1 June 2017

IOC & WADA to control Independent Testing Authority

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are to control the appointment and financing of a new Independent Testing Authority (ITA) for sport, revealed a statement published by WADA today. The IOC will be the founding body of the ITA and will initially supply its funding, and a Selection Committee appointed by WADA will vet all five ITA board members, of which two will be independent of sport.

The IOC and WADA’s plans were revealed in a Summary of Outcomes from WADA’s 17-18 May Foundation Board meeting (PDF below) in Montreal. The composition of the ITA will feature an independent Chairman; an IOC representative; an international federation representative; an athlete; and an independent expert. All five members will be proposed by the sporting movement, and will be vetted for suitability by a three person WADA-appointed Selection Committee. Once approved by the Selection Committee, the five appointments will be put to the WADA Executive Committee for ratification.

The ITA is intended to assist international federations that want to delegate their anti-doping programmes to an independent body. WADA agreed to explore the idea of setting up the ITA in November 2015, after it was proposed by the IOC at an Olympic Summit. It was designed to alleviate concerns about the inherent conflict of interest between the role of international federations in promoting their sport, but also policing against anti-doping.

This conflict of interest between the need to police against doping, and the damage that doping announcements can cause to commercial agreements has long plagued sport. Papa Massata Diack, son of former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack, admitted that the body made a conscious decision to delay the announcement of Russian doping positives until after the Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships.

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