Beckie Scott stated that athletes are asking for their rights with respect to clean, fair sport to be recognised and protected ©WADA

A proposal to create a Charter of Athlete Rights and Responsibilities has been backed by the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Athlete Committee in Lausanne.

The idea was floated in a workshop in the Olympic Capital during WADA’s Annual Symposium, which drew to a close yesterday.

Around 25 WADA Athlete Committee members and International Federation (IF) Athlete Committee chairs were represented at the workshop.

WADA said that nearly 200 other anti-doping experts were present, from IFs, National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), Regional Anti-Doping Organisations (RADOs), major Games organisers, National Olympic Committees, WADA-accredited laboratories and Governments.

Led by WADA Athlete Committee chair Beckie Scott and fellow members Ben Sandford and Vicki Aggar, the Charter was proposed at the workshop, which was titled Engaging Athletes in the Anti-Doping Process.

"We want the Charter to be concrete and aspirational," said Sandford, who added that there is no single document which outlines the rights and responsibilities of athletes in regards to doping.

“Ultimately, the Committee would like athletes to sign on to this Charter and that it be ratified by anti-doping organisations worldwide."

The workshop took place during the WADA Symposium in Lausanne ©Getty Images
The workshop took place during the WADA Symposium in Lausanne ©Getty Images

Participants suggested the right to compete on a level playing field and the right to access education, privacy protection and legal representation be included on the Charter.

The Committee also proposed a separate call to action, asking their fellow athletes what their key concerns were in the anti-doping process.

It was claimed that the priorities included the need for increased education, trust, resourcing and compliance by anti-doping organisations worldwide.

"Athletes are frustrated and are asking that their rights with respect to clean, fair sport be recognised and protected," said Scott.

"I’m very excited by the lively conversation and the positive reaction that we received today.

"It’s a clear endorsement by this representative group that our proposal is critically important; and that, through stakeholder consultation, we can develop a powerful instrument that will address the athletes’ call that their rights be protected."

WADA said the Athlete Committee will now refine the proposal and expand its stakeholder consultation to include other athlete committees and anti-doping stakeholders worldwide, which would lead to the charter being ratified.