Connect to share and comment
The World Anti-Doping Agency needs a massive shake-up, with the Lance Armstrong case and a fresh scandal in Australia underscoring its failings, a global athletes' lobby group said on Tuesday.
The Swiss-based UNI Sport PRO -- an umbrella group of national and international sporting associations representing some 100,000 members worldwide -- said WADA had fallen short in the 14 years since it was established.
"The Lance Armstrong doping scandal and the Australian Crime Commission investigations demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the current WADA testing regime," it said.
"Armstrong was not caught through testing, despite being frequently tested."
The issue of how to tighten doping controls in the sport has come to a head after US cyclist Armstrong's admission last month that he took a cocktail of banned drugs to win the Tour de France a record seven times between 1999 and 2005.
The disgraced Texan was banned from the sport for life and stripped of his career wins back to August 1988, severely denting cycling's reputation and casting a cloud over modern-day riders, despite efforts to drastically clean up the sport.
Last week, meanwhile, the Australian Crime Commission report said use of prohibited substances including peptides, hormones and illicit drugs was commonplace across multiple sporting codes, sending shockwaves through Australia.
"Current rules and structures are inadequate to deal with corrupt cultures within sport organizations and the involvement of organized crime in doping," said UNI Sport Pro.
"Clean athletes want and need the anti-doping rules to be effective and proportionate. Regrettably, the World Anti Doping Agency and its stakeholders are failing in their mission to protect clean athletes," it added.
A major problem, it claimed, is that the voice of the athletes themselves is not properly heard at WADA, leading to a lack of accountability.
"Democratically elected and accountable Athlete Associations are an important part of the solution and can help WADA increase its effectiveness," it said.