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“Speak Up”! WADA’s recent reforms to its whistleblowing policies, procedures and systems

Syringes in medals on desk
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 By Andrew Smith

Public confidence in the integrity of sport continues to be severely tested, in light of high profile findings of systemic / institutionalised doping violations (see for example the MacLaren Independent Investigation Reports, Part I and Part II[1]) and investigations into the adequacy of anti-doping systems and controls.[2] 

In previous articles on this topic[3], the author has discussed the importance of whistleblowing in sport and suggested practical reforms that could be implemented in order to encourage participants to come forward with relevant information that assists in the fight against doping. Two of those suggestions related to,

  1. the importance of formulating and publishing clear written whistleblowing procedures; and 

  2. ensuring that proper mechanisms are put in place for prospective whistleblowers to report their concerns.

In the circumstances, it is encouraging to see that the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) has recently implemented two such reforms. Accordingly, this article examines: 

  • The new WADA whistleblower policy; 
  • The WADA “Speak Up!” digital whistleblowing platform; and  
  • Author’s comment – whistleblowing moving forward.

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Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

Andrew is a barrister practising from 11KBW in London.  He is ranked as a leading sports and employment law barrister by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

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