WADA chief Craig Reedie insisted the world’s anti-doping system is not “broken” on Tuesday after a broadside from the IOC over how state-sponsored cheating by Russia was handled.
Three days before the Rio Olympics, Reedie’s World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) came under attack from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and other IOC members at a meeting in the Brazilian city.
The two global sports bodies are at odds over an investigation that revealed state-orchestrated Russian doping which left the IOC scrambling for a response.
WADA and several national anti-doping agencies called for Russia’s entire team to be banned from Rio, but the IOC left decisions on Russian participation to individual sports.
On Tuesday, Bach called for a “full review” of WADA and members lined up to criticise the body, before voting 84-1 in favour of the move to let Russia compete in Rio.
Reedie said he found some of the IOC criticism “personally offensive” and defended WADA, although he accepted that some of the agency’s workings needed an overhaul.
“I heard a view this morning that the system is broken,” Reedie told the IOC delegates.
“I would like to say that all of it is not broken, part of it is broken and we should start identifying those parts that need attention.”
Reedie later told reporters that he didn’t feel like he was “run under a bus” at the IOC session. But he was offended by Argentina’s Gerardo Werthein, who accused WADA of grand-standing.
“I spoke to him at the lunchbreak and I told him I found that personally offensive,” Reedie sad. “He assured me he wasn’t speaking about me and he maybe overstated his case.”
Reedie also said the Russian revelations “shook the world to its shoelaces” and had put WADA and the IOC, as well as many athletes, in a difficult spot.
But he said he was heartened that Russia had accepted that it had a major problem with doping.
“It is vital that Russia has admitted that the two commission reports are true and they have specific problem,” he said.
Reeded added: “There’s much work still to be done to bring Russia back to compliance… it’s obviously essential in my view.
“We cannot have the biggest country in the world non-compliant on a permanent basis.” – Agence France-Presse