EXCLUSIVE – Doping special with Sir Craig Reedie, President of WADA

By iSportconnect | July 19, 2016

In the days leading up to the release of the McLaren Report, iSportconnect spoke with WADA President Sir Craig Reedie about the war on doping in sport, as well as the IAAF’s ban on Russian Track and Field athletes competing at upcoming international events, including the Rio Olympic Games.

Reedie said that clean athletes must be protected, which is central to WADA’s mission.

“It’s a major issue as it involves the eligibility of track and field athletes from the biggest country in the world, in one of the one of the major Olympic sports, having access to the Games. How that plays out is still up in the air, probably until next week when appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, will be determined. There is a very serious view across the clean sports and clean athletes, that they have to be encouraged and protected, in that order.”

Reedie said WADA supports the IAAF ban on Russian athletes for doping violations:

“The IAAF took that decision after the completion of the Pound independent commission report…Thats a very firm decision they have taken… It’s a very clear statement on behalf of clean sport and we at WADA have backed them. We believe the stance is correct.”

The WADA chief told iSportconnect that he believed the challenge posed by doping was more widespread and that new tactics would be needed:

“It would be naive to assume only one sport was involved, weightlifting has a real problem who have banned three countries because of doing offences. So yes, there is a problem out there. We have to be better at dealing with it. Whether this is simply testing people, which seems to be less than 100 per cent authoritative; maybe its the business of investigations, catching people who are making errors and who are breaking the rules. There’s so much work to be done”

The WADA boss also encouraged athletes and anti doping officials to notify authorities if they are aware of any doping related activity:

“Everybody wants us to investigate but we can really only investigate if we have evidence and probably the best people to give us this evidence are the athletes so we encourage the to do that”

Sir Hugh Robertson, the Olympics Minister who delivered the last Olympics in London in 2012, also told iSportconnect that he sees a glimmer of hope in the on-going doping crisis in world sport. Sir Hugh also welcomed the IAAF’s reforms and decision:

“I think when you look at it, it’s tempting to be a bit nervous about it all, and clearly it isn’t good news for sport. That said if there is a tiny glimmer of light in all of this, it is at least that it is coming out, and people are being caught in retrospect, if not at the time. I think the really important thing now is that we send out a strong message, we have proper penalties for this, we investigate each and every allegation throughly and punish those who have cheated in the strongest possibly way… I believe in the course of action the IAAF has taken, of getting in external experts, and showing great leadership over this, and I congratulate the IAAF and President Seb Coe on the action they have taken.”

Sir Craig’s

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