Advertisement

Olympic leaders and anti-doping authorities vow to work together

Olympic leaders and anti-doping authorities vow to work together
Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, stresses a point during a conference this spring in Montreal. (Graham Hughes / Canadian Press via AP)

After a summer of not-so-subtle bickering, it appears Olympic leaders and anti-doping authorities are ready to cooperate on a new campaign to go after drug cheats.

Speaking from a summit in Switzerland on Saturday, the International Olympic Committee called for the World Anti-Doping Agency to take the lead on global enforcement.

The IOC stated that it envisions "a more robust, more efficient, more transparent and more harmonized WADA anti-doping system."

At present, doping control is largely a patchwork affair, with each nation trusted to monitor its own athletes. Recent problems in Russia, Kenya and other nations have heightened concerns about that system.

Advertisement

But amid calls for a global and independent WADA to take charge, the agency’s relations with the IOC grew strained at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Advertisement

Olympic leaders were angry that WADA's investigation into the Russian scandal was not sufficiently completed until just before the Games, leaving scant time for adjudication.

Saturday's developments seemed to represent a thaw between the organizations.

"WADA welcomes all constructive proposals aimed at reinforcing clean sport," said Sir Craig Reedie, the agency's president. "Today's summit was one more stop on our road to strengthening WADA and the global anti-doping system."

There still are questions about how that system might work. In particular, nations would need to divert funding from their own testing and give more money to WADA.

Advertisement
Advertisement