From Inside the Games

A schism between athlete representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has deepened after the two organisations clashed over a perceived lack of international spread at the latter’s Global Athlete Forum.

Letters were sent to WADA by the chairs of Athlete Commissions in Europe, Asia and Africa complaining about what they claimed was “no proper representation of elected athletes” at the two-day event in Calgary.

They alleged that none of the Athletes’ Commissions within the Olympic world were invited.

WADA Athlete Committee chairperson Beckie Scott denied this was the case and insisted the Forum, which concluded yesterday, had a “diverse, broad and international” depiction of the athlete community.

The criticism of the Forum comes after the sports movement, including IOC officials, tabled a motion at WADA’s Foundation Board meeting in Seoul in November in a bid to stop it taking place.

insidethegames understands the sports movement proposed scrapping the Forum and instead diverting the money put aside for the athlete gathering into anti-doping areas such as research.

In response, Scott said it was “not the first time” such a move had been made against the WADA Athlete Committee, which she conceded had “taken a lot of hits” in recent years.

Former Senegalese 400-metres hurdler Amadou Dia Ba, who chairs the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) Athletes’ Commission, led the criticism of the event in the Canadian city.

In an open letter sent to WADA director general Olivier Niggli and seen by insidethegames, Dia Ba claimed the Forum “does not properly represent the athletes” and all conclusions made were not endorsed by elected athletes.

It could be interpreted as a jibe at the WADA Athlete Committee, which is formed of appointed rather than elected former competitors.

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