The leaders of 17 national anti-doping organizations met at a special summit in Copenhagen and have proposed an overhaul of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in a bid to restore trust in international sport.

The proposals were written and endorsed by anti-doping leaders from Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the United States, and the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO).

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead remarked it is now the time for the entire sporting community to come together to find a way forward and ensure that the right processes, funding, and safeguards are in place to protect everyone’s right to clean, fair, and honest competition.

The group remarked the fight for clean sport is now “at a crossroads” and suggested that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) should become more independent. It was also proposed by the group that executives of WADA should not be allowed to simultaneously hold a policy-making position within another sports organization.

WADA President Sir Craig Reedie has been a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that led to criticism of a potential conflict of interest.

The group also proposed that investigatory, testing, and results management functions from sports organizations should be separated to prevent the inherent conflict of interest that exists when a sports organization is tasked with both promoting and policing itself. It was also suggested that there should be an increase in capacity for WADA to investigate and impose proportionate sanctions for code non-compliance and the group also proposed a strengthened WADA through increased investment. The list of proposals also included amendment of the WADA code including the adoption of clear sanctions for large-scale subversions of the anti-doping system “with strong deterrent effect”.

The NADO leaders also extended their supports on calls for a public commitment from the International Olympic Committee and Russia to assist in guaranteeing the safety, security, and well-being of whistle-blowers Yuliya Stepanova and her husband Vitaly Stepanov without whom the state-supported system of doping would likely never have been exposed.

In a joint statement, the leaders of the national anti-doping organizations (NADO) said we recognize we are at a crossroads in the fight for clean sport. The statement further reads we with the best interests of clean athletes at heart have come together to discuss reforms that we believe will better protect them, restore confidence in the global anti-doping effort that has been deeply damaged, and ensure that the disturbing events of recent years are not repeated.

This development came at a crucial time in the fierce debate over the future of WADA that is jointly funded by the IOC and governments.

In another development, WADA director general Olivier Niggli has claimed website of the organization has been the subject of daily hacking attempts for almost three weeks, largely from Russia. Niggli, who took over the role of director general from predecessor David Howman earlier this year, said WADA and its informers were also receiving threats.

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