WADA's Reedie under fire from Olympic committees

Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:58am EST
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DOHA (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency and its head Craig Reedie faced stinging criticism from national Olympic committees on Wednesday for its handling of the Russian doping scandal, days before its board meeting where the Scot is up for re-election.

Reedie, speaking to the general assembly of the Association of National Olympic committees (ANOC), said these were "troubled times" after the Russian doping affair, which resulted in dozens of athletes being banned from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

While calling for more sanctioning powers for WADA and closer cooperation with governments, Reedie, who is up for re-election on Nov. 20, had to defend his organization's actions with half a dozen NOCs criticizing him at the assembly.

He also had to defend the timing of the release of part of the so-called McLaren report into doping in Russia shortly before the Rio Games in August. The report uncovered systematic state-sponsored doping in Russia.

The investigation, triggered by media reports of state-backed doping in Russia, led to a partial ban on Russians at the Rio Games and the suspension of the country's doping laboratory, its anti-doping agency and athletics federation.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who heads the ANOC and is an influential International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, called for a 'neutral' president to deal with the fallout of the doping crisis.

The IOC confirmed it had held talks with Reedie, who is standing for another three-year term, about appointing a neutral president in future and dropping the current system of rotating the choice of president between governments and sports bodies.


President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Craig Reedie gestures during an interview with Reuters at the WADA symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse