The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomes Sen. George Mitchell’s report exposing the depth of the drug problem and urging progress in the fight against doping in major league baseball. WADA supports many of his conclusions and recommendations, including the recommendation that Major League Baseball must institute a credible testing program that is fully transparent, implemented by an independent third party, and incorporates year-round, no-advance-notice testing.
“The program that Sen. Mitchell is recommending is based largely on the model developed by WADA and universally approved and implemented by Sport and Governments around the world,” said WADA President Richard W. Pound. “The real question now is, what will MLB and the players’ association do? They must look at changes to the collective bargaining agreement immediately. They now have no credible reason to delay.”
As for the recommendation to waive disciplinary action against those players who were found through the report to have used banned drugs, Mr. Pound expressed his concern that accountability should not be lost in the process of moving beyond the current drug era of baseball. “WADA supports the principle of accountability, and holding everyone responsible for their own actions, including not only the players, but also the clubs and the management," said Pound. "After all, we’re talking about sport. Sport is based on rules. And when rules are broken, there must be consequences. If there’s to be any kind of amnesty, then it should promote a real truth and reconciliation that motivates all of those who have doped to be forthcoming in order to achieve a true clean slate, for the sake of restoring real integrity to the sport.”
WADA also supports the recommendation of a completely independent investigatory office to follow-up on allegations of anti-doping rules violations. “It is clear that the most effective strategy in combating doping in sport involves a combination of several programs, including testing, education, and investigations,” continued Pound. “Non-analytical evidence is just as important in determining a doping violation as a positive test. We have been promoting this approach and promoting collaboration between the Sport Movement and government and law enforcement authorities to ensure that we can attack doping in this way as well.”