THE BIG PICTURE: iNADO rips parent WADA for Russia reinstatement

The fallout from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) as compliant continued with a fusillade launched by the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO), a group of 67 national anti-doping institutes.

This is essentially WADA’s agents on 67 countries ripping its umbrella organization. Friday’s statement noted, in pertinent part:

“The weaknesses of WADA’s governance model, as NADO representatives have emphasised during an ongoing review, have been clearly exposed. ExCO members, who have inevitable pressures and priorities around this decision which extend beyond purely the issue of doping, have clearly made the decision based on those other conflicting priorities. This is not good governance, nor does it reflect a good governance model. WADA must be an effective and resolute global anti-doping regulator and governor – exclusively. …

“While flexibility can have a place leadership critically requires steadfastness. Most especially this is so when so many stakeholders in the sporting community are bound by an anti-doping Code which can be unbending and harsh but (as WADA insists) cannot be ignored or softened to suit. …

“One real tragedy is that this decision undermines the credibility of an organisation which, in many other ways, has created a much better foundation for the application of clean sport programmes and has numerous excellent, hardworking technical staff who warrant support.

“INADO’s task now, along with the rest of the sporting community, is to work hard to ensure that we have a WADA and, most critically, a robust anti-doping system, which will restore and provide confidence that clean sport is protected.”

So the civil war is on and iNADO now joins many athletes, administrators and governing bodies in a drive to reform WADA itself.