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IOC Accused Of ‘Confusing’ Anti-Doping Messages

The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO) has come heavily on the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It claimed that the IOC is wasting an "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to fight drug cheats.

iNADO also added that the World Anti-Doping Agency must be more independent from sporting authorities. Presently, WADA is co-sponsored by the IOC and international governments.

Joseph de Pencier, the iNADO chairman Doug MacQuarrie and chief executive, remarked the need for a more independent WADA seems to be accepted by the IOC but demanding "equal representation" on the board and executive committee by IOC was essentially arguing for the current system that has repeatedly failed to make the rights of clean athletes the primary concern. iNADO asked the IOC to leave anti-doping to independent experts that has been mooted as a means to avoid conflicts of interest.

In an open letter, the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations said the inconsistency of messaging from the IOC on the matter of independence of WADA is confusing. The letter further reads that the IOC must step back from its efforts to maintain its operational influence if it is serious about empowering WADA to be free from the influence of sports organizations. The iNADO letter to IOC also questioned its warning about "national interests" being as much of a problem for WADA as interference from sport and pointed out that the International Olympic Committee itself failed to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics. In the letter, the iNADO wrote this premise is indefensible sadly, faced with the greatest example of 'national interests' subverting clean sport in the history of the modern Games - the misconduct of Russia - the IOC has yet to respond with any form of meaningful national sanction.

The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations also criticized the plan of Thomas Bach, the IOC President, for an Independent Testing Authority (ITA) to run all the drug-testing at not only the Games, but across all Olympic sports, year-round. It was written that it would be far more timely, cost-effective and efficient to invest in current independent anti-doping capacity than to spend tens of millions on an entirely new body that preserves a conflict of interest.

The iNADO also rejected the idea that only the Court of Arbitration for Sport should be allowed to sanction those who break anti-doping rules. It cited it is noteworthy that the President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), the body responsible for the administration and financing of CAS, is also an IOC Vice-President. It was also commented that more inconsistent messaging from the IOC of the kind that confounds efforts at constructive reform dialogue. The iNADO’s board, specifically backed by national agencies in Finland and Sweden, added relying solely on CAS in all cases from all countries and all sports would result in inefficiency and exorbitant costs and said it is difficult to see how this would serve the rights of clean athletes.

The iNADO board criticized the IOC Declaration on proposals for a new anti-doping structure. It remarked t is our strong belief that true reform in global anti-doping efforts does not require the implementation of the IOC’s proposal for a single new massive, top-down global testing bureaucracy.

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Albert Wolfgang
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