WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sent a report to Congress that highlights the internal challenges the World-Anti Doping Agency faces, continuing threats to fair competition from corrupt governments, and ONDCP’s ongoing efforts to build partnerships within the Western Hemisphere to better respond to anti-doping challenges and broader sports issues.
“WADA has recently taken some important steps forward, but the work of reform must continue. The United States will be a good faith partner in helping the organization advance its mission,” said Dr. Gupta. “All stakeholders, in every country, need to confront challenges to fair competition, whether they come from corrupt governments or from individual competitors. In this effort, the interests of athletes across the globe must remain front and center.”
The report includes details how the state-sponsored doping conspiracy organized by the Russia for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 was part of a longstanding pattern of abuses. That year, the Russian government helped steal medals from deserving elite athletes. In response WADA launched an internal reform effort and is now in the midst of implementing a second wave of major reforms to its operations.
WADA must confront the numerous threats posed to integrity in sport. This is no easy task, considering the scope of the global sports movement, the very high incentive for certain governments and athletes to gain an illicit edge in competition, and the continuing evolution of technology with regard both to testing and other means bad actors may use to manipulate data.
The report explains that there has been a significant level of effort by WADA to improve the organization’s operations, but it is too early to judge whether these efforts are sufficient to overcome the shortcomings and concerns highlighted in ONDCP’s 2021 report to Congress. The report also provides an overview of reform efforts and provides an assessment of progress made, as well as commentary on areas that require additional focus. The conclusion of the report discusses the need for ONDCP to monitor the implementation of WADA’s internal reforms, as well the importance of working more closely with partners throughout the Americas on anti-doping and broader sports issues.
Read the full report HERE.