Wada: Anti-doping agencies call for urgent reform after Russia reinstatement

Cycling
World Anti-Doping Agency president Sir Craig Reedie

The World Anti-Doping Agency needs urgent reform following its reinstatement of Russia, says a group of leading national anti-doping bodies.

In September Wada lifted a three-year ban on Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada) that had been imposed for state-sponsored doping.

Many athletes opposed lifting the ban.

The leaders of 18 anti-doping agencies, including UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead, held an emergency summit in Paris on Monday.

“Wada will rise once again, but only if it starts to listen to global athlete community concerns,” said the group in a statement.

They added that they stood “shoulder to shoulder” with athletes and would work alongside them to “strive to transform Wada” and ensure it “makes decisions in the interests of clean sport”.

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said Russia’s reinstatement was “subject to strict conditions” and that the anti-doping authority must be given access to former Moscow laboratory data and samples.

The group reiterated their opposition to Russia’s reinstatement and called on Wada to “run an open, transparent and clear process” in securing the anti-doping samples from the Moscow laboratory by the 31 December deadline.

A Wada governance group last week made several recommendations for reform, including a move to an independent president and vice-president with no links to the sports movement or governments.

However, the 18 national anti-doping bodies said: “Wada’s limited proposals for governance reform fall far short of what the world’s athletes and other champions of clean sport have been calling for these past two years, and there should be a rethink.”

The group endorsed a series of reforms it put forward in 2016 following the McLaren report into Russian state-sponsored doping, and also those proposed by British Paralympic medallist Ali Jawad, which include overhauling Wada’s 15-person executive committee.

The anti-doping leaders also called for Wada to commission a “full and thorough independent investigation” into allegations of bullying within the organisation.

It follows claims by Wada Athlete Committee chair Beckie Scott made to BBC Sport that some of the organisation’s most senior officials tried to “bully” her over her opposition to Russia’s reinstatement.

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