Global Athlete calls for Wholesale Structural Change at World Anti-Doping Agency
4 November 2019: Global Athlete calls for a wholesale structural change at WADA. The following principles must be implemented to regain athlete trust:
· An equal say on WADA Foundation Board for independent athletes (1/3, 1/3, 1/3)
· A fully independent Executive Board
· Separation of powers (independent hearing bodies)
· Embedding the fundamental rights of athletes into the governance of WADA.
WADA has failed to hold accountable those who corrupt sport and has failed to deter those seeking to destroy the global anti-doping structure. Consequently, it has failed to realize or even make significant progress towards its vision of “a world where all athletes can compete in a doping-free sporting environment”. Romania has faced no consequences despite evidence of a doping conspiracy; WADA threw away its leverage in negotiations with Russia by decoupling the Roadmap and prematurely pulling independent oversight of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. Consequently, the negotiations have been one-sided with constant delays and no substance; and WADA’s proposed governance reforms are superficial and lack equal athlete representation.
Anti-Doping is centered around athletes, and collectively athletes must have an equal voice at the decision-making tables. This is the only way to balance athletes’ interests with the interests of sports administrators and national governments (who jointly fund WADA).
There are numerous examples of organizations both inside and outside of sport whose members wield significant power in the decision-making process through a strong independent voice. We are calling on WADA to implement proven solutions to ensure athletes’ views are no longer cast aside, and we stand ready to consult on specific policies and procedures, such as those presented by World Players and Global Athlete member Ali Jawad, in order to balance the power for administrators and athletes.
With a new WADA President set to take power in January, the time for change is now. We call on President-Elect Banka to implement meaningful reforms for and on behalf of athletes. The status quo is no longer acceptable.
Director General of Global Athlete
On behalf of the Global Athlete Start Up Group
Olympic Bobsleigh and Skeleton Athlete
Olympic Cross-Country Skier
United States of America
Olympic Para Powerlifter
World Champion Kick Boxer and Karate