ASADA calls to unite as one in campaign for clean sport
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) chief executive David Sharpe has called on world anti-doping leaders to unite as one voice in the campaign for clean sport in the wake of the decision to lift the ban on Russia.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) executive committee voted overnight to allow the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to be reinstated despite a failure to meet the original conditions set down by WADA.
Mr Sharpe said he was supportive of Russia returning but not at any cost and only when they have met the strict conditions originally put forward for their reinstatement.
“ASADA was a signatory to the statement issued prior to the meeting last night, which called on WADA to postpone voting on RUSADA’s return until they had fully complied with the roadmap,” Mr Sharpe said.
“More than ever athletes need to be reassured that the focus of anti-doping agencies such as ASADA remained, ensuring there is a level playing field.”
He said the decision overnight strengthens his organisation’s commitment in the pursuit of clean, fair sport. “ASADA is committed to working internationally with its national anti-doping partners to close the gap and strengthen their programs.”
Mr Sharpe said sport administrators must remember that sport is about athletes and the fans.
“Leaders such as Canadian anti-doping activist Beckie Scott have given athletes a voice to express their concerns and it is vital that her views be taken into account.”
He said he was concerned about the impact the decision would have on athletes’ confidence in the global anti-doping system.
“Today athletes have every right to feel the system has failed them.”