The agreement on mutual cooperation between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Kontinental Hockey League was signed in Vancouver on February 25, 2010. In accordance with this agreement the KHL will follow the rules set by the Agency, and WADA will implement the monitoring of the League in accordance with the World Anti-doping Code. The KHL is the first professional sporting league in the world to adopt the rules stipulated in the World Anti-doping Code.
"WADA is heartened by the willingness of the KHL to implement a rigorous anti-doping program in line with the rules of the Code,” said WADA President John Fahey. “This sets an example for other major professional leagues that have not yet implemented Code-compliant anti-doping programs to follow.”
The Kontinental Hockey League has already formulated and developed its own anti-doping programme, Clear Ice, which has been promoting drug-free sport among professional and junior hockey players.
After the signing of the WADA agreement (ratified on behalf of the agency by Oliver Niggly, WADA legal services director, and Rune Andersen, director of standards and harmonisation) the KHL president Aleksandr Medvedev, in an interview with a khl.ru special correspondent, explained the reasons behind this new partnership.
- Will WADA now be in charge of doping control in Russian hockey?
- No, the procedures differ slightly. Our task is to ensure our anti-doping standards are compatible with WADA. Our declaration of collaboration with WADA is not merely confident statements. We can make those only when the specialised working party from the worldwide agency verifies that our standards correspond fully with theirs. Then we will be genuinely working to standards set down by WADA, and not just those of RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) which has been the case until now. This will move us up to the highest level in world anti-doping control. Moreover, this is about more than controls, it is about advancing the consensus that the sport of hockey must be free of narcotics, doping and anabolic steroids. WADA supports our stance not only at KHL level, but also in the junior hockey league, and in the league which will soon replace the current premier league.
- What kind of timeframe is in the agreement?
- It is an open-ended agreement.
Pavel Strizhevsky, khl.ru