Athletes and millions of sports fans worldwide have demanded answers following the spate of doping and governance scandals which have sullied the sport recently, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said on 14 March. Wada president Craig Reedie also called on sponsors to help fund the fight against doping.
Athletics was rocked last year when Russia was suspended from the sport after a Wada investigation revealed a state-sponsored doping programme and footballs governing body Fifa was shaken by the worst graft scandal in its history. Tennis was also hit last week when five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova revealed she had tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.
The publics confidence in sport was shattered in 2015 like never before, the public mood has soured, cynicism has prevailed and there is a general feeling that they’re all at it, Reedie told a Wada conference. We’ve seen criminal arrests of Fifa executives over corruption and bribery, systematic doping in Russia and serious anti-doping governance and failures at the international track and field governing body the IAAF. Tennis has been claimed by the effect of match-fixing at the highest level involving even some umpires and only last week faced doping charges on one of its biggest stars.
Reedie also complained Wada was struggling for funding. If full-blown investigations are to become the norm, then we must of course seriously explore greater funding for our community, he said.