Dear Member of Parliament,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear Professor Ljungqvist!
I would like to thank Karolinska Institutet for this important initiative.
As one of the world’s foremost universities of medicine, with a long tradition of research in the area of doping, Karolinska Institutet represents a very appropriate home for a professorship in Anti-Doping and Public Health.
Sweden was the first country to sign UNESCO’s Anti-Doping Convention, as well as one of the first countries in the world to criminalize possession of doping substances.
Through the establishment of the Professor Arne Ljungqvist’s Professorship, Sweden is once again provided with the opportunity to take an active and leading position in Anti-Doping and public health at the Karolinska Institutet.
Through persistent efforts, and not least thanks to the work by Professor Arne Ljungqvist, the goal of having clean and fair sports has largely been reached.
Unfortunately, doping has become a bigger problem within public health which needs to be dealt with. Of special concern is the use of doping substances among younger people, leading to the risk of long-term physical and mental damage. The fact that doping substance abuse has been linked to domestic violence is worrying.
There is a need for more knowledge about doping in society, especially the reasons for use and how abuse can be prevented and treated. Such knowledge is found through research in areas including sociology, psychology, medicine, and substance abuse, among others. There is also a need for education targeting schools, health care and social services.
And now, I would like to say a few words directly to Professor Ljungqvist. Dear Arne:
First of all, please accept my belated, but warm, congratulations on your 90th birthday!
For nearly half a century, you have been a world-leading figure in the fight against doping within sport. Not least as a co-founder of WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency.
His Majesty the King I have had the pleasure of meeting you on many occasions and through the years, we have often been impressed by your great knowledge, your level of commitment and your ability to raise awareness on this important issue.
I find the naming of Professor Arne Ljungqvist professorship in anti-doping and public health at Karolinska Institutet highly suitable, and with this message, I am pleased to inaugurate today’s webinar.