IOC calls May 21 meeting to discuss WADA, betting
Olympic leaders will meet on May 21 to discuss the World
Anti-Doping Agency’s role in fighting performance-enhancing drugs
and ways to combat illegal betting and match-fixing.
The meeting at International Olympic Committee headquarters in
Lausanne, Switzerland, was arranged after international sports
federations complained of deteriorating relations with WADA.
IOC director general Christophe De Kepper told The Associated
Press the meeting will be attended by 20-25 people, including
officials from summer and winter federations, national Olympic
committees, athletes and the four IOC vice presidents.
The group will discuss ”issues of common interest,” including
WADA, betting, the sports calendar and independence of sports
bodies, he said.
The focal point will be relations with WADA, which the IOC set
up in 1999 to lead the global anti-doping fight. The IOC and
Olympic movement provide 50 percent of WADA’s annual budget.
The meeting was formally requested by Francesco Ricci Bitti,
head of the Association of Summer Olympic International
Federations, which represents the 26 sports in the games.
”Relations with WADA have deteriorated significantly and the
lack of help and support from WADA against a background of constant
media criticism of its sports `partners’ and the consequent
breakdown of trust need to be addressed as a priority,” Ricci
Bitti, an Italian who is president of the International Tennis
Federation, said in a letter last month to IOC President Jacques
The scandal that led to Lance Armstrong being stripped of his
seven Tour de France titles for systematic doping triggered a
public feud between WADA and the UCI, cycling’s governing body and
a member of ASOIF. WADA has also singled out soccer and tennis for
not doing enough testing.
IOC and sports federation officials have expressed irritation
with recent public statements by WADA President John Fahey. They
have also noted that nearly $500 million is spent each year on
doping controls with relatively few athletes being caught in the
WADA’s current annual budget is $26 million, with $13 million
provided by the Olympic movement and the other half by
Still to be determined is who will succeed Fahey, whose six-year
term as WADA chief expires at the end of 2013.
The WADA presidency alternates between the Olympic movement and
governments. Fahey, a former Australian finance minister, succeeded
IOC member Dick Pound as WADA president in 2007 as the
representative of governments.
The IOC is scheduled to nominate the next WADA president at the
world doping summit in November in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Another main topic of the May meeting will be illegal betting,
which Rogge has repeatedly warned is as big a threat to sport as
doping and a key element in the scourge of match-fixing.
De Kepper said the IOC will hold separate talks in Lausanne on
May 14 with government officials and betting company operators to
follow up on previous meetings to coordinate efforts against
The IOC has monitored betting patterns at the last three
Olympics, but found nothing irregular.
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