USOC Position Paper on Anti-Doping Reform

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Ali-Rollins-CastlinFL1-OlyGame16.jpgUSA hurdle sweep, Ali, Rollins, Castlin, photo by PhotoRun.net

Nice to see the USOC showing common sense and some forward thinking. Doping in sports is a business decision. The punishments must outweigh the results from doping.

The USOC is making steps in the right direction.

Anti-Doping Reform - USOC Position Paper
ANTI-DOPING REFORM - USOC POSITION PAPER

The Olympic and Paralympic movements are unique within the world of sport in that they were founded, and are promoted, as values-based movements. The practice of doping is fundamentally contrary to those values in every respect, and the Olympic and Paralympic movements cannot maintain their values-based identity unless they make a more meaningful, collective and effective commitment to lead the fight against doping. We must provide a safe and level playing field for our athletes, and we must demonstrate to our stakeholders that doping in the Olympic and Paralympic movements is the exception, not the rule, and will not be tolerated.

Doping is a global problem and requires a global solution that does not depend on individual countries or sport organizations for enforcement. While there are numerous effective national anti-doping organizations currently in place around the world, there must also be a clearly independent anti-doping body with overriding global authority of those national anti-doping organization (NADO) programs, with the responsibility to test, investigate and sanction when necessary - ensuring consistency across countries and sports.

Fundamental due process rights must be afforded to athletes and others in individual cases. Among these, an athlete should have the opportunity to rebut factual allegations before the fact finder and have a right to appeal to an independent body who must not also be responsible for prosecution.

Systematic doping requires a systematic and proportional response. There should be sanctions not only against proven perpetrators, but against anyone who knew or should have known about a doping violation. It is the responsibility of everyone, from athletes to coaches to administrators, to report doping violations. To that end, an independent anti-doping authority must have the power to suspend International Federations, National Olympic Committees, National Federations and National Anti-doping Organizations in cases of systematic doping.

Investigative work to uncover systematic doping must be robustly supported in balance with other forms of detection. Whistleblowers must be encouraged to share what they know and protected against retribution.

This enhanced fight against doping requires increased investment. The IOC, the NOCs and the IFs should all contribute on a fair and equitable basis, complementing governmental support.

The USOC will work from within the IOC, ANOC and WADA to advocate for change. A viable solution will require the constructive input of all stakeholders. Time is of the essence.

With these principles in mind, and while the USOC is open to workable alternatives to these specifics, it appears that the global anti-doping solution should include at least these elements:

Strong WADA. WADA must be positioned as the strong, independent, global leader in anti-doping, with greater authority, independence and funding.
Authority.


International Testing and Investigation Authority. WADA should have oversight of NADOs, and a direct role in athlete testing, both in and out of competition, when necessary to ensure the integrity of the anti-doping movement is maintained.

Centralized Testing and Investigation Oversight of NADOs and Anti-doping Systems. WADA should have a clear role in checking and certifying in-country anti-doping organizations and laboratories, and the ability to sanction non-compliant organizations, as well as jurisdiction and rules to address failing national anti-doping systems.

Independence. WADA should be governed independently of the sports organizations it watches and works with, and needs to have clear, transparent policies on governance. No person serving in a governance role in the IOC, any NOC, any IF, or ANOC should also serve in a governance role for WADA.

Funding. In order to do these first two things, WADA needs more funding from more governments, as well as from the IOC.

Whistleblowers. WADA's rules must include specific protections for whistleblowers, and clear, easy means (including anonymous means) for reporting violations.
The U.S. Olympic Committee stands with every clean athlete around the world in promoting integrity, health and every athlete's fundamental right to compete in clean sport. We are committed to partnering with the global sport community to ensure sport remains a fair and unifying force for good that inspires everyone to achieve more.

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