Minister O’Donovan confirms Irish support for global anti-doping reform

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD, today confirmed the Irish Government’s support for the call for urgent anti-doping reforms in the wake of the second McLaren Report.

The Minister was speaking following a two-day summit of leaders of National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) hosted by Sport Ireland at Farmleigh, where the implications of the recent McLaren Reports on state-sponsored doping and subversion of anti-doping were discussed, and reform proposals previously published by the group were further developed.

Minister O’Donovan said: “The Irish Government is fully supportive of the global anti-doping reforms proposed by the National Anti-Doping Organisations. We are at a critical juncture in the fight against doping in sport, where recent events have shown that such reforms are vital. There is a real need to ensure that the integrity of sport is not brought into such disrepute again.”

Following the meeting, the NADO leaders called for exclusion of all Russian sports organisations at international competition, with a uniform process for athletes to compete as neutrals until substantive progress in reform efforts are made. The leaders also called for the removal of all major international competitions, as well as a moratorium on the awarding of new competitions to Russia.

The leaders also endorsed WADA as the global regulator, offering support for the ongoing reform efforts of the agency. The leaders rejected the concept of a one size fits all, global ‘Independent Testing Authority’ controlled by sport.

Sport Ireland is Ireland’s National Anti-Doping Organisation and Minister O’Donovan welcomed the agency’s involvement with this week’s summit: “I am delighted that through Sport Ireland, Ireland is playing a lead role in the push for global anti-doping reform. Governments also have a significant role to play in the push for reform and need to take responsibility and act together. I met with the NADO leaders this week where I asked each of the representatives to go back to their Minister for Sport and encourage them to take the action necessary so that collectively we can achieve a situation that rewards fair competition in sport.”

The full outcomes of the two-day NADO Leadership Summit can be found here.