WADA come under fire at IOC session

By iSportconnect | August 2, 2016

The World Anti Doping Agency, WADA, came under sustained criticism on the first day of the 129th IOC Session in Rio.

Thomas Bach, the IOC President, looked to move blame for the Russian doping scandal from the IOC to WADA.

“It is not the IOC that is responsible for the accreditation and supervision of anti-doping laboratories,” he said. “It is not the IOC which can be held responsible for alleged corruption between the leadership of an international federation and a national member federation to cover up doping.

“The IOC has no authority to declare any organization non-compliant with the WADA code. The IOC has no authority over the testing program of athletes outside the Olympic Games. The IOC has no authority to follow up on information about the failings of the testing system.”

Several high profile IOC members then also criticised WADA, in what must have been a very uncomfortable two hours for its President Sir Craig Reedie, who sat next to Bach at the session.

Reedie only spoke at the end of the debate to say that he would respond the following day.

The other notable incident was Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov lashing out, at what he called a political campaign against Russia, and “discrimination” against clean athletes not connected to doping.

“I urge you to resist this unprecedented pressure that is now on the entire Olympic movement and not to let this pressure to split the entire Olympic family,” he said.

Zhukov took aim at the IAAF for banning Russia’s track and field team and also blamed WADA, saying that they recommended a complete ban, but it was also them who supervised, and accredited, Russia’s anti-doping agency.

“Why should WADA not be responsible for the violations made by the anti-doping labs it has accredited?” he questioned.

At the end of the session there was a near unanimous show of support for the executive board’s decision to allow Russia to compete, under the conditions the IOC laid out.