The world’s governments have made their choice! Minister Witold Bańka is all the continents’ single candidate for WADA presidency
No representative of Poland has yet held such a high position in the world of sport.
On 14 May 2019 in Montreal, at the special meeting of the Public Authorities’ representatives in WADA, a vote was held to nominate the candidate for the presidency of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The vote was won by Minister Witold Bańka. His main opponent was Marcos Diaz, Deputy Minister of Sport of the Dominican Republic and former member of the WADA Foundation Board. The new head of the organization will take over the office on 1 January 2020.
Minister Witold Bańka will be formally confirmed as WADA President at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in November 2019 in Katowice. On that occasion, the city expects to be visited by about 2,000 representatives of all the communities that take part in the fight against doping in sport around the globe. During the conference, amendments to the World Anti-Doping Code will also be approved. The event in Poland will be the fifth edition of the periodic conference. The previous editions were held in Lausanne, Copenhagen, Madrid and Johannesburg.
Witold Bańka has been the Minister of Sport and Tourism since 2015. In May 2017, he was elected Europe’s representative in the Executive Committee of WADA. On 30 January 2019 in Strasbourg the member states of the Council of Europe elected him as their candidate for the presidency of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The key points of Minister Witold Bańka’s programme include:
- the development of a strong network of National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) financed, inter alia, by the Anti-Doping Solidarity Fund,
- athletes’ increased engagement in the fight against doping in sport,
- a new approach to the operation of WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratories, e.g. through a gradual increase of their number,
- ensuring close cooperation between the governments, sport movement, NADOs and all stakeholders.
WADA’s presidency rotates between governments and the sport movement. The current head of WADA, Sir Craig Reedie, represents the sport movement. Therefore, the next person to lead the organization represents the government structures.
The World Anti-Doping Organization (WADA) is the world’s main organization against doping in sport. It was established in 1999 on the joint initiative of the International Olympic Committee and public authorities from around the world, who signed a declaration on establishing the Agency. WADA’s task is to set and monitor standards for combating doping. The Agency’s flagship project is the World Anti-Doping Code and its supporting documents - international standards that jointly serve to harmonize activities in the fight against doping.