BLOG entry by Drug Free Sport NZ CEO Graeme Steel
2016 saw the most cynical form of systematic doping ever conceived laid bare through committed and expert investigations. However, the year also revealed some critical flaws in the way anti-doping work is structured.
DFSNZ has joined with many of its peers in calling for fundamental changes in the structure including:
• WADA governance which is independent of competing sporting interests
• WADA being given the resources and freedom to effectively monitor code compliance and sanction (proportionately) those who continually or grossly fail
• International Federations being relieved of the responsibility of operating anti-doping programmes although retaining the responsibility to fund the work and educate athletes.
Debates around those issues have opened up some clear divisions between the perspectives of the sport movement (IOC) and Governments. Most notably, Governments have firmly resisted the notion that WADA should operate anti-doping programmes on the basis that you cannot be a; regulator, operator and monitor of the same programme.
It is time for organisations to put “clean sport” first and create and fund a revised system that has the best chance of succeeding.
It is imperative that greater independence be brought to all elements of anti-doping work and that the sport movement (in particular) ensures that the commitment it articulates is backed by a preparedness to provide adequate funds.