Speaking at the World Forum on Sport and Culture in Tokyo, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie has called on governments to increase their funding to the fight against drugs in sport during a robust defense of the anti-doping organization.

Sir Craig Reedie specifically called on Japan for stepping up their contribution after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to support the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) efforts to combat doping. The Briton said after delivering his speech Prime Minister Abe should reinforce the message to increase funding if he has influence with Governments. Reedie also commented the World Anti-Doping Agency operate on a budget of less than $30 million (£24 million/€27 million) a year with the world’s doping problems to solve and he would appreciate Japan taking the initiative.

The WADA President added the IOC matches Government contributions dollar for dollar. Reedie added it would be marvelous if, as a result of the troubles of the last two years and as a result of the splendid Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Government decided that this is an investment that they are prepared to make. WADA is funded 50-50 by Governments and the IOC at present with both sides under pressure to step-up their respective contributions.

Craig, after the problems WADA faced with the anti-doping authorities and laboratories ahead of Rio 2016, said he has confidence that Tokyo would be more successful. Reedie added he is very confident that what will happen here, in the build-up to Tokyo and through Tokyo, is in excellent hands. The WADA chief added the Organizing Committee is fully aware of their responsibilities and the manpower that they will have to deliver to conduct the whole anti-doping program and also said much of that will be run by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency, and they are one of the very best national anti-doping agencies in the world. Reedie also said it is hard in his view to imagine a better place to be four years out than Tokyo.

In the last few months, many IOC members have criticized WADA for not doing enough to combat alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia. Some IOC members even called for the body to play less of a regulatory role and more of a direct testing one.

In its defense, WADA chief defended the response of WADA to the Russian doping crisis. Reedie added WADA commissioned two independent reports, with the second of these, chaired by Richard McLaren of Canada due to be completed towards the end of this month. Sir Craig Reedie also emphasized on the wider progress achieves over the last year, including the advent of the athlete biological passport testing system. Reedie also said WADA has punched well above its weight and added we can be quite proud of what we’ve accomplished on modest means. Reedie also said he (while there is always room for improvement) would ask those that question our contribution to consider what’s been achieved; and, to imagine where sport would be if there was no WADA – no global leader of clean sport.

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