Reedie wants media tax and sponsors to help fund anti-doping


World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Craig Reedie thinks revenue from sport media rights and sponsors should be used to help fight against doping.

Reedie wants to see portions of the funds involved in the media and sponsorship industries used to help protect clean athletes.

The WADA president has suggested a small tax on media rights as a way of boosting the money at the organisations disposal and wants a debate on the issue.

"To impose, for example, a 0.5 per cent tariff on this $35 billion annual media rights figure would instantly put $175 million more in the anti-doping coffers. Increasing WADA's budget five-fold," Reedie wrote in a column for The Guardian.

"With such extra funds, we could make a greater impact in protecting the rights of the clean athletes, and in turn uphold the integrity of sport.

"The question with this is, of course, who would shoulder that cost: the broadcasters themselves, or would they pass it on to the sports federations, many of whom are profitable enterprises, some of whom are not? This is a debate we must now have."

Reedie also believes sponsors can play a greater role in the fight against doping.

The WADA chief believes helping fund anti-doping programmes can help protect brands from the negative impact of one of their athletes testing positive.

"Sponsorship is also an enormous contributor to the sport industry. Major sports sponsors should start to look at how they might support clean sport," Reedie continued.

"Sponsors are the sport industry's fastest growing source of money, investing a significant amount of funds not only in sports events but in elite athletes.

"For sponsors, all the benefits of association with a sport or a star athlete may be easily tarnished through an athlete's doping scandal.

"Doping is a threat to the sponsor's business, so why would sponsors not want to fund clean sport, and have a stake in the positive values clean sport exudes?

"As one person suggested to me, why does an organisation that sponsors an athlete, who has been sanctioned for doping, not attribute the money it would pay the athlete during that sanction to the anti-doping movement, instead? That is surely where its interest should lie.

"We need to rally all sport's stakeholders - including broadcasters and sponsors - to the clean sport cause."