Heads of 17 anti-Doping agency heads call for WADA overhaul

Moscow, Aug 31 (IANS) The heads of 17 anti-doping agencies have proposed a number of reforms to overhaul the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the wake of the Russian doping scandal, according to media reports.

The proposals come after the end of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, which were mired in a doping scandal and the exclusion of a large section of the Russian national team from the Games, reports Sputnik.

In 2015, WADA’s independent commission issued a report accusing Russia of numerous breaches of global anti-doping regulations, which led to the Russian team’s suspension from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and ban on it from taking part in the Games.

Anti-doping agency heads from countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan and Sweden, gathered in Copenhagen earlier this week, adopting proposals which include making WADA more independent and strengthening sanctions against doping rules violators, BBC reported.

Anti-doping agency heads proposed to bar WADA officials from holding posts in sports organisations as well as precluding the latter from taking on any investigatory, testing and results management functions.

Other proposals included adopting clearer anti-doping sanctions and increased WADA investigatory powers, according to BBC.

The doping scandal, simmering since 2014, escalated in July when WADA presented a report accusing Russia of running a state-wide doping programme and urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to consider a blanket ban on the entire Russian team.

The IOC instead opted to let individual sports federations to make the decision. In turn, the International Paralympic Committee banned all Russian para-athletes from the upcoming 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio.

–IANS

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