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Thursday, July 23, 2020
Athletes Call for WADA Reform

Athlete groups have come together to call for "proper reforms" at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to improve independence, transparency, human-rights provisions, and accountability.

Global Athlete, the Athletics Association, Canadian body AthletesCAN, Athleten Deutschland, the Danish Olympic Committee Athlete Commission and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council have all signed an open letter requesting action is taken.

It calls for WADA to "create a more independent structure free of real or perceived conflicts of interest", claiming "WADA’s leadership is represented in proportion to financial contributions, and influenced by lobbying by member states".

The athlete groups contend this "eliminates a majority of nations from ever holding a seat on WADA’s Board or Executive Committee" and insist funding and decision-making must be entirely separate.

They also want "equal independent active athlete representation" on the WADA Executive Committee.

In terms of transparency, all athlete sanctions and related investigations should be made public - and so too stakeholder compliance decisions - the groups argue.

They contend that decisions being made behind closed doors undermine athletes' rights, and also say "WADA investigations must have detailed terms of reference with a clear requirement for public reporting".

The letter goes on to claim "WADA can no longer self-regulate".

The proposed solution is for athletes to have "an independent and equal seat around all decision-making tables", with neither the International Olympic Committee or national Governments having more seats.
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