045 WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY: WADA

This is a November 2015 edit of several articles published in response of the publication of the WADA report on abuses in the Russian athletics. At that time there was nothing known of the impending meldonium scandal. WADA will have to endure criticism from all sides. The doping scandal in the Russian athletics world all sides also suits WADA particularly well. The tarnished image can thus be jacked up again making the loss of face slightly less.

WADA acts self-satisfied and proudly presents the report on the doping conditions in the Russian athletics. A little bit more modesty would have been better because this explosive report makes it clear how WADA, all this time, has failed completely. The guardian of a doping-free sport, WADA, was all the while nowhere in sight. The report, which was compiled under the chairmanship of Dick Pound, revealed hitherto unknown conditions. But that was not so difficult after German investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt, from the German TV channel ARD, fully managed to expose the organized doping system in Russia.

WHY WADA SENT WHISTLEBLOWERS AWAY

Russian whistleblowers first contacted WADA but found no answer there. WADA chairman Craig Reedie admitted in an interview with The New York Times, that his organization was approached by worried Russian informants as early as 2013.  Why WADA did not show any interest shows the failure of WADA clearly.  Why WADA has not responded adequately elicited an extraordinary weak argument from Reedie: “We are more often called by all kind of people who want to give us all sort of information.” After the rejection by WADA the Russians sought contact with investigative journalist Seppelt, from the German TV channel ARD, who made a shocking documentary, using the received information of the whistleblowers,  about abuses in the Russian athletics.

Hajo Seppelt
Dick Pound


The ARD broadcast proved the abuses to be so enormous that WADA had to react. They announced a thorough investigation on the matter. But four months after the shocking ARD documentary WADA president Reedie sent another email to the Russian Ministry of Sport. In it he praises Vitaly Mutko, Russian Sports Minister, for his fight against doping and he states that on the part of WADA `no intention exists to do something that could affect the relationship with the Russians adversely.

But ultimately there is now quite a bomb, after the results of the research were presented, under Russian athletics. And all this not thanks to WADA, but despite WADA. Pound has, with his so-called independent commission; added little new information to Seppelt’s work, his road was paved. The information of Seppelt was extensive and complete so WADA had no reason at all to be so proud and so self-satisfied. The report Pound shows clearly the failure of WADA.

New facts were; the 1400 destroyed urine samples, the control of the Russian national doping authority by the Russian secret service and the presence of a shadow laboratory where doping substances have been developed.

Craig Reedie. The failing chairman of a failing organization. Who sent this photo to the world. Showing: authority, charisma, craftsmanship, rigorous and honest, reliable, fair, paternal. The creator of heaven on earth without cheating and doping. The hope of the youth with the hand of God.

WADA IS AT MANY CRITICIZED

The self-confidence WADA has presented after the results of the study is completely unjustified. That’s probably because WADA gets the chance to justify its existence with this study. But if that is right is very doubtful. WADA was for some time under fire from the IOC and international sports federations. And the main complaints about WADA certainly are not removed by this report.

Some frequently heard complaints about the malfunctioning of WADA are:

  • Not all countries take doping tests seriously.
  • Too few federations have introduced the biological passport.
  • There is great doubt about the independence of national anti-doping authorities.
  • The influence of the government is often much too large.
  • In many countries drug cheats go on freely.
  • The information about doping is under contempt.
  • Many doping laboratories do not meet the standards, by bad governance or by unqualified staff.
  • Not even to mention the low efficiency of the doping controls. The most recent WADA figures show, in 2013, that nearly 25 thousand checks resulted in 235 suspensions.  That is less than 1 percent. While the actual use of doping is estimated, in various studies, to be 20 to 30 percent.
  • WADA is not for nothing portrayed as the most inefficient and ineffective organization that can be found in the world. A costly organization with a pitifully low efficiency.
  • And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

CHANGE IS COMING

Two years ago during an emergency meeting of the IOC with major sporting federations, particularly WADA was critically judged. There was even talk of the failure of the anti-doping policy. WADA would watch from an ivory tower, the WADA staff was travelling first class around the world , but the field work has to be done by the federations. The functioning of WADA was questioned.

Why federations must separately enter their expensive biological passport. Why should all the blood profiles be evaluated  in their own home? This can better be done by a higher authority.  And that could be WADA.

WADA HOPES TO JUSTIFY ITS EXISTENCE THROUGH THE INVESTIGATION AND THE REPORT OF DICK POUND AND BY WADA PREMEDITATED CAUSED MELDONIUM SCANDAL.

The IOC is -as the founder of the WADA- the only capable of correcting WADA. In October, the IOC announced to carry out the doping controls independently of the sports federations in the future. In that new situation WADA should be the responsibility of all tests worldwide,  Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, said:  “in the context of the credibility of the sport and to protect clean athletes is this  a step forward”.

The advantage of a more active role of WADA  is that all sports are treated equally. Now still the feeling of a selective policy is prevalent. Why was cycling dealt with harshly in the EPO era and not athletics? Why does research into abuses in Russia and not in Kenya, where the smell of drugs is at least as strong? And why are there so few soccer players positive?

Painful is the difference in the number of controls between the American winner of the 60-meter indoor sprint Barbara Pierre and Daphne Schippers, who was second at the recent World Indoor Championships with 0.02 seconds difference.

Daphne Schippers was checked fifty times in 2015 while Barbara Pierre only once had a doping test in the same period. Logical that the athletes regard this unequal hunt for doping, the great contrast between the numbers of doping controls, as being unfair.

Barbara Pierre, left, wins 60-meter sprint before Daphne Schippers with a difference of 0.02 seconds. World indoor Championships. Portland, USA, March 2016.
Barbara Pierre, left, wins 60-meter sprint before Daphne Schippers with a difference of 0.02 seconds. World indoor Championships. Portland, USA, March 2016.