“The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.”
In baseball, Barry Bonds never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, nor did Marion Jones who competed in the sport of athletics or Lance Armstrong in cycling. Armstrong was the poster boy for drug taking. All three are implicated as cheats, two admitted as much. In a world ruled by the evidence-based burden of proof, smoking gun justice must prevail. This has to be the way, otherwise, no drug cheats would have ever been sanctioned – the testing has yet to keep up with the cheating. Sir Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) doesn’t get that or is blatantly ignoring it.
He is the very last person who should be so obtuse.
Winning-by-cheating in sport is not simply morally corrupt, it is also illegal because for those who win endorsement contracts, prize money and carding from their national governing body by way of cheating are stealing from those athletes who do not cheat. Long is the list of careers that fell short of their true glory. Perhaps longer would be the unfinished list of cheaters who became champions.
Since 1896, Russia has medalled (1,865) in the Olympic Games more than every country except for the United States (2,520). The Russians (Soviet Union, Russian Empire) have been stripped of 51 medals, four times as many as the next most penalized country. This includes 14 nations that have gained independence from Russia.
Regardless, Reedie feels that the promise of retaining samples from Russian testing labs is enough to reinstate the nation of Russia to international sport – a country with a deep culture of cheating.
This is where the president has got it wrong.
Reedie, below, according to Inside the Games challenges complaining athletes to come up with a better alternative. He also said that the complaining comes from a perspective of not understanding everything that is at play in the compromise that was reached.
Reedie and the old boy’s club at WADA appear to have a forced hand or they are demonstrating a complete lack in understanding of what is at stake. The continued mockery of the sport and flagging interest from supporters.
From Inside the Games
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie has challenged athletes who have criticised the decision to reinstate Russia to come up with an “alternative option” as he questioned those who believe the country’s suspension should have been maintained.
Reedie insisted the compromise reached with the nation was the right call as he launched another impassioned defence of the process which led to the controversial verdict to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) compliant again.
The 77-year-old Scot claimed a lack of a detailed understanding of WADA’s methods prompted the torrent of criticism aimed his way and at the organisation but admitted the outcry and anger from athletes was “completely understandable”.
“I have a question for the athletes and that is what, in practice, is the alternative option,” he said.
“There is a crucial element in what we have been doing and that is getting access to samples and data that will allow ongoing cases to continue.
“I am used to athletes complaining but I really want to know what their alternates are.”
Reedie, who wrote an open letter aimed at addressing concerns raised following the Executive Committee decision to reinstate RUSADA at a meeting in the Seychelles last week, said he was hopeful WADA’s credibility had not been damaged following a tumultuous period for the organisation.
RUSADA being declared compliant following a deal struck between WADA and Russian authorities, which saw the global watchdog soften the two remaining criteria on the body’s compliance roadmap, sparked outrage from athletes and national anti-doping groups.
“If you look back at the 21 months since the roadmap was put in place there has been complete refusal by the Russian authorities to meet the last two conditions,” Sir Craig added.