UK Anti-Doping agency calls for Wada reform after Russia controversy

The leaders of 18 national anti-doping associations have expressed 'solidarity' with athletes who have voiced concern at Wada's decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Craig Reedie
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Craig Reedie

The UK Anti-Doping Agency has joined 17 other nations in calling for reform of Wada following the outcry over its decision to reinstate Russia.

The leaders of 18 national anti-doping associations met at a summit in Paris where they expressed "solidarity" with athletes who have voiced concern at last month's decision by the world body to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

The leaders said there was a need to act in order to restore the faith of both the public and athletes in the global regulator.

Directing their statement at athletes, they said: "While others may not be listening to your concerns and your solutions for how to improve Wada Governance, we wish to make it clear that we, the anti-doping leaders, do.

"We stand united with you. We hear and share your concerns, and we stand with you every step of the way to strive to transform Wada so that it respects your rights and makes decisions in the interests of clean sport."

The group of 18 also included the US Anti-Doping Agency, as well as those from Ireland, France, Australia, Japan, Germany, and Switzerland.

Wada has already said it has begun a process of reform, but those gathered in Paris said it did not go far enough as they called for the Copenhagen Reform Proposals - a package put together in August 2016 following the McLaren Report into allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia - to be implemented.

"Given the athletes' concerns in Wada's decision-making and governance process, and after all that we have regrettably witnessed in the wake of the Russian doping crisis, Wada's limited proposals for governance reform fall far short of what the world's athletes and other champions of clean sport have been calling for these past two years, and there should be a rethink", a statement said.

"We urge Wada not to repeat the mistakes it made in the process to reinstate Rusada, and to conduct its actions in a more transparent and open fashion.

"Looking ahead to the crucial December 31 deadline, we call on Wada to run an open, transparent and clear process for securing the anti-doping samples and, given the gravity of the issue and level of athlete and public interest, for the Wada Compliance Review Committee to convene an urgent and robust meeting to make its recommendation on the compliance of Rusada.

"The world is waiting, and the world is watching."

PA

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