IOC backs Craig Reedie for new 3-year WADA term

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

The IOC is back­ing Craig Reedie's bid for a new three-year term as pres­i­dent of the World Anti-Doping Agency, de­spite the ten­sions that broke out be­tween the two sides over the Rus­sian doping scan­dal.

The sup­port for Reedie 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," sug­gest­ing the agency will re­frain in the fu­ture from pub­licly call­ing for a na­tion to be barred from the Olympics, as it did with Rus­sia be­fore the games in Rio de Janeiro.

Reedie, a Bri­ton who has been WADA pres­i­dent since 2013, is up for re-elec­tion at agency meet­ings in Glas­gow, Scot­land, next week­end. No other can­di­dates have been put for­ward.

The back­ing for Reedie was con­tained in a let­ter from the IOC to all of its 98 mem­bers. A copy of the let­ter was ob­tained Sun­day by The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The let­ter was sent fol­low­ing a pri­vate meeting of the IOC ex­ec­u­tive board on Thurs­day in Lau­sanne, Switzer­land. Reedie briefed the board at that meeting.

"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," the let­ter said.

"On this ba­sis, the IOC 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."

Un­der cur­rent rules, a WADA pres­i­dent is elected for three years, with the op­tion of a sec­ond threeyear term. The pres­i­dency ro­tates be­tween rep­re­sen­ta­tives of gov­ern­ments and sport­ing bod­ies.

WADA and the IOC came into sharp con­flict be­fore and dur­ing the Rio Games fol­low­ing a re­port by WADA in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren that de­tailed state-spon­sored doping in Rus­sia, in­clud­ing ma­nip­u­la­tion of sam­ples at the 2014 Sochi Win­ter Games and cover-ups of pos­i­tive tests across dozens of sum­mer and win­ter Olympic sports.

WADA rec­om­mended that the en­tire Rus­sian team be ex­cluded from Rio. The IOC re­jected the pro­posal and in­stead let in­ter­na­tional sports fed­er­a­tions de­cide which ath­letes should be el­i­gi­ble to com­pete.

Dur­ing meet­ings in Rio, IOC mem­bers ac­cused WADA of failing to act sooner on Rus­sian doping and crit­i­cized the agency for re­leas­ing the McLaren re­port so close to the games.

The sides ap­peared to bury the hatchet last month at an Olympic sum­mit in Lau­sanne, where IOC lead­ers backed WADA to con­tinue to over­see world­wide an­ti­dop­ing ef­forts and gave the agency in­creased pow­ers to lead the fight. All par­ties agreed that an in­de­pen­dent body un­der WADA's um­brella should be set up to carry out global drug-test­ing.

Critics have ac­cused Reedie of hav­ing a con­flict of in­ter­est in his IOC and WADA roles. In ad­di­tion to WADA pres­i­dent, he was an IOC vice pres­i­dent and mem­ber of the rule-mak­ing ex­ec­u­tive board un­til the Rio Games. How­ever, Reedie's term as vice pres­i­dent and board mem­ber has ex­pired, and he is now a reg­u­lar IOC mem­ber without a pol­icy-mak­ing role.

The IOC let­ter also said the board agreed to a re­quest from Reedie to match gov­ern­ment con­tri­bu­tions and pro­vide $500,000 to the agency's spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tions fund. It said this was on con­di­tion that WADA pro­vides a "de­tailed break­down of costs" of McLaren's up­com­ing fi­nal re­port and that McLaren "ac­tively co­op­er­ates" with two sep­a­rate IOC in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Rus­sian doping.

McLaren's lat­est re­port, which is ex­pected to fo­cus on doping at the Sochi Games, has been de­layed un­til next month, which the IOC said "makes co­op­er­a­tion more dif­fi­cult" with its own probes.

Reedie and IOC lead­ers are sched­uled to travel to Doha this week for the gen­eral assem­bly of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tees.

Craig Reedie

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