9 March 2016

WADA President highlights importance of regaining clean athletes’ trust in Keynote London Speech

Sir Craig Reedie the headline speaker at today’s Tackling Doping in Sport Conference

WADA President Sir Craig Reedie stressed the importance of regaining the trust of clean athletes during  his headline speech at the Tackling Doping in Sport Conference in London today.

During his speech, Reedie emphasized the importance for WADA to be seen as, not only a regulator but also as a collaborative partner in the protection of the clean athlete.  He explained how the revised 2015 World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is essential to achieving that goal. “The Code offers us real clout if we use it effectively: [the Code] provides quality-based changes that we can collectively use to protect clean athletes; and, in turn, give them – and the wider public – greater belief in the system. The athletes deserve it at this time,” he said.

Reedie touched upon the idea of extending investigations into other sports and/or other countries; and, maintained that hard, credible evidence would be required before initiating further investigations.  He stressed that further funding would be vital if investigations were to become a more common feature in anti-doping: “If evidence [of breaches to the rules] comes to light, I will not hesitate to act,” he said. “However, if full-blown investigations are to become the norm, then we must seriously explore greater funding for this aspect of our work.”

In his speech, Reedie also highlighted the important role of whistleblowers and the media in helping expose doping cases. “What the Independent Commission also highlighted is that we, WADA and our ‘traditional’ anti-doping partners, have no monopoly on anti-doping wisdom,” he continued.

Reedie went on to underline a number of wins for the anti-doping industry in 2015 including:

  • The implementation of four-year bans spanning a full Olympic cycle for first time offenders
  • 850 recorded Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)
  • 30 sanctions resulting directly from the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) since the revised Code came into force in January 2015.

All this, he said, is proof that the 2015 Code is having an impact, even if doping “refuses to go away”.

Read the full transcript of Sir Craig's speech here.