FORDE, Norway (Reuters) - The governing bodies of sports who want the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to catch and punish cheats for them will have to wait for two years, WADA president Craig Reedie said on Friday.
“You can’t change the whole anti-doping system in a short period, and work is ongoing to find out what investment is needed,” Reedie told Reuters.
”There are a whole range of issues concerning technical arrangements and political arrangements. We are working though it, and if this is going to work the way the IOC have proposed, it will not be till 2018.”
In December, after a series of doping scandals in athletics and other sports, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated its zero-tolerance policy to doping cheats and put forward a plan for change.
That involved the setting-up of a new, independent testing and results agency under the leadership of WADA and recommended that sports should transfer their doping control operations to this new organization.
International sports federations and governments, which are 50 percent partners of WADA, should fund the reform process, said the IOC, which also proposed that all sanctions be carried out not by the sports themselves, but by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The European Weightlifting Federation voted unanimously at its annual congress last week that the sport should “go independent” in the way suggested by the IOC.
Continental federations cannot, however, determine global policy.
“We’re only interested in the international federations, not continental ones. At the end of the day, if the international federations don’t want to join us, then it (the IOC plan) won’t work,” Reedie said.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), the sport’s world governing body, said it was too early for its executive board to vote on the European proposal, given the two-year WADA timespan.
“At this stage of the proposal everything remains at the level of wishes,” said Attila Adamfi, Director General of the IWF.
“The IWF is ready to adopt any proposal which serves the interest of the sport but, being a responsible international federation, votes only on proposals which are elaborated and finalised. Hence, any voting on proposals to hand over testing to another entity is too early, and irrelevant,” he added.
Adamfi said the IWF’s goal had always been and would continue to be to catch cheats even if they are the biggest names in the sport.
”The IWF is one of the very few international federations which has already outsourced its testing program to an independent Anti-Doping Commission, completely independent from weightlifting and any national federations,” the Hungarian said.
Editing by Ed Osmond