The International Olympic Committee is supporting the candidature of current World Anti-Doping Agency President Craig Reedie for a new three-year term as WADA president, despite the tensions that broke out between the two sides over the Russian doping scandal.

This was after Reedie suggested that WADA will refrain in the future from publicly calling for a nation to be barred from the Olympics, as the anti-doping agency did with Russia before the games in Rio de Janeiro. The IOC’s support for WADA to continue in his role came after he assured the International Olympic Committee that he would respect the rules and responsibilities of WADA and its stakeholders.

Before Rio Olympics, WADA recommended to the IOC to exclude the entire Russian contingent. This proposal was rejected by the IOC that instead let international sports federations decide which athletes should be eligible to compete. IOC members accused WADA of failing to act sooner on Russian doping and also blamed the agency for releasing the McLaren report so close to the games. The IOC and WADA appeared to have buried the hatchet last month at an Olympic summit in Lausanne, where IOC leaders backed WADA to continue to oversee worldwide anti-doping efforts.

Reedie, a Briton who has been WADA president since 2013, is up for re-election at agency meetings in Glasgow, Scotland. No other candidate has been put forward till now. The IOC backed Reedie’s bid in a letter to all of its 98 members. This letter was sent following a private meeting of the IOC executive board on Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland and Reedie briefed the board at that meeting.

The IOC letter reads that Sir Craig Reedie committed to respect the Olympic Charter and respect the rules and responsibilities of WADA and its stakeholders, including the catalogue of points put forward by the Olympic Movement three years ago. It also stated that the IOC on this basis will encourage the Olympic Movement representatives on the WADA foundation board to approve the re-election of Sir Craig Reedie as WADA President, as well as inviting them to speak to their government counterparts concerning a reform of the system for electing the WADA President. The letter also reads that the board has agreed to a request from Reedie to match government contributions and provide $500,000 US to the agency’s special investigations fund. The IOC said this was on condition that the World Anti-Doping Agency President would provide a detailed breakdown of costs of the upcoming final report of Richard McLaren and that McLaren “actively co-operates” with two separate IOC investigations into Russian doping.

A WADA president is elected for three years under current rules and has the option of a second three-year term. The presidency rotates between representatives of governments and sporting bodies.

Reedie has been accused by critics of having a conflict of interest in his IOC and WADA roles. Reedie was an IOC vice-president and member of the rule-making executive board until the Rio Games but he is now a regular IOC member without a policy-making role after expiry of his term as vice-president and board member.

Reedie Backed By IOC For New 3-Year WADA Term

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