Athletes' groups demand independent WADA

Several athletes organisations have called for the World Anti-Doping Agency to be fully independent.
Several athletes organisations have called for the World Anti-Doping Agency to be fully independent.

Four leading athletes' groups have called on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to become fully independent and include more athlete representation so it can better fight the scourge of drugs in sport.

On the eve of WADA's Executive Committee meeting, the Athletics Association, Athleten Deutschland, the International Swimmers' Alliance and Global Athlete said WADA should not be controlled by those who have a stake in the "economics" of sport competition.

"We call on all stakeholders, particularly governments, to support athletes' repeated calls for a fully independent WADA Executive Committee including the provision of a voting seat at the decision-making table for independent athlete representative organisations," a statement read on Tuesday.

"WADA's proposed addition of a few athletes to its governance structure is once again, more smoke and mirrors.

"One of WADA's inherent flaws is its lack of independence. The many conflicted actors with divided loyalties to sport and government is particularly evident at the Executive Committee level."

According to a statement on its website "WADA's funding is sourced equally from the Olympic Movement and governments of the world."

Australian Associated Press