More money needed to fight cheats, says WADA chief Reedie

Sat Feb 6, 2016 10:53am EST
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(Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) faces a challenge to tackle cheating in sport while it has an annual budget of less than the income of many top athletes, its president Craig Reedie said.

Lack of money could equally prove a handicap for a proposed independent testing authority, said Reedie, who also expressed support for global athletics chief Sebastian Coe and said WADA was in a state of "peace not war" with Coe's troubled sport.

"I could do with a lot more money," Reedie said in an interview with Newsweek published on Saturday.

The Scot said governments decided their own contributions to WADA's budget, which were then matched by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"The total is not nearly enough," he said. "WADA’s total annual budget of $30 million a year is exceeded by many athletes around the world who make more than that themselves in one year."

Reedie said he was impressed with the support within sport and from governments for an independent testing agency as proposed by IOC president Thomas Bach but the question of funding it needed to be addressed.

"Who pays the bill is a crucial question," he said.

"This is one of the challenges as we investigate a new independent body that would remove the conflict of interest inherent with international federations who promote and police their sports.

"An independent testing body may or may not be a priority for governments, who see that their own domestic anti-doping programs are just as important."   Continued...

Sir Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), attends a meeting at Jamaica's Olympic Association in Kingston February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy/Files