U.S. Olympic leaders urge more independence, more funding for anti-doping efforts

In a position paper released Friday, the U.S. Olympic Committee called for the World Anti-Doping Agency to take a stronger, more independent role in the fight against cheating.

That would include a clearer separation from the International Olympic Committee, with no officials crossing over to represent both organizations.

The current WADA president, Craig Reedie, is also an IOC member.

“WADA should be governed independently of the sports organizations it watches and works with, and needs to have clear, transparent policies on governance,” the USOC stated.

At present, the work of monitoring athletes is done in patchwork style by scores of national anti-doping groups such as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Recent failures of national watchdogs in countries such as Kenya and Russia — the latter of which is embroiled in a major cheating scandal — suggest this model is no longer practical.

But if WADA were to take a more active role in testing and investigations, it would need significantly more funding.

USOC officials called for governments around the world to contribute more money to the effort. The committee also urged greater protection for whistle-blowers.

These recommendations follow recent comments by USADA head Travis Tygart, who has been critical of the way the IOC and WADA have handled the Russian scandal.

The USOC said: “We must provide a safe and level playing field for our athletes, and we must demonstrate to our stakeholders that doping in the Olympic and Paralympic Movements is the exception, not the rule, and will not be tolerated.”


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