said the Head of the ROC, addressing to the boys and girls, dressed in ZASPORT t-shirts, with I DON^T DO DOPING written on them. – Today in this hall together with you there are representatives of the ROC, the Ministry of Sport, the State Duma, the IOC, the WADA the RUSADA, the Russian Paralympic Committee, the Moscow Sport Committee. This suggests that the problem of doping in sports is one of the most important today.

Almost the same idea was expressed by the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs Mikhail Degtyarev.

– Those 4,000 athletes who will go to Buenos Aires in October, will become the the guides of the Olympic ideals, he said. – Thanks to you the world will become better and sport will become cleaner. In recent years, Russia has done a lot to change the culture of attitude to doping. Guys, I now appeal to the young Olympians, do not believe those who say that without doping you can not win! This is a barefaced lie!

– Today, on the Children’s Day, I want to believe, that the new generation of athletes will compete and win only in fare fight. For my part, I promise that the Sate Duma deputies will do everything to protect all clean athletes, added Mikhail Degtyarev.

Director General of the RUSADA Yury Ganus asked the participants of the Forum to remain faithful to the ideals of Olympism.

– You bear a very heavy burden on your shoulders, to restore confidence in Russian sport, said the head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. – To win, you need to believe in yourself and be able to overcome any difficulties. I ask you to cooperate with the RUSADA. Please contact our hotline for any questions. We work to prevent you from wrong actions.

Two-time Olympic champion in Syncronized Swimming Alla Shihshkina proved that it was better to consult with the team’s doctor or the RUSADA specialist before taking any, even the most harmless medicine.

– When I performed, we called the RUSADA even if we wanted to take a pill of Advil for a headache. It is better to be safe than to risk your good name and sports career. remember, that all the responsibility for breaking the anti-doping rules ;ies on the athlete.

According to the two-time Olympic champion in Artistic Gymnastics Svetlana Khorkina, an educated athlete has more chances to achieve high results.

– To win, you have to be strong, brave, healthy and, of course, have appropriate education, including the anti-doping, – noted the famous athlete.

It is gratifying that Russian sports stars took active part in the work of the Young Olympians Forum. Alla Shishkina, Tagir Khaybulayev, Maxim Trankov, Svetlana Khorkina and other Olympic Champions spoke at the panel discussions alongside with representatives of the IOC, the WADA and the RUSADA. Young  athletes received first-hand answers to such important questions as, for example, ‘is doping   a fraud?’ or  ‘is it possible to win without cheating?’

There were also entertainment events in the program of the Forum. Anyone could test their knowledge of anti-doping topics with the help of the educational quiz Play Fair and team game Brain-Ring, as well as take part in the the RUSADA photo session. In addition, all participants will got souvenirs and t-shirts from ZASPORT company in memory of the Forum.