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  • Op-Ed: WADA Is No Place For Absolute Authorities and Politics


    In an e-mail that WADA sent to the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Jan.  26, 2013, WADA called itself the “absolute authority “ in anti-doping.
    Hein Verbruggen (Getty)

    This has troubled me: no authority should be absolute. In modern and democratic society an authority accepts checks and balances. That is also for its own good, as mistakes, blurring of standards and disputes may be avoided.

    The recent revelations on doping problems, in particular in athletics and Russia, as well as WADA’s self-serving response in that its leadership keeps any investigation in its own hands lest its shortcomings should be investigated, made me direct an urgent appeal to the WADA Foundation Board to set up a permanent independent body, independent also from WADA, to monitor compliance and deal with any complaints about non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code by any anti-doping organization, including WADA.

    Such a body will also protect the mission of WADA against any abuse of the power and prestige that go with it. 

    I also asked the IOC Executive Board Members to give their support.

    In that appeal I gave also examples of what I consider as discrimination by WADA of athletes and anti-doping organizations. While such discrimination can be avoided for the future by installing that permanent independent body that should also monitor the doings of WADA, I asked the WADA Foundation Board to undertake action leading to a REALLY independent investigation into:

    The role and possible responsibilities of WADA in reviewing or not reviewing the granting by USADA of a     retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption for an intravenous infusion to Floyd Mayweather and whether, in general, there may be a privileged relationship between WADA and USADA;

    The role and possible responsibilities of WADA in dealing or not dealing with information on the doping problems affecting IAAF and Russia available prior to the documentary by the German television;

    Whether WADA’s "Independent" Commission’s investigation and report was complete and truthful regarding WADA’s role and responsibilities in that regard;

    The way in which WADA fulfills its mission of monitoring and following-up Code-compliance by anti-doping organizations and in particular whether this is done in an objective, neutral and transparent way: is there any discrimination in the fight against doping of certain sports, federations, countries, NADO’s, laboratories…? Are actions or inactions by WADA (also) inspired by or used for political aims vis-à-vis sports, federations, countries, persons, laboratories?

    I also gave to the WADA Foundation Board my thoughts on the role of Dick Pound and how he used the forum that was provided to him by WADA, both when he was President of WADA and thereafter, for his own profiling and fighting his personal wars.

    For the rest of Hein Verbruggen's op-ed please click here.