World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) president Craig Reedie has warned that a proposal for the organisation to gain complete control of global anti-doping programmes is unlikely to happen until 2018, while the Moscow Antidoping Center has had its accreditation revoked as Russia continues its battle to reform in the wake of its wide-ranging doping crisis.
The recent doping scandals in a range of sports have led to efforts by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to push through changes that would make anti-doping programmes independent of all Olympic sports. The IOC has called for an independent testing and results management entity under the leadership of Wada, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed the responsibility of imposing sanctions on those who fail tests.
However, Reedie (pictured) told the Reuters news agency: “You can't change the whole anti-doping system in a short period, and work is ongoing to find out what investment is needed. There are a whole range of issues concerning technical arrangements and political arrangements. We are working through it, and if this is going to work the way the IOC have proposed, it will not be till 2018.”
It was reported earlier this month that weightlifting is in line to become the first sport to hand over control of its anti-doping programme to Wada after a proposal was approved by the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF).
The EWF Congress voted unanimously in favour of transferring the sport’s worldwide doping control system to Wada. It was previously reported that the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) would vote on Europe’s proposal in June and Reedie has highlighted that the global governing body’s backing would be imperative should this measure take effect.
He said: “We’re only interested in the international federations, not continental ones. At the end of the day, if the international federations don’t want to join us, then it (the IOC plan) won’t work.”
The IWF has also stated that it is too early to vote on such a move given Wada’s two-year timespan for a global system to be put in place. “At this stage of the proposal everything remains at the level of wishes,” Attila Adamfi, director general of the IWF, said.
“The IWF is ready to adopt any proposal which serves the interest of the sport but, being a responsible international federation, votes only on proposals which are elaborated and finalised. Hence, any voting on proposals to hand over testing to another entity is too early, and irrelevant.”
Meanwhile, Wada has revoked the accreditation of the Moscow Antidoping Center due to “non-compliance” with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) and the “related Technical Documents”.
The laboratory was suspended by Wada on November 10 following a key recommendation in the Independent Commission Report – the document that laid out evidence of state-sponsored doping and corruption in Russian sport. Since that date, the laboratory has been prohibited from carrying out any Wada-related anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples.
The Wada report said the laboratory’s former head, Grigory Rodchenkov, ordered 1,417 doping control samples destroyed to deny evidence for the inquiry. The panel also claimed that Russia may have used a secondary laboratory on the outskirts of Moscow to help cover up widespread doping.
The revocation, which Wada said has been accepted by the laboratory, will enter into force immediately and means that the Laboratory will continue to be prevented from carrying out the testing of doping control samples on behalf of Wada or any testing authority. Wada said the decision has been taken following a “thorough review” of the status of the laboratory by an independent Wada-appointed disciplinary panel.
Reacting to the decision, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said, according to state news agency Tass: “I wished this decision to be taken a couple of months ago. It's a wise decision and I hope the process of (Moscow's) laboratory's re-accreditation will now start promptly. When the lab's work is suspended you just wait for another six months, while its re-accreditation is a kind of a guarantee. What would you choose?”
However, Wada spokesman Ben Nichols hinted re-accreditation may not be a quick process. “It takes as long as it needs to take,” Nichols told the AFP news agency. “The next goal is to bring the laboratory back up to standard. We'll have to wait and see what the time frame will be.”