Sri Sri, Norwegian PM Deliver Keynote Address At Conference On Anti-Doping In Sports In Oslo

New Delhi, 27th June 2018: In the light of the global doping menace that has shaken up the world of sports, this year’s annual global conference on Ethics in Sports Summit witnessed passionate discussions, analyses and exchange of valuable ideas in the context of pushing for anti-doping policy actions.

Organized by World Forum for Ethics in Business (WFEB), Anti-Doping Norway and FairSport, the conference, themed ‘Clean Sport = Fair Outcome?’, addressed key aspects of anti-doping, right from ongoing investigations to deeper probe into fairness and justice for players, having policies favoring clean athletes and behavioral modification, with an objective to provide a substantial agenda for action, as part of the ongoing anti-doping reforms and policy framework.

With the ongoing Football World Cup in Russia and previously held Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, the time was rife for a brainstorming on ethics and anti-doping among over 250 delegates from around the world.  

The key speakers included founder of World Forum For Ethics in Business and the Art of Living Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Vice-President of World Anti-Doping AgencyLinda Hofstad Helleland, Prof Richard McLaren,Senior Professor of Law, known widely for his investigation in Russia’s state sponsored doping program, Günter Younger, Director of intelligence and investigations, WADA, Clayton Cosgrove, Hon. Former New Zealand Minister of Sport, Dagmar Freitag, Hon. Member of German Parliament, and Travis Tygart, CEO, Anti-Doping Agency, USA, among the 22 other eminent speakers. 

In his keynote address Gurudev spoke about the importance of having a right mindset for ethics to flourish in sports, rather than imposing rules of ethics on sportsmen, so that they act ethically even when nobody is watching. "It's not just about following rules, but life and sports is an expression of joy," Gurudev said, "It's not about finding joy when you win or not being happy when you lose. The very act, the very process, the moment you started kicking the first ball, you are enjoying already and people are enjoying it. That's the spirit of sports with which it originally began with."

Gurudev further explained why unethical practices like match fixing and doping proliferate in sports, "We are taking sports too seriously. Today, sports are being played like wars and wars are being played as games. This needs to be reversed and it is only possible with ethics in its place. Ethics are not just following rules but supporting the spirit of both the players and the audience." He also cautioned about the excessive commercialization of sports. "Unfortunately in the past few decades, commerce has been attached in a big way with the sports. Commerce is a part of sports, but it should be like a frame of a picture. If a picture's frame eats the picture, then there is something seriously wrong," Gurudev said.  

‘How did sport end up in a doping chaos? Do we do enough for athletes to compete fairly? How can we strengthen the structure and framework of anti-doping work? Is ethics in sports more than just following the rules?’ were some of the topics deliberated upon in the conference. 

This multi-stakeholder conference also celebrated role models in the field of ethics and fair play in sports. 

Gurudev also addressed Indian diaspora at a reception hosted in Norwegian Parliament in his honour.

For the past 15 years, the WFEB has convened globally and since 2006 annually at the European Parliament in Brussels to advocate and act towards ethics and good governance. The Anti-Doping in Sports conference is a continuation of WFEB’s conference series on ‘ethics in sports’. Earlier editions were held at the FIFA headquarters (2014, 2016) and at the stadium of Germany’s soccer club Union Berlin (2015).

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