WADA President Comments On Doping In Tennis And Football

Sir Craig Reedie, President of WADA since January 2014, recently expressed his opinion on the fight against doping in the future.

Reedie, the former Chairman of the British Olympic Association, remarked sport in the main, and certainly elite sport in the main, is believed and trusted by spectators. The WADA President remarked he does not think anyone could have watched the recent World Cup without realizing that that was real and well organized. He added if you look back to the London Olympic Games, he thinks Olympic sports came out of London in as good a position as it has been for years and there has been very little doping activity in either of these two events.

Reedie, a member of the Order of the British Empire, is still a serving representative on the International Olympic Committee.

Recently, FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer Jiri Dvorak admitted that there is an urgent need to change detection strategies in football. WADA recommends blood testing figure should be 10 percent while just over 2 per cent of doping controls in football are done via blood testing. Reedie remarked he discussed this with Jiri Dvorak when he was in Rio for the FIFA Congress. He remarked FIFA tests at its own events which would be the World Cup and the Confederations Cup and almost all the other tests are done by national football associations. The WADA chief also said so FIFA are encouraging them to be more proactive in what they do and also remarked secondly, in this World Cup, they pre-tested every player before they came to Rio and that’s a good thing. He also commented that they’re also developing a blood passport program and that one needs to be developed a little further than simply the players who went to Rio.

Reedie, while commenting on doping control in tennis, Reedie said where he knows tennis has been criticized is comments made by some of the very senior players, who actually say ‘we want more’ and added he is pretty confident that the testing program that they operate is effective for the sport and is run by people who take the challenge seriously.

Reedie also remarked he believes the world governing body of cycling, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is taking doping in cycling seriously in comparison to the Lance Armstrong era. During last year’s Tour, there were no positive tests and this year’s Tour de France has been largely free of the doping stains. The WADA President said it is good to know that cycling has finally decided to come clean with anti-doping unit of the UCI made independent. He explained that there have been past evidence of a new Erythropoietin (EPO) which is called Continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA) and remarked we knew about that and the information came from the pharmaceutical industry. He added a test was developed and we didn’t tell anybody and some cyclists tested positive for CERA. On the subject of bans, Reedie said he believes sanctions have to be proportionate, with life bans potentially subject to challenge in the court.

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