Anti-doping agencies call for independence from sporting bodies
(Reuters) - A summit of national doping agencies has called for all anti-doping functions to be freed from the influence of sporting bodies as well as organisers of events so the confidence of athletes in the system can be restored.
The National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADO) brought together more than 15 national bodies, including the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), for a summit in Bonn, Germany on Wednesday.
Their key proposal was that anti-doping operations should be completely freed from the influence of sporting bodies, who face a potential conflict of interest when faced with doping cases given their duty to also promote their competitions and events.
"Athletes want to compete clean and win," the group said in a joint statement.
"We must restore confidence that anti-doping efforts truly protect the rights of clean athletes, as well as the public's desire for a fair and level playing field.
"All of the reforms agreed upon today, especially ensuring sport interests do not influence the global regulator – WADA – will help to better protect the rights of clean athletes and uphold a level playing field."
The bodies have offered to meet with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) executive committee and International Olympic Commitee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach to discuss sport's role in global anti-doping reform efforts.
WADA, which was set up and is funded in part by the IOC, has been run by former British Olympic Association chairman and IOC vice president Craig Reedie since 2014.
The recommendations were endorsed by agencies from Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and United States.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)