Calls have been made for an overhaul of the World Anti-Doping Agency following a summit at the White House in Washington DC.
The summit was hosted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and was attended by representatives of governments, sports bodies and athletes.
UK sports minister Tracey Crouch, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) chief executive Nicole Sapstead and British cyclists Callum Skinner and Elinor Barker were present.
The summit was called following WADA’s controversial decision last month to lift the suspension imposed on Russia’s anti-doping agency (RUSADA) over state-sponsored doping three years ago.
A statement issued on behalf of delegates by USADA read: “WADA must be reformed to make it stronger and more accountable to clean athletes in order for governments, the public and athletes to continue to support and believe in it.”
It called for an overhaul of governance structure “in a significant and meaningful way”.
The statement added: “WADA must commit to govern and operate in respectful, accountable, democratic, and transparent manner.”
It also said the agency must make “greater efforts to listen to and respect the voice of athletes” and called for a “robust independent inquiry to examine WADA’s culture, leadership and operations following the recent allegations of bullying and acts of intimidation at WADA”.
This evening in response to the White House Summit, WADA claimed they had not been invited. However US Anti-Doping agency (USADA) Chief Travis Tygart said:
“Contrary to what the Wada leadership would like to have people believe, Wada was invited, hence why WADA vice president Linda Helleland was in the room championing clean sport and listening to athletes.
There were also WADA executive committee members – Edwin Moses and Clayton Cosgrove. WADA leadership is trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes once again.”
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie and WADA Director General Olivier Niggli are due to give speeches tomorrow in London.