THE BIG PICTURE: Civil war among the anti-doping agencies? Yes!

The internal battle in the world anti-doping community is continuing unabated, as the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO) is calling for “meaningful reform of WADA governance.”

It its latest statement, the group of 17 of the largest anti-doping organizations – including the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency – met in an “emergency summit” in Paris (FRA) to confirm “their ongoing and unwavering commitment to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the global athlete community, and acknowledging the recent global athlete uproar following the process that led to the WADA Executive Committee’s controversial September 20 decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).”

The group backed an “athlete-led Governance Reform Paper” released on 9 October called “The Alternative.” It asks for:

● An independent president and vice president of WADA, not tied (as at present) to person affiliated with governmental or sport organizations, but elected separately.

● A new format for the WADA Executive Committee, which is its primary decision-making body. The new concept is for 15 members, 12 of whom would be independently elected, and not tied to governmental or sport organizations, plus three athletes, who would also not be affiliated with another organization (such as the IOC’s Athletes Commission).

● A new “Governance and Nominations Committee” of seven members, functioning as a sort of oversight team to ensure the independence in form and performance of the WADA Board and Executive Committee: “It will ensure that there is an extra layer of security, protecting the clean athletes from misplaced, out-of-touch and poor decision-making that affects their lives adversely in future.”

And there was the usual, continuing call to strictly enforce the conditions for Russia’s continued reinstatement.