International Anti-Doping Leaders Call on Watershed Opportunity to Reform Anti-Doping System

Press Release

12th March 2019

International Anti-Doping Leaders Call on Watershed Opportunity to Reform Anti-Doping System

  • 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.

Lausanne, Switzerland (March 11, 2019) – 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 Australia, Austria, Belgium (NADO Flanders), Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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