09 Apr 2020

Today, Thursday 9th April, is a day dedicated to clean sport with the intention to raise awareness among athletes, the sporting public and beyond.

The initiative began in 2014 on the basis of an idea formed at an Educational Conference in Latin America to share the efforts of the countries in the region in the fight against doping; from this regional initiative, a global movement grew the next year.

by Ramon Ortega Montes, ITTF Head of Education

Now the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the anti-doping community celebrate “Play True Day” reaching over six million people worldwide.

For many years now, WADA has been working to keep the sport community “Clean in Sport”. At the World Conference on Doping in Sport, held in Katowicze from Tuesday 5th to Saturday 7th November 2019, the World Antidoping Code was passed. It will come into full effect in 2021 and will replace the first code, which was adopted in 2003 and has been in effect since 2004.

The Code is the fundamental and universal document upon which the World Anti-Doping Programme in sport is based.

Code purposes

Purposes of the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Programme are:

  • To protect the athletes’ fundamental right to participate in doping-free sport and thus promote health, fairness and equality for athletes worldwide.
  • To ensure harmonised, co-ordinated and effective anti-doping programmes at the international and national level with regard to the prevention of doping, including education, deterrence, detection and enforcement to adjudicate and sanction those found to have committed and antidoping rule violation.

Having a Rule of Law to ensure that all relevant stakeholders have agreed to submit to the Code and the International Standards.

International standards

Along with the code, a number of international standards were passed, focusing on


In the fight against doping, education and prevention are vital; as such, WADA is aiming to help preserve the spirit of sport, foster a clean sport environment and support athletes who wish to compete in clean events.

All signatories shall develop and deliver an Education Programme with Values based Education, Awareness Raising, Information Provision and Antidoping Education.

Anti-Doping Education looks for supporting the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of effective education programmes, for providing definitions of terminology in the education field and providing clarity on roles and responsibilities for all signatories, helping them to maximise the use of their resources.

Any Education Programme should follow the standards approved and the Education Plan, a full action plan aiming to reach every single athlete, their coaches and entourage through education.

It should be based on an assessment of the current situation in relation to the existing knowledge of those involved, being directed to a target audience. Topics to be addressed are anti-doping; their processes, as well as the disadvantages of using forbidden substances. Additionally the establishment of an Education Pool (the group of people and profiles that may be reached with the educational programmes), is required, setting clear objectives and related activities, outlining monitoring procedures with timelines.

Any Education Programme will need to have reporting and evaluating methods and foster continuous improvement, with an annual evaluation of the programme.

The first experience an athlete has with Anti-Doping measures has to be through education rather than Doping Control. As part of this effort, there should be Education in Major Events Organisations.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World” Nelson Mandela

On-line tools

WADA has many on-line tools accessible in order to foster an education in Anti-Doping measures.

Recommendations to kick off your learning with:

  • For Athletes: Alpha. The programme gives athletes information about the dangers of doping and the importance of anti-doping controls and promotes positive attitudes to avoiding doping.
  • For Coaches: Coach True. The programme provides anti-doping education for coaches of elite and recreational-level athletes.
  • For Parents: Parents’ Guide. The programme is an anti-doping reference guide/booklet for parents seeking more information to ensure healthy athletic development and prevent the use of prohibited substances
  • For Sport Physicians: Sport Physician’s Tool Kit. The programme allows physicians and other medical personnel to go to educational programs and tools that can be adapted and customized to suit local cultures, conditions and resources.
  • For Administrators:  ADO Kickstart. The programme is a reference tool that supports administrators in delivering their core anti-doping duties on a daily basis.
  • For anyone: Play True Challenge.  Online game that challenges youth decision-making skills regarding doping in sport.
  • Dangers of Doping: Leaflet. Simple reference guide outlines the health consequences of using doping substances.
  • Different Antidoping: Leaflets Different leaflets related to Anti-Doping topics.
  • Doping Control Process: How is it. Video outlining the doping control process.
    Play true quiz: How is it. A quiz to promote basic knowledge of Anti-Doping measures among youth athletes.
  • Education & Prevention WADA page: Page. Contains tools and guides in relation to Anti-Doping Education and Prevention.
More important than ever

In 2020 for Play True Day, it is more important than ever to play it safe. Take the opportunity that having time at home gives you to familiarise yourself with the topics and concepts. It is an ideal opportunity to further your education and help in the fight against Doping!

If you want to share what you are doing this year to curb the spread of the virus, go to our Facebook page @ITTFHPD and show us how you promote public health by expressing the reasons why you Play Safe on Play True Day 2020.

Options of branding visuals for anyone to brand their own Play Safe on Play True Day 2020 photos and videos. Links to:https://www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do/play-true-day

The world conference stand in 2019 in Poland (Photo: courtesy of Ramon Ortega Montes)


High Performance and Development Coaching Athletes Administration WADA