MONTREAL: WADA president Sir Craig Reedie has estimated that the multiple scandals of the past year have “shattered the public’s confidence in sport like never before” writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Reedie was addressing the World Anti-Doping Agency’s annual symposium for anti-doping organizations in Lausanne.

He said: “Our backs have been pushed up against the wall and the public is demanding answers and we are determined to set things right through robust anti-doping programmes.”

Focusing on the damning report into Russian athletics, Reedie said: “Although it was very unsettling to the world of sport, the investigation proved hugely significant – and demonstrated the role that investigative work can play in modern-day anti-doping.

“We will continue to work hand in hand with both whistleblowers and the media and put in place enhanced measures to protect whistleblowers better. We all want the same thing after all, and that is clean sport.”

Legislation demand

Reedie also challenged countries to ensure the right legislation was in place to protect clean athletes.

The anti-doping movement was industry reaping the rewards of its links with law enforcement but “we need governments to have the appropriate legislation in place so that law enforcement agencies can investigate fully and information can be exchanged freely and effectively.”

He also acknowledged the calls from athletes across the world, and WADA athlete committee chair Beckie Scott, to investigate further into Russian sports as well as other countries with suspected doping problems.

He and his team would “reanalyse the evidence” from the independent commission and consider whether sufficient information existed to propose further investigation to the WADA executive committee.

Reedie also emphasized the crucial need for better funding of WADA to ensure that the industry was not restricted in its work.

He said: “We operate on an annual budget of approximately $26m so, if full-blown investigations are to become the norm, then we must seriously explore greater funding for our community.”

He supported the idea of television broadcasters and sport sponsors helping to fund the public’s demand for clean sport.

Reedie added: “This is a bold idea, and I put it to the leading sport federations and broadcasters: now is the time to look at this seriously.  I also think that major sport sponsors should start to consider how they might help fund clean sport.”