WADA to stage first global athlete forum in June at Calgary

Montreal (AFP) - More than 150 athlete leaders will gather June 3-4 at Calgary for the first Global Athlete Forum to discuss key developments in combating doping, the World Anti-Doping Agency announced Wednesday.

The event will allow world leaders and anti-doping experts to address issues in the fight against doping, including athlete rights as the battle continues to maintain a level playing field free of dope cheats.

Among the initiatives will be development of an Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights that includes measures to protect clean athletes with an eye to including it in the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code.

"I am grateful to the Canadian Olympic Committee for offering to host the forum," said Canadian retired cross country skier Beckie Scott, chair of WADA's athlete committee and an International Olympic Committee athletes commission member.

She said she was excited "by this opportunity to bring together athletes of the world to discuss one of, if not the, most important issues in sport".

"Athletes are at the heart of sport and doping continues to be an issue that adversely impacts the pursuit of their ambitions. Protecting the rights of clean athletes is the WADA Athlete Committee's highest priority," she added.

The event follows an ethical sport symposium last November where similar anti-doping discussions were conducted.