In Summary

  • Individual international federations wield varying degrees of power over doping controls, in many cases acting as judge and jury, according to critics of the system.
  • The IOC has already sought to increase independence by handing primary responsibility for sanctioning to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
  • The push for an independent testing authority is not to everyone's taste however.
  • Several powerful federations, notably world football's governing body Fifa, have already indicated they want to be exempt from the proposed reforms.

MONTREAL

The thorny issue of creating a new drug-testing authority independent of international federations will be on the agenda here Thursday at a key meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency just eight months ahead of the Winter Olympics.

Currently in the fight against drugs, individual international federations wield varying degrees of power over doping controls, in many cases acting as judge and jury, according to critics of the system.

The International Olympic Committee, which faced a barrage of criticism last year for its response to the Russia doping scandal, has already sought to increase independence by handing primary responsibility for sanctioning to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

At an Olympic summit last October the IOC called for the creation of a new body for independent testing while barring international sports federations from drug-testing responsibilities.

The IOC argues the present system has failed to ensure clean competition and creates obvious conflicts of interest for sports federations.

Wada launched a working group last November to study the proposal of setting up an independent testing authority.

The findings of that working group are expected to be one of the key items on the agenda for this week's meeting of the Wada Foundation Board in Montreal, which gets under way on Thursday.

Jean-Christophe Rolland, the president of the International Rowing Federation (ISAF), told AFP there was broad support for change.

"All the partners agree on a basic principle that the system needs to be improved," Rolland said. "But depending on the size of the federations, the situations and means are different," the former Olympic champion added.

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