The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) convened today in Lausanne, Switzerland for an Olympic Anti-Doping Summit to review its anti-doping procedures. Participants included many of the major players from some of the biggest organizations under the Olympic banner, including FINA president Julio Maglione, alongside representatives from the International Olympic Committee, such as IOC president Thomas Bach.
Back in 2015, the same summit established a list of three goals:
- “To make anti-doping testing independent from sports organisations”
- To delegate consequences of non-compliance to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
- To establish a “professional intelligence gathering unit” within the WADA
This time around, in light of heavy criticism of anti-doping enforcement at the 2016 Olympics, the WADA Summit came up with a list of proposals to be considered at the WADA Foundation Board Meeting next month.
The proposal with the potential to have the largest effect suggests that the organization establish an anti-doping testing authority that is entirely independent from the sports organizations (FINA, for example).
An independent system could hopefully bypass some of the dysfunction within the international sports federations and the IOC. For example, last month, three members of FINA’s Doping Control Board resigned in protest of the organization’s decision to allow Russian swimmers such as Yulia Efimova to swim, despite the systematic doping uncovered by the McLaren report. The committee had unanimously recommended that FINA implement a ban, but FINA ignored their wishes, saying that the decision ultimately rested with the IOC, who had previously stated that the decision lay with the individual sports federations.
Some of the other proposals outlined by the WADA summit:
- To strengthen the WADA‘s authority over the National Anti-Doping Organizations (such as the US Anti-Doping Agency or the RUSADA in Russia)
- To enact national ” Test Distribution Plans (TDPs) in compliance with international standards”
- To increase “targeted testing”
- To “approve a policy for the encouragement and protection of whistleblowers” (such as tennis star Yulia Stepanova who was an initial whistleblower to help uncover the state-sponsored doping in Russia)
You can see the full declaration of the fifth WADA Olympic Summit here.