WADA president to 're-analyse' independent commission report


World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Craig Reedie has said he will re-examine the independent report into alleged systemic doping in Russian athletics to determine whether further investigations are necessary.

Last November, a commission chaired by former WADA chief Dick Pound stated that Russian track and field had been blighted by "the existence of widespread cheating through the use of doping substances and methods".

In one of several measures taken following the publication of the report, the IAAF banned Russia from international athletics and it remains unclear whether the suspension will be lifted prior to the Rio Olympics.

However, WADA's athletes' committee believes more action is necessary, with a letter to Reedie last week calling for the organisation to "extend the mandate of the independent commission to sports in Russia other than athletics, as well as other countries named in the report".

Addressing this topic at WADA's annual symposium in Lausanne on Monday, Reedie said: "If concrete evidence comes to light as part of the independent testing programme under way in Russia and in our discussions with RUSADA [the Russian Anti-Doping Agency] - that, let us not forget, covers all Russian sports - and the evidence warrants further investigation, we will not hesitate to act.

"I have also assured WADA's athletes' chair, Beckie Scott, following her appeal, that I will re-analyse the information in the independent commission report. I will engage the members of the commission to further understand the strength of the information in the report, follow up with my counterparts at the relevant other sports federations and NADOs [national anti-doping organisations] that were referenced in the independent commission report.

"Following this I will determine whether or not there is sufficient information to propose further investigations to the WADA executive committee and, if so, how it would be funded. If full-blown investigations are to become the norm, then we must, of course, seriously explore greater funding for our community.

"I have heard ever more vociferous calls for a slice of the millions of dollars that are paid for sport television revenue to be provided to the anti-doping cause. This is a bold idea and I put it to the leading sports federations and broadcasters, now is the time to look at this seriously.

"I also suggested last week in London that major sport sponsors should consider how they might help fund clean sport."

Reedie said he was "dismayed" by suggestions he had not shown enough gratitude to Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, the whistleblowers whose allegations prompted the independent commission's report.

"While I have publicly thanked the Stepanovs for what they exposed, it's true that I did not personally reach out to them," Reedie added.

"I did, however, ensure that key members of WADA's management team were in contact with the Stepanovs before, during and after the independent commission's investigation. Separately, and until now privately, I ensured that the agency demonstrated its support by facilitating their relocation, providing financial support and also appealing to the IAAF and to the IOC that Yuliya be readmitted to compete in major international competitions.

"For the record, I, WADA, the anti-doping community and clean athletes of the world are very grateful to the Stepanovs for their contribution."