As members of the WADA Athlete Committee, we wish to express our profound disappointment and dismay with the recent ruling by CAS to reinstate the medals and results of 28 Russian winter Olympians from Sochi, previously disqualified for doping offences.
We share the distress, uncertainty and frustration expressed by many athletes on the news of this ruling and believe this decision to be a massive setback for clean sport.
We stand by and renew our call (made 9 August 2017, London, UK) for “the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to improve and strengthen its independence and continually strive to increase the quality of its arbitrators”.
We cannot lose sight of the extent nor the scale of the efforts that Russian authorities and athletes engaged in to cheat the anti-doping system. Thus, we call for stronger leadership from sport to protect clean athletes and their right to doping-free sport.
It is vital that athletes, countries, teams and officials that cheat be held fully accountable and sanctioned accordingly. For this reason, we call for a transparent and comprehensive review of how the McLaren reports of the doping conspiracy in Russia were handled. We welcome a thorough discussion on this topic at the next WADA Foundation Board meeting.