PtG Article 27.10.2016

NADOs reaffirm their call to separate sport from anti-doping functions

Anti-doping leaders call for reforms securing stronger independence between the anti-doping work and the sports organisations.

Following up on reform proposals from a previous meeting, leaders from 17 National Anti-Doping Organisations and the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) met in Bonn, Germany to discuss reforms of the anti-doping work.

One of the key messages after the meeting was that NADO leaders hope that the anti-doping reform work will entail a much stronger independence between the anti-doping work and the sports organisations.

Although the NADOs find good reason for anti-doping and sports organisations cooperating on certain areas, e.g. education and intelligence sharing, the NADOs call for the separation of the investigatory, testing and result management functions from the sports organisations. According to a press release sent out by the German anti-doping agency, the host of the meeting, this independence is “paramount” to avoid the conflict of interest arising from sports organisations holding policing and promoting tasks simultaneously.

The recent WADA think tank and the IOC Summit on the anti-doping reforms were also addressed by the NADO leaders, some of whom found “some of these developments” encouraging. There was, however, “unanimous recognition of the need for a strong voice independent of those processes to ensure that athletes' rights are being fully protected,” the NADO leaders say in the press release and call for meetings with the WADA Executive Committee as well as the IOC president Thomas Bach to discuss the reform work.

"Athletes want to compete clean and win," said the leaders in a joint statement, according to the press release. "We must restore confidence that anti-doping efforts truly protect the rights of clean athletes, as well as the public's desire for a fair and level playing field. All of the reforms agreed upon today, especially ensuring sport interests do not influence the global regulator - WADA - will help to better protect the rights of clean athletes and uphold a level playing field."

The anti-doping organisations further want the international community to strengthen their commitment to the ongoing McLaren investigation into doping practices in Russia and to publically acknowledge the findings of the investigations, which detailed “an unprecedented level of corruption”, the press release says.

The NADO leaders also called for the protection and encouragement of whistleblowers and for “clear code sanctions” to be adopted as soon as possible.

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