WADA, Reedie un­der at­tack again over Rus­sian dop­ing scan­dal

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Ten­sions over the Rus­sian dop­ing scan­dal broke out into the open again on Wed­nes­day as Olympic of­fi­cials blasted the World An­tiDop­ing Agency and an in­flu­en­tial power­bro­ker called for a "neu­tral" leader to take over the body from Craig Reedie.

WADA came un­der sharp at­tack from del­e­gates at the gen­eral assem­bly of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tees, par­tic­u­larly over the agency's han­dling of the al­le­ga­tions of state­spon­sored Rus­sian dop­ing that over­shad­owed the buildup to the Rio de Janeiro Games.

In an un­ex­pected de­vel­op­ment, ANOC Pres­i­dent Sheikh Ah­mad Al-Fa­had Al-Sabah said re­forms of the anti-dop­ing agency will be dif­fi­cult "un­less we will have a neu­tral chair for the next three years."

The sheikh pro­posed a res­o­lu­tion seek­ing a "neu­tral lead­er­ship of the re­form of the or­ga­ni­za­tion."

The move came just four days be­fore Reedie, an IOC mem­ber from Bri­tain, is sched­uled to be re­newed as WADA pres­i­dent for a sec­ond three-year term at agency meet­ings in Glas­gow, Scot­land. It also came less than a week af­ter the IOC ex­ec­u­tive board said it would sup­port Reedie's re-elec­tion.

Reedie and con­fer­ence del­e­gates seemed caught off guard by Sheikh Ah­mad's com­ments.

"I found the sheikh quite dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand," Reedie told The As­so­ci­ated Press. "I wasn't sure ex­actly what he said."

Sheikh Ah­mad also sug­gested the Mon­treal-based WADA could move to Geneva, Switzer­land.

Reedie, who met pri­vately with IOC Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach af­ter the con­fer­ence de­bate, said he en­vi­sions no im­me­di­ate change to an in­de­pen­dent pres­i­dent of WADA.

"I think that would be dif­fi­cult to hap­pen be­tween now and Sun­day," he said, adding there was "no doubt in my mind" that his re­elec­tion will go for­ward this week­end.

Reedie said pro­pos­als for an in­de­pen­dent WADA pres­i­dent had been pre­vi­ously put for­ward, but with the goal of im­ple­men­ta­tion in the fu­ture.

"That is clearly part of the gov­er­nance de­bate," he said. "If they want that to hap­pen I will make sure that it does hap­pen."

Reedie has been WADA pres­i­dent since 2013. Un­der cur­rent rules, a WADA pres­i­dent is elected for three years, with the op­tion of a sec­ond three-year term. The pres­i­dency ro­tates be­tween rep­re­sen­ta­tives of govern­ments and sport­ing bod­ies.

The IOC told the AP on Wed­nes­day that the ex­ec­u­tive board no­ti­fied Reedie last week that it in­tends in the "fu­ture" to have a neu­tral WADA pres­i­dent "for the sake of the cred­i­bil­ity and good gov­er­nance."

The board pro­posed to work with govern­ments to change the cur­rent ro­ta­tion sys­tem to clear the way for the new lead­er­ship.

"At the meet­ing, Sir Craig ac­cepted this ap­proach and said he would not stand in the way of such a so­lu­tion," the IOC said. "Fol­low­ing this, he re­ceived the sup­port of the IOC ex­ec­u­tive board for his reap­point­ment as WADA Pres­i­dent."

ANOC adopted a res­o­lu­tion at the close of the assem­bly Wed­nes­day that called for the re­moval of sanc­tion­ing pow­ers from WADA and dis­cus­sions be­tween the Olympic move­ment and govern­ments for "the joint ap­point­ment of a neu­tral WADA pres­i­dent." No timetable was spec­i­fied.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.