iNADO held its eighth AGM ©iNADO

The Institute of Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) has welcomed three new nations to its ranks over the past year in a further push for clean sport.

Greece, Moldova and Nicaragua, as well as 14 regional anti-doping organisations, will now be affiliated with iNADO, as reported during its eighth Annual General Meeting (AGM).

A total of 66 national members were in attendance for the virtual AGM.

During his keynote speech, former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) director general David Howman spoke about the significance of fully-independent anti-doping operations.

Howman has been the chair of the Athletics Integrity Unit for more than three years and further explained what steps the body has taken in recent years to improve the integrity of the sport, which has been plagued by doping for decades.

Speaking to the 80 members in total, iNADO chair Michael Ask, who is also the chief executive of Anti-Doping Denmark, praised the work of national anti-doping organisations (NADOs) and regional anti-doping organisations (RADOs) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has meant many barriers to anti-doping work have been in place due to social and travel restrictions caused by the virus.

AIU chair David Howman gave his keynote speech at the iNADO AGM ©Getty Images
AIU chair David Howman gave his keynote speech at the iNADO AGM ©Getty Images

"It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year for the world at large, and that includes international sport, with a large volume of sporting competition frozen this year," said Ask.

"However, what has become clearer from our virtual AGM, is that the resolve and efforts of iNADO and its members are stronger than ever to achieve our common objectives.

"After our meeting, I have been buoyed by the positive spirit and the desire of our members to make the anti-doping system better.

"I am optimistic about our NADO and RADO community as we enter this next phase for anti-doping with the introduction of the new [WADA] Code from January."

The AGM consisted of a number of practical sessions covering anti-doping education, while iNADO also presented a report on its activities and financial situation.

Chief executive Jorge Leyva highlighted the position iNADO has taken with WADA, where they are pushing for more reform of the global body.

Leyva had previously called for greater independence and athletes' representation at WADA.

One of the practical lessons was in dried blood spot testing and run by chair of NADA Germany Andrea Gotzmann, as well as Aurelien Thomas and Raphael Faiss.

Susan Backhouse and Laurie Patterson from Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom presented a new method that can be used by anti-doping organisations to evaluate the effectiveness of their anti-doping programmes.

This will be necessary for nations due to the upcoming 2021 WADA Code, which takes effect on January 1.