(Ottawa, Ontario - April 2, 2012) The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, an internationally recognized leader in the fight against doping in sport, will celebrate its 20th anniversary tonight in a landmark event. Twenty years ago, Canada established a new, independent anti-doping organization, and today the Centre extends its thanks to the dedicated members of the sport community for their active involvement in helping to shape what it has become.
A modest celebration in the national capital region will honour three important contributors to Canadian and international successes in the field. Dr. Christiane Ayotte, director of the doping control laboratory at the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory in Montreal, is known for her groundbreaking work in the detection of doping substances. Mr. Victor Lachance, the first CEO of the organization and a key leader in the evolution of anti-doping in Canada and around the world, continues to advocate for the important role of sport in Canada. Dr. Andrew Pipe, Chair of the Board for 12 years and a leading sport medicine physician, led the Centre through its evolution into a guardian and advocate for ethical sport in all its forms.
"It's a testament to the value of our work that each of our three honourees have been with us through our entire existence," said Dr. Louise Walker, Chair of the Board of Directors. "Our vision of Canadian sport that is fair, safe and open inspires our partners and employees, and helps to mobilize all Canadians in support of this important outcome."
It all began with the Commission of Inquiry Into the Use of Drugs and Banned Practices Intended to Increase Athletic Performance. The inquiry, conducted by Ontario Appeal Court Chief Justice Charles Dubin, revealed shocking details about the extent of the doping problem and spurred the creation of the Canadian Anti-Doping Organization, an organization independent from government and sport with a mandate to ensure doping-free sport in Canada. The following year, the organization was renamed the Canadian Centre for Drug-Free Sport, then in 1995 it merged with Fair Play Canada to become the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
"A lot has changed over the past two decades, but the Centre's dedication to providing the Canadian sport community with quality services has remained the same since day one," said Paul Melia, President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. "We take pride in our many achievements. Our support led to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games being the cleanest in recent history. We were one of the first anti-doping organizations to receive and maintain ISO certification. And our comprehensive approach to unethical sport, including striking at the root causes, is being emulated around the world."
Over 20 years of serving the Canadian sport system, the Centre has established the Canadian Anti-Doping Program as a model for anti-doping programs globally, and supported the role of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Equally important, the Centre is a proud leader in the True Sport Movement, which aims to see values-based and principle-driven sport become the norm for all Canadian communities.