ENCINITAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of a world tour to launch the new anti-doping initiative, PureSport, seven significant personalities from the sports community joined together in New York City on Wednesday to discuss and debate the issues facing sport over the past 25 years, what lies ahead and how to promote change.
“We’re nearing the halfway point of our worldwide tour and I am energized by the discussions we are continuing to have with people who adamantly believe in the true spirit of competition, and understand we have to act now to preserve that.”
The panellists, who engaged in an honest and compelling discussion about the pervasive problem of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sports worldwide, included:
- Moderator: Darren Heitner – Contributor to Forbes, attorney at Wolfe Law Miami, P.A. and adjunct professor at the Indiana University Bloomington
- Ben Johnson – Former Canadian sprinter and Olympian
- Jaimie Fuller – Chairman of sportswear company, SKINS, and founder of Pure Sport
- Jose Canseco – Former MLB player who admitted to doping during his career
- Troy Ellerman – Defense attorney in the BALCO steroids case
- Stan Teitelbaum Ph.D. – Clinical psychologist and author of three books: "Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols," "Athletes Who Indulge Their Dark Side" and "Illusion and Disillusionment"
- Anna Tunnicliffe – Olympic gold medallist sailor and professional CrossFit athlete
The roundtable served as to kick off the U.S. leg of a worldwide tour to launch #ChooseTheRightTrack, the first activity under the PureSport banner that has been established to celebrate sporting achievement and challenge any activity which brings international sport into disrepute. The initiative is spearheaded by Ben Johnson, the sprinter who infamously won a gold medal for the 100m at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 before his disqualification for failing a routine drug test.
Topics discussed during the roundtable included the importance of reaching young athletes who are the future of sport, as well as how to demand change from the top governing bodies of sport worldwide. At the end of the roundtable, the group asked the public to sign a petition demanding action to improve the waning credibility of world sport. The petition, which can be found at www.ChooseTheRightTrack.com, will be delivered to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) at the conclusion of the tour in Seoul.
“We felt it was important to bring together this calibre of expertise and varied perspectives to not only encourage honest conversations about doping in sport, but to start working together towards change for future generations,” said Jaimie Fuller, Chairman of SKINS and founder of PureSport. “We’re nearing the halfway point of our worldwide tour and I am energized by the discussions we are continuing to have with people who adamantly believe in the true spirit of competition, and understand we have to act now to preserve that.”
At the conclusion of the tour, the campaign will propose a series of necessary changes to radically improve the anti-doping system Johnson violated 25 years ago, and that athletes are still breaching today. As the panel discussion further solidified, in a quarter of a century, little has changed in the fight to eradicate doping from sport. PureSport hopes to secure adequate funding and independence for WADA to effectively enforce its code, create an Athlete’s Support Council (ASC), educate and offer whistle-blowing services to athletes and finally, construct a Truth & Reconciliation type process to allow certain sports to break the doping culture chain.
The worldwide tour will incorporate stops in the UK, Canada, US, Australia and Japan before culminating in a visit to the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Sept. 24. The date marks the 25th anniversary of the notorious race in which Ben blazed ahead of a world-class field, including Carl Lewis and Linford Christie, with an unheard-of 9.79 second finish time.
For more information on PureSport and to sign the petition, visit the initiative online at www.ChooseTheRightTrack.com. For information or footage from the roundtable, please contact Allison Showalter (919.277.1158, firstname.lastname@example.org).
PureSport is an organization committed to fighting for and protecting the sport we love. PureSport stands for all that is good and fights against all that is bad. We believe in the love of the game over the love of fame. We believe in always playing hard but fair. We believe that passion should never be confused with anger. We believe that a level playing field means every athlete is clean and driven by desire not drugs. We believe that discrimination and corruption have no place in any team or arena. We believe in celebrating sportsmanship and true champions.
PureSport is competition played with intensity, flair, creativity and sportsmanship. PureSport is competition free of gamesmanship, corruption and cheating in any form.
For as long as we exist, we will fight for the true spirit of competition. We will always believe in PureSport.