World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Craig Reedie

Public confidence in sport shattered, says WADA president Reedie

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Craig Reedie claims public confidence shattered in sport.

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (MARCH 14, 2016) (REUTERS) – Athletes and millions of sports fans worldwide have demanded answers following the spate of doping and governance scandals which have hit sport recently, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Monday (March 14).

WADA president Craig Reedie also called on sponsors to help fund the fight against doping and promised better protection for whistleblowers.

Athletics was rocked last year when Russia was suspended from the sport after a WADA investigation revealed a state-sponsored doping programme and soccer’s governing body FIFA was shaken by the worst graft scandal in its history.

Tennis was also hit last week when five-times grand slam champion Maria Sharapova revealed that she had tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

“The public’s 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 affect 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 that 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.

“I’ve heard ever more for a vociferous cause for a slice of the millions of dollars that are paid for a sport television revenue to be provided to the anti-doping cause, this is a bold idea and i put it to the leading sports federation and broadcasters. Now is the time to look at this seriously and I also suggested last week in London, major sports sponsors may consider how they might help fund clean sport.”