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IOC’s Bach proposes big changes to WADA

The president of the IOC has proposed major changes to how the World Anti-Doping Agency works. Thomas Bach also recommended that a sports court be the only authority that can hand down sanctions for doping offenders.
Speaking at the opening of the general assembly of European Olympic Committees in Prague on Friday, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach called for a complete overhaul of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Bach called for the creation of independent drug testing and professional intelligence gathering units at the Montreal-based agency.

He said that the proposed testing and results management unit within WADA should be set up “independent from the monitoring and regulatory functions of WADA” and that this body should “coordinate the work of the National Anti-Doping Agencies to ensure a streamlined, efficient and worldwide harmonized anti-doping system.”

The intelligence-gathering unit, he said, “would allow WADA to be proactive” while also addressing compliance issues.

New, exclusive powers for the CAS?

The IOC president also recommended that the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which currently only hears appeals against sanctions handed down by sports federations or anti-doing organizations be designated as the sole body to impose them in the first place.

“Sanctions could be pronounced only by CAS. In such a way also the system of sanctions would be centralized, be cost efficient and lead to harmonization among all sports and among all countries. The current right to appeal such sanctions to a different chamber of CAS would be fully upheld and guaranteed,” he said.

The IOC’s proposals come amid a controversy over the alleged state-sponsored doping of athletes in Russia, which led the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to provisionally suspend the country’s track-and-field athletes from competition last week.

The allegations came from a report drawn up following an investigation by a WADA-appointed independent commission. The suspension means the Russian athletes are currently banned from competition and could be ruled out of next year’s summer Olympics in Rio. Earlier this week, WADA also declared Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency “non compliant” with global norms.

pfd/jh (AP, dpa)

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