WADA Continues to Refuse Meaningful Reform
Berlin, 23. November 2021. On the eve of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board meetings, we call on all stakeholders, particularly governments, to support athletes’ repeated calls for a fully independent WADA Executive Committee; including the provision of a voting seat at the decision-making table for independent athlete representative organizations.
WADA’s proposed addition of a few athletes to its governance structure is once again, more smoke and mirrors. WADA continually hides behind headlines rather than implementing meaningful reforms, and as a result, athletes have lost confidence in WADA’s integrity and ability to fulfill its mandate. Meaningful change cannot happen without independence, the first step of which is an independent Executive Committee with independent athlete representation.
One of WADA’s inherent flaws is its lack of independence. The many conflicted actors with divided loyalties to sport and government is particularly evident at the Executive Committee level. These conflicts of interest have undermined WADA’s effectiveness and have been repeatedly exposed over the past several years with these very same conflicted actors rendering anti-doping decisions based on politics, not principle. WADA should neither be controlled nor governed by anyone who has a stake in the economics of sports competition if they are to be considered legitimate.
The sports movement has a stranglehold on WADA and its mission, and they have made it clear they have no desire to relax this control. We implore government representatives to listen to athletes’ calls for equal independent athlete representation and a fully independent Executive Committee. Independence will rebuild trust, accountability, transparency, and a balance of power.
International Swimmers’ Alliance
Over the past years, athlete groups and player unions have repeatedly called on WADA to undergo substantial reforms: