Anti-Doping Leaders call for no compromise on Russia roadmap and the elimination of conflicts of interest in sport

Sport Ireland was among the 17 leading National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), and iNADO (Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations), which met in London this week to discuss the key threats to clean sport and areas for greater cooperation across the international anti-doping community.

Following the meeting, the group issued the following points:

Russia and the WADA roadmap to compliance

On the eve of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, a country which remains non-Code compliant, the Leaders reiterated their firm position that the WADA roadmap must be enforced in its entirety as a condition of Russia’s reinstatement.

Governance and the removal of conflicts of interest

The Leaders are calling for increased accountability for sports and anti-doping organisations. It is paramount that good governance and compliance with anti-doping conventions and standards are upheld.

In the interest of the rights of clean athletes, future sporting programmes must uphold these principles.

In the aftermath of the Russia doping scandal, a call has been made for an Independent Review of its handling. The Leaders strongly support this call. Further to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) need to consider such a review, the Leaders shall provide their input.

Supporting Clean Athletes

The Leaders think it is crucial that there must be independent athlete representation within WADA decision making bodies, and that the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights be incorporated within the Code.

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, emphasised the need for reform at the highest level: “There is a need to make sure that WADA’s ongoing Governance Review goes beyond simply improving procedures and policies, which are undoubtedly very important and necessary; structural reform is necessary if real change is to happen. It is vital that this review includes a very strong emphasis on the need to ensure that conflicts of interest are removed at WADA board level where critical decisions are made in the implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code.”

Sport Ireland Director of Participation & Ethics, Dr Una May, also attended the meeting, she commented: “An independent review of the anti-doping system has been proposed in light of the Russian crisis. The purpose of this is to identify the strengths and the weaknesses that the Russia crisis revealed in the anti-doping system, with the ultimate goal being to strengthen the global fight against doping with a strong and independent WADA leading, working with stakeholders for the protection of all clean athletes. This is an important piece of work which must be undertaken.”

Sport Ireland recognises the importance in the voice of the athlete in the international anti-doping landscape. Irish Olympian Jessie Barr represented Ireland at the WADA Global Athlete Forum, which took place in Alberta, Canada, earlier this month. Commenting on the outcomes of this week’s NADO meeting, Ms. Barr confirmed the athletes support for global reform.

She said: “Athletes are the people who are directly affected by developments in the international doping landscape and the Athlete Forum was a valuable platform for athletes to have their say. The forum highlighted a number of key points, which echo the discussions of the NADO leaders, in particular that corruption, conflict of interest and lack of independence are athletes’ top three concerns related to the anti-doping system. In addition, the forum supported WADA’s decision to ensure that the outstanding items in the RUSADA Roadmap to Compliance are fulfilled before World Anti-Doping Code compliance is declared. The protection of all clean athletes must be at the forefront of any decisions made with regard to doping reform.”

National Anti-Doping Organisations in attendance were: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, UK, and USA.

Notes:

NADO Leaders

The leaders of the world’s leading National Anti-Doping Organisations meet regularly to discuss their operations and key areas of cooperation in the global fight for clean sport. NADOs are independent organisations, who are signatories to the WAD (World Anti-Doping) Code. NADOs are experts in all areas of anti-doping, supporting the rights of clean athletes.

WADA Roadmap

In November 2015, WADA published its Roadmap to Code Compliance, which outlined the reinstatement criteria that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) must fulfil before WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) would recommend, to WADA’s Foundation Board, that they be declared compliant again with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).

The two outstanding actions are: 1. The acceptance of institutionalised doping by political leaders and 2. Permitting access to the Moscow laboratory and providing the data necessary to ensure justice on hundreds of outstanding cases.

Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights

The Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights was an outcome of the WADA 1st Global Athlete Forum 2018, which highlights 16 articles to provide greater protection for athletes on areas including: the right to fair justice, equal testing, and protection of health. More information here.