Beckie Scott, the head of WADA’s athlete commission, has contended that the global anti-doping system is not “broken”. The former Olympic cross-country skier from Canada lamented that politics surrounding the Russian doping scandal has sown “discord” in the fight against performance enhancing drugs.

Scott urged all sides to put aside their differences and work together to combat an undeniable threat to the integrity of sport today. In an op-ed released by the Montreal-based agency, Beckie Scott, who chairs the World Anti-Doping Agency athlete committee, said the World Anti-Doping Agency has come under intense criticism and scrutiny in the wake of the allegations of state-backed doping in Russia. She remarked WADA has been right to successfully fulfilling their mandate and taking the necessary decisions. Beckie Scott said the “system” is not broken and said a “broken” system would not have exposed systematic and state-controlled doping in Russia.

WADA has been criticized by several IOC members who accused the agency of failing to act sooner on the Russian doping problems. These IOC members also criticized the anti-doping agency for releasing report by investigator Richard McLaren on systematic Russian doping just weeks before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The McLaren report led WADA to call for the exclusion of the entire Russian team from the Rio Games. The recommendation of WADA was rejected by the IOC and the Olympic body instead asked individual sports federations to determine which Russian athletes could compete.

Scott said it is unacceptable that there is a sense of discord when there should be harmony when it comes to clean, fair sport. The head of WADA’s athlete commission also remarked almost every day someone new from the Olympic family takes to the media with the critical claim that the global anti-doping system is broken. Highly critical assessments of WADA have been issued by International Olympic Committee members Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., Sergei Bubka and Gerardo Werthein in recent weeks. Scott said cynicism alone will not win the fight and added the issue has become so deeply divisive and conflicted among stakeholders that it seems athletes have another competitor in the ring — politics. Scott also added we have to be solution focused and can no longer afford to become subject to the politics, conflicted interests and game-playing that has held us back for so long and added WADA needs better funding for clean, legitimate sport.

In another development, Travis Tygart, chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping agency, said separating the anti-doping efforts from sports organizations would be an important step forward. Tygart remarked removal of the fox guarding the henhouse has been one of the principles we’ve been talking about for years. The USADA chief added sport leaders are concerned with marketability and the brand and then what happens is the status quo prevails until there is a scandal that harms and taints the brand and only then do they react to clean it up.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will convene a summit in Switzerland to address the ongoing Russian doping crisis. There is a possibility that the IOC can be separated further from the testing process; it currently runs the lab at the Games. The role of WADA will also likely be discussed as some IOC members have floated the concept of creating a new organization to oversee anti-doping testing and enforcement.

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