International Anti-Doping leaders call on watershed opportunity to reform Anti-Doping system

Tuesday - March 12th 2019

Ahead of the Anti-Doping Symposium, NADO leaders met in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss meaningful reforms to the anti-doping system in advance of the WADA Presidential election;

Leaders call on WADA Presidential Candidates to publicly commit to:

  • Further support the general principles of the 2016 Copenhagen Reform Proposals that call on the global regulator to become more independent, transparent and adopt best governance practices;
  • Standing “shoulder to shoulder” with athlete community, following the recent rise in athlete voice;
  • Ensuring an exhaustive, transparent and thorough accounting of the data from the Moscow laboratory and the pursuit of justice against all involved.

Drug Free Sport NZ Chief Executive Nick Paterson is one of the 20 international Anti-Doping leaders supporting the statement (below). “Now is the time for reform, and to ensure WADA's governance and leadership will protect clean athletes and clean sport,” he said.  “Athletes around the world are making themselves heard; it's time for WADA to work with them. Small change is not enough.” 

March 11, 2019

Lausanne, Switzerland

The leaders of 18 National Anti-Doping Organizations came together in Lausanne, Switzerland today at a crucial time to discuss the current state of clean sport.

Meeting on the eve of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Annual Symposium, the message emanating from the meeting was clear: now is the time for WADA to grasp this unique opportunity to reform the anti-doping system as it prepares to appoint the fourth President in its history. How the anti-doping community chooses to react, leaders said, will determine the direction of the anti-doping system for years to come; and making the right decisions is essential if public and athlete faith in the global regulator is to be restored.

The NADO leaders call on WADA Presidential Candidates to expressly commit to three critical points. First, WADA governance revisions must go further to fully implement the reforms detailed in the Copenhagen Proposals. By removing potential conflicts of interest within WADA’s current governance structure, the organization will increase its credibility in the eyes of its most important stakeholders: clean athletes.

Second, WADA Presidential Candidates should demonstrate how they will be fully committed to meaningful engagement with the athletes of the world. For too long, there has been no effective mechanism to allow for the voice of clean athletes to be heard and this must change moving forward.

Third, WADA Presidential Candidates must build on the organization’s success at retrieving the Moscow laboratory data by being committed to ensuring an exhaustive, transparent and thorough accounting of the data is achieved. Based on previous reports from WADA, there are thousands of presumptive positive samples in the Moscow laboratory data that must be investigated. Athletes are demanding that this review is completed in a transparent manner, which includes reporting the exact number of presumptive positive findings and how each finding has been managed. This process will take months, possibly years, and a future WADA President must not try to turn the page from this scandal, but be committed to a full investigation and pursuit of justice – no matter the cost or time. The NADO Leaders reiterate their offer to assist WADA in these matters.

This statement is supported by the National Anti-Doping Organization of:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium (NADO Flanders)
  4. Canada
  5. Denmark
  6. Estonia
  7. Finland
  8. France
  9. Germany
  10. Ireland
  11. Japan
  12. Netherlands
  13. New Zealand
  14. Norway
  15. Singapore
  16. South Africa
  17. Sweden
  18. Switzerland
  19. United Kingdom
  20. USA