The anti-doping framework agreement between CONI and NAS has been presented today in the Hall of Honor. The press conference was attended by the President of CONI, Giovanni Malagò, the Commanding General of the Carabinieri, Tullio Del Sette, the Commanding General of NAS, Cosimo Piccinno, and the Undersecretary to the President of the Council of Ministers with responsibility for Sports, Graziano Delrio. The Secretary General of CONI, Roberto Fabbricini, and the Deputy Secretary General, Carlo Mornati, were also present. The Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin, who was absent for personal reasons, sent a message of support for the initiative: "the institutions are unconditionally committed to provide a response that is adequate to the size and the complexity of the phenomenon, and this agreement precisely represents that effective, decisive response".
Undersecretary Delrio expressed the satisfaction of the Government towards the agreement. "I am happy to be here, because this is an initiative of the utmost importance: it is an important step to promote transparency and legality, in a direction that has always been supported by the government. Clean sport is also educative sport: we were already a centre of excellence, and with this agreement, we are even better. The CONI has made great strides in fighting doping. The introduction of this new, independent figure gives strength to the project and ensures an autonomy that was missing before this significant change of pace".
The Commanding General of the Carabinieri, Tullio Del Sette, broadened the concept: "This is an important goal in terms of transparency in sports. The NAS, the Department for the protection of health, is an international centre of excellence. The fact that they have been chosen as a guarantee structure in the fight against doping inspires us to move forward in implementing human and professional resources to pursue this path. The NAS, along with the anti-doping section of CONI, will work to prevent and suppress malfeasance, not only in competitive sport but also at amateur level. We will carry out checks as part of a comprehensive monitoring, in compliance with the WADA standards".
The President, Malagò, thanked the Carabinieri and the NAS for their fruitful work which led to the reaching of this agreement: "I mentioned a turning point, even if someone thought of it as mere window dressing or the saving of a system that – again, according to some – needed to be dismantled. Transparency, commitment and credibility are the main themes of every initiative carried out by CONI in the fight against doping. We do not need proclamations, tricks or shortcuts. We want results for the good of sports, and we want to reach them through professionalism and competence. The NAS is an inspiration both in Italy and around the world. This agreement is the first step for operational cooperation. Our idea to involve NAS was born from the existing situation, which is certainly not devoid of problems, and from the need to improve the anti-doping system, making it "free" from any perceived influence, even theoretically, of CONI. The term of this agreement, which the relevant Ministries already share, will coincide with the Olympic mandate and will greatly improve the fight against doping. Therefore, one of the key objectives is the transition to a substantial autonomy of Italian NADO, free from any form of conditioning".
The Commanding General of the NAS, Cosimo Piccinno, stated: "With the signing of this agreement the Corp of the Carabinieri assumes the role of institutional partner, embarking on a complex and delicate journey aimed at creating a more independent NADO structure inside the CONI, built on models accredited by WADA in a context of mutual, loyal and proactive cooperation. The reorganization will allow for targeted doping controls, with the direct involvement of previously trained NAS military personnel, by analogy with the meritorious activities brought out together with the Doping Supervisory Commission of the Ministry of Health, in order to substantially increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a struggle to counter the illicit use of banned substances and prohibited practices, and to improve the health of the athletes and the ethics of sports." The President then proceeded to specify that the agreements between CONI and NAS will be made active within 90 days through the relative implementation procedures.