NADO Leaders Propose Series of Reforms to Strengthen Global Anti-Doping Efforts
• Extraordinary NADO Summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark
• Leaders seek to remove fundamental conflict of interest that exists when anti-doping decisions are controlled by sport organisations
• Proposal for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to be strengthened through improved independence, transparency and increased investment
• WADA’s authority and capacity to investigate, and impose sanctions and consequences for Code non-compliance should be extended and separated from sport
• Leaders call for increased protection and support for all whistleblowers, including Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, by all relevant organizations, including the IOC and Russia
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (August 30, 2016)
The leaders of 17 National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) came together for a special summit in Copenhagen Denmark this week to discuss reforms that best serve the interests of clean athletes and restore confidence in the integrity of anti-doping decisions in international sport.
“As a dedicated group of NADO leaders from around the world, we recognize we are at a crossroads in the fight for clean sport,” said the leaders in a joint statement. “With the best interests of clean athletes at heart, we have come together to discuss reforms that we believe will better protect them, restore confidence in the global anti-doping effort that has been deeply damaged, and ensure that the disturbing events of recent years are not repeated.”
Over the course of the two-day summit hosted by Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD), the NADO leaders discussed some of the most pressing issues facing the current anti-doping landscape, including debate over how best to improve the effectiveness of NADOs, the inappropriate involvement of sport leaders in critical anti-doping decisions and activities, the need for a strengthened WADA capable of ensuring a level playing field in countries with failing anti-doping structures, and long overdue reforms to ensure the current and future protection and support of whistleblowers – including that of Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov.
Recognizing WADA’s efforts and progress since its inception in 1999, NADO leaders made substantive recommendations meant to improve and strengthen WADA’s capabilities, including improved systems for Code compliance, the adoption of clear sanctions for large-scale subversions of the anti-doping system (e.g. state-supported doping in Russia) and increased capacity for WADA to investigate and impose proportionate sanctions for Code non-compliance.
The NADO group also proposed wide-ranging governance reforms for all anti-doping organizations, including WADA, in an attempt to better promote independence from sport. These reforms include a proposal that no decision-maker within an anti-doping organization should hold a policy-making position within a sport or event organizer. While there was recognition of the value in maintaining close collaboration with sport – especially in regard to anti-doping education, funding and intelligence sharing – the leaders brought forth an important proposal to separate investigatory, testing and results management functions from sports organisations, in order to prevent the inherent conflict of interest that exists when a sports organisation is tasked with both promoting and policing itself.
The leaders also expressed unequivocal support for the completion of the independent investigation into state-supported doping in Russia by Richard McLaren, as well as calls for a public commitment from the International Olympic Committee and Russia to assist in guaranteeing the safety, security and well-being of Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov.