“There are a couple of gaps that need to be filled”

WADA just released its last yearly report listing all the antidoping tests carried out by the different sports in the world. Should we encourage federations to tend increasingly towards greater transparency regarding controls?

Absolutely, and that’s what we need in terms of annual reports, because we need each of the federations and the national anti-doping agencies to file full reports, indicating the whole test distribution plan, and the way in which their tests were conducted, and the outcomes. But we can only publish what we get, and we can only publish in full, what we get from the laboratories. So there are a couple of gaps that need to be filled, and we’re hoping that as we go forward they will be filled by more cooperation from the anti-doping organizations.

What are the associations or organizations remain more discrete about it?

We never rate or rank the anti-doping organizations; I think that is for you to do. You can look at the figures and make some opinions. We prefer to work with everybody, because we know everybody needs some help, and we know everybody can do better, but sometimes they can’t do it by themselves. So our job is to work with them to increase their quality.

What are the federations or organizations involved in transparency regarding the anti-doping fight?

It depends on what you classify as transparency, because a lot of the time, when some federations publish the list of the names of the athletes they tested–and they are reluctant to do that now because of privacy laws and data protection laws–so you can’t be as transparent as you perhaps want to be. There are other laws that prevail in some countries which preclude them even naming those who break the rules, or naming them only in a semi-public way by posting them on a website, rather than issuing a press release. So there are areas where things can be more transparent, if people can see the good benefit in that, and we would like to promote it if we can.


“We are trying to do things to change those rules”

What’s the benefit for these federations?

I think the public really demands more transparency nowadays, and is not happy when things are swept under the carpet or not disclosed. It sounds as though there’s a cover up, or a secret, which is being hidden from them, and they don’t like that. So we would always, I think, make sure that transparency was one of the number one issues, and we try to set the example on that. Again, however, we’re constricted by rules and laws sometimes that we are not really happy with, and we are trying to do things to change those rules. So, I think transparency is a value that the public really does wish to have, and wish to see in sport.

What are the obligations that the federations must submit about transparency of controls and results?

In terms of publication you will see that there’s an article in the code that tells each of the anti-doping organizations what they need to do in terms of publishing the cases of those who break the rules, and we’ve got ways of monitoring that to ensure that that is done. That would include sanction periods and so on, and we’ve got rights of appeal. So we can keep an eye on that. What we also have is an obligation on the anti-doping organizations to publishing annually their statistics, to show the tests are done, and the results, and so on. That’s where we think there needs to be some improvement, as we enter into the revised code of next year, I think there will be significant improvement. We’ve tried to lead the way by the way we’ve published ours, because you might remember that three or four years ago we were only issuing a ten-page report. Now it’s very detailed, and we think that those sorts of details can be copied by others.

Does the idea of a biological passport widespread in other sports is a track as you explore to strengthen anti-doping fight?

We are trying to do that. It’s not mandatory–as you know–it’s a discretionary thing. But we have worked with FIFA, for example, and they’ve launched their biological passport in Brazil. We think that others will join, because the benefits of profiling are significant. It not only allows the athlete to say that they are clean, because they’ve been profiled—but it also allows more information to come to the testing authority to check whether someone is suspicious. And, finally, it also shows someone who’s cheating. So there are benefits involved in the passport, which we think ought to go across boards.