(Ottawa, Ontario – December 9, 2016) – More disturbing revelations about an unprecedented doping conspiracy in the Russian sport system must serve as a catalyst for sweeping reforms to bolster the global fight against doping, according to the President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). 

Paul Melia made the comment today following release of a damning report by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, who found indisputable evidence of a “systematic and centralised cover up and manipulation of the doping control process” in Russia between 2011 and 2015. His report claims that over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sport were involved in or benefited from manipulations to conceal positive doping tests.

“We’re facing a crisis in confidence,” said Melia. “Action must be taken now to restore the integrity of international sport and rebuild trust in the eyes of clean athletes around the world. The good news is that we know what reforms are required.”

Melia noted that leaders from many National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADO), including the CCES, got together in Copenhagen recently to develop a package of proposed reforms that would strengthen WADA’s ability to do its work, detect problems much sooner, and greatly reduce the chances of another doping scandal on this scale.

Among the recommendations in the Copenhagen Reforms is standardized, independent testing for international sport federations with regulatory oversight from WADA to ensure consistency and proper rigour from sport to sport.

“The collective outrage we’re hearing around the world today is being felt most acutely by clean athletes,” Melia said. “They’ll be looking for decisive action from organizations like the International Olympic Committee. It’s time to do the right thing and impose tough sanctions against a corrupt Russian system.”

NADOs are also calling for improved governance practices in sport organizations to ensure greater independence and transparency, along with measures to ensure protection for whistleblowers like Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov who first exposed widespread doping practices in Russia.

“And if we expect WADA to be truly effective, it must have the authority to enforce sanctions against countries, sport organizations or National Anti-Doping Organizations that defy the World Anti-Doping Code,” added Melia.

“I strongly support Professor McLaren’s call for an end to the infighting amongst international sport federations and key organizations involved in the anti-doping system,” he said. “We should heed his call to ‘move forward together and find a solution.’”

About the CCES

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for-profit organization with a responsibility to administer the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. We are committed to working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.

For further information, please contact:

+1 613-521-3340 x3233
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