Athletes, coaches, athlete support personnel and National Federations joined in the discussion, where they heard from two anti-doping experts.  

World Aquatics Executive Director Brent Nowicki and WADA President Witold Bańka opened the workshop as both emphasised the importance forums like this play in educating all stakeholders about anti-doping topics. WADA Director General Olivier Niggli also attended the event.

Image Source: Tsutomu Kishimoto/World Aquatics

During the workshop, the participants discussed key topics that came from an AQIU-led stakeholder questionnaire which explored the most commonly asked questions around anti-doping. These included the use of supplements, how to avoid non-intentional violations, and steps National Federations should be taking to ensure safety, fairness and transparency.  

Both the AQIU and World Aquatics firmly believe that the field of play must be clean and fair. This workshop demonstrated the extent to which both bodies are committed to ensuring that measures are put in place to maintain the integrity of aquatics sports at all levels, in terms of respect for the rules, other competitors, fair competition, and a level playing field.  

Image Source: Tsutomu Kishimoto/World Aquatics

Senior Manager at the AQIU, Justin Lessard, stated; “It is vital that athletes and fans alike have confidence in the results of aquatics competitions. Effective testing and education play pivotal roles in maintaining this trust. We are pleased that we have been able to facilitate this workshop, along with our other on-site initiatives in this important area.”  

“It is vital that athletes and fans alike have confidence in the results of aquatics competitions."
By Justin Lessard, Aquatics Integrity Unit Senior Manager

In addition to the workshop, the AQIU has delivered several other initiatives focused on anti-doping during the Championships in Doha. For example, every competing athlete was required to complete an extensive anti-doping e-learning course to gain competition accreditation. Furthermore, interactive booths have been set up in the athletes’ hotels, the AQUA Market, and the athletes' lounge, allowing athletes opportunities to engage in important anti-doping education.  

Image Source: Anti-doping laboratory at a major championship (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

During Doha 2024, the AQIU has collected a total of 850 testing samples from athletes, which included 500 urine and 350 blood samples. 300 of those samples will be kept for long-term storage and re-analysis at a later stage. Re-analysis provides an additional layer of doping deterrence and widens the detection scope of possible rule violations.