The ITTF celebrates Play True Day, continuing to pledge its support for upholding clean sport, while promoting a culture of ethical behaviour in the realm of table tennis and beyond.
Play True Day was conceptualised in 2014 by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), with the aim of raising awareness to the global community about clean sport. Through anti-doping measures, it advocates for the health and well-being of athletes and the importance of a level playing field, while promoting fair play and ethical behaviour.
Happening on 14 April, the ITTF will celebrate the day by reinforcing its commitment towards clean sport, investing more in education, focusing this year on the entourage of the players.
The entourage of a player refers to the collective team of individuals and organisations that assist and guide the player both during and outside of their performance on the court. This group can consist of various people such as parents, coaches, agents, doctors, physiotherapists, sponsors, training partners, and other direct associates.
The ITTF views effective education and clean sport values-based education programs as especially important in creating a strong doping-free culture. Educating the entourage helps to prevent unintentional rule-breaking and creates a shared goal of competing fairly and with integrity. This benefits the players, their team, and the sport as a whole.
This was the main topic on the agenda for the ITTF Players’ Entourage Group during a recent meeting in Brussels, Belgium, led by Jean-Michel Saive, table tennis legend and President of the Belgian National Olympic Committee, and ITTF President Petra Sörling, who is currently also part of WADA’s 38-member Foundation Board as a representative of Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).
Said Petra Sörling, “We stand in support of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Play True Day, which celebrates the spirit of sport and raises awareness about the dangers of doping. The ITTF pledges to maintain the highest standards of sports integrity in all its activities and will continue working closely with WADA and the ITA to protect clean sport and clean athletes. We believe that education is paramount in achieving our desired outcome and will continue to invest in it even more. We are proud that table tennis has maintained a reputation as a clean sport, but this does not mean we can become complacent. It is crucial to remain vigilant and continue providing to players, their entourage and our Member Associations the necessary tools.”
Just last year, the ITTF renewed its partnership with the International Testing Agency (ITA), extending the full delegation of its anti-doping activities with them until the end of 2024.
The partnership aims to continue strengthening doping prevention for ITTF athletes and support personnel through the implementation of an educational plan developed by ITA experts in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) International Standard for Education.
Through this partnership renewal, the ITTF also provides its athletes, national member federations and stakeholders access to ITA’s confidential reporting platform REVEAL, allowing anyone from the table tennis community to report anonymously or confidentially any suspicion of doping or anti-doping rule violation.
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s Anti-Doping Education and Learning Platform (ADEL) also offers an array of educational resources and courses to promote clean sport. These tools are designed for athletes, coaches, parents, and anyone else interested in anti-doping practices and are available for reference here.