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International Sports Federation’s fight to protect the clean athlete: are we doing enough in the fight against doping?
  1. Margo Mountjoy1,2,
  2. Stuart Miller3,
  3. Matteo Vallini4,
  4. Jeremy Foster5,
  5. James Carr5
  1. 1Department of Family Medicine, Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2IOC Medical Commission—Games Group, Lausanne, Switzerland
  3. 3International Tennis Federation, London, United Kingdom
  4. 4Doping-Free Sport Unit, SportAccord, Lausanne, Switzerland
  5. 5The Association of Summer Olympic international Federations (ASOIF), Lausanne, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Margo Mountjoy, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University Waterloo Regional Campus, 10-B Victoria Street South, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; mmsportdoc{at}mcmaster.ca

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Antidoping climate

The antidoping landscape has seen significant changes recently. Doping in sport, and integrity in a wider sense, have been the subject of greater scrutiny than ever before. The WADA and other antidoping organisations (ADOs) have been criticised for being subject to conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. Conflicts of interest indicate failure of governance. That is, the governance structures within such ADOs are insufficient to give stakeholders comfort that those organisations are free from undue influence. One way in which these criticisms could be addressed is by implementing and enforcing governance principles that would see various components of an antidoping programme, including sample collection, analysis, results management and therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), independent from that ADO’s political arm—Russia, for example.

Antidoping in Russia is a case in point. The suspensions by WADA of the Russian National Anti-Doping Organisation and the Moscow antidoping laboratory and the allegations related to activities at the (then-WADA-accredited) antidoping laboratory in Sochi 2014, combined with the sanctioning of athletes following retests of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games, have led to the view that the current antidoping system is not ‘fit for purpose’ today, and certainly not appropriate to face the challenges of the future. Among others, the IOC published a declaration in October 2016, calling for a ‘more robust, more efficient, more transparent and more harmonised WADA anti-doping system… (including) better governance…, increased security… and increased financing’.1 It is incumbent on all stakeholders, including WADA, public authorities (governments) and sport, including the IOC and International (Sporting) Federations (IFs) to share responsibility in facing those challenges.

Activities of the IFs in the fight against doping

The Summer Olympic IFs, under the leadership of the Association of Summer Olympic International …

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