ZURICH – The International Ice Hockey Federation along with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have developed a new anti-doping education campaign.
The campaign is targeted for players under the age of 20 when they are most likely to encounter illegal or performance enhancing substances for the first time.
The logo of the campaign is a green puck, with various mottos using the tagline ‘Say NO!’ that encourage players to refuse performance enhancing or illegal substances. The launch of the campaign will coincide with start of the upcoming World Championship in Germany. In three games on May 7, 8 and 9, the official green pucks will be used during warm-ups.
"I am proud of our efforts in doping education and prevention, this campaign is yet another way that the IIHF is setting the tone in this important area,” said IIHF President René Fasel. “The IIHF was one of the first international federations to be WADA Code compliant. Although doping is a rarity in international ice hockey, we realize that we are not immune to people who want to cheat by taking banned substances. This is why the IIHF, together with WADA, has launched the Green Puck campaign. Our main goal is to create awareness about the risks of doping."
The Germany – United States game in Gelsenkirchen, which will be played in front of more than 70,000 fans is one game that will feature a green-puck warm-up. Finland vs. Denmark and Switzerland vs. Latvia are the other two games to utilize the green pucks.
During the first weekend of the World Championship, there will be an information booth for the spectators in all three venues in Gelsenkirchen, Cologne and Mannheim. When fans visit the booth they can get both educational material and their own green puck souvenir.
"Having a common, easily recognizable message and symbol of clean sport is a good way to unite athletes worldwide in the fight against doping in sport," said WADA President John Fahey. "The Say NO! to Doping Campaign will provide sports with a platform for building a global community of athletes that show pride in playing clean. The World Championship is a perfect opportunity to launch this Campaign since the initiative was born out of a strong collaboration between the IIHF and WADA. I am very pleased with this collaboration and I look forward to the implementation of such campaigns by more WADA stakeholders."
Since January 1, 2009, and the release of the current WADA Code, it has been compulsory for all anti-doping organizations, like International Sport Federations, to have an anti-doping education program. The Green Puck Program will provide the tools for the IIHF and all its member National Associations to fulfill this requirement.
The campaign will expand its scope further in the future, with a video that includes several prominent hockey figures passing along the Say NO! message, and an information session at the IIHF’s Annual Congress for all member nations.
The IIHF is the first international sports federation to adopt this campaign and has been a front runner in the fight against doping.Click here for the Green Puck leaflet.