Europol and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding strengthening their commitment to fight against the menace of doping. A statement by Europol stated: “Today, 18 February 2021, Europol and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sign a Memorandum of Understanding to reinforce the cooperation in the fight against the illegal production and distribution of doping substances and their use for the manipulation of sports competitions.
On the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Europol’s Executive Director Catherine De Bolle said: ‘To scale up the global fight against the production and trafficking of doping substances and its use to corrupt fair sports competitions, Europol is strengthening its cooperation with the major player in the fight against doping in sports worldwide. The new agreement will focus on exchanging knowledge and expertise, capacity building, and further collaboration between Europol and the World Anti-Doping Agency.’
WADA President Witold Bańka, who signed the MOU on behalf of WADA, said: “Intelligence and investigations has been an area in which WADA has made great progress since gaining the authority to conduct investigations under the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code. As demonstrated by recent high-profile cases, such as those involving the International Biathlon Union, Operation Aderlass, the International Weightlifting Federation and the Europol-coordinated Operation VIRIBUS, the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies and anti-doping organizations can be crucial in exposing wrong-doing that would not have been detected through testing or other analytical methods.
Law enforcement and other government agencies possess the power to attack the source and supply of illegal substances, which sport does not have, as well as the power to search and detain those suspected of crimes. Equally, WADA receives information and develops expertise that can be useful to the police in their criminal investigations. Through partnerships such as this one, we are ensuring that cooperation between these two groups continues to strengthen for the good of clean sport. WADA is very grateful to the European Union for its ongoing enthusiasm and willingness to join forces with WADA in this way.”