The executive Board members of International Olympic Committee (IOC) have insisted that governments and sports organizations must be “represented equally” in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The IOC executive board also recommended a a completely “neutral” President as vice-president of WADA as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) assuming sanctioning responsibility. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, rather than the World Anti-Doping Agency would also be responsible for sanctioning all organizations deemed non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.

The section on WADA governance reads since the sports organizations and the Governments are both founding stakeholders on an equal basis, they must be represented equally on the WADA Foundation Board and Executive Committee. It was also added that the role of athletes on the Foundation Board and Executive Committee must be strengthened and the representation of athletes must be elected (not appointed as now) athlete representatives. The WADA governance section also said the WADA Boards should also include independent members.

The IOC declaration also made it clear that they consider interest conflicts as just as much of a problem for Government representatives. It added WADA must be equally independent from both sports organizations and from national interests as this is necessary because even the perception of a conflict of interest can be considered damaging to the credibility of the anti-doping system. The declaration by IOC further reads that this with regard to national interests is particularly important because of the recent challenges to the system from certain NADOs, from disputes between different NADOs, and from appeals by IFs against decisions of National Anti-Doping Institutions.

The suggestions made by the IOC board directly contradicts the core theme of a United States Olympic Committee (USOC) position paper that proposed no person serving in a governance role in the IOC, any NOC (National Olympic Committee), any IF (International Federation), or ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) would serve in a WADA Board role. It was also proposed that WADA would be responsible for compliance monitoring including investigation of all code signatories.

It was agreed by the IOC that there should be no sporting involvement in testing and sanctioning. However, it insisted that it would be pointless to exclude all experts from the organization completely. IOC Presidential spokesperson Mark Adams remarked the call by some that there should be no expertise in sport in the governance of an organization which is looking into doping in sport, is plainly ridiculous. Adams further commented that all governance involves experts in the subjects and also remarked what is important is to have a separation between the governance and the prosecution of the cases, in other words the sanctioning and the investigation. The IOC Presidential spokesperson also remarked if those two are kept separate from the governance then you have a good, well-run system which runs along the separation of powers.

IOC President Thomas Bach has also requested a meeting with Sir Craig Reedie, the WADA President, and Richard McLaren, the author of the WADA-commissioned investigation into Russian doping.

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