Monaco, 15 March 2016: World Olympians Association [WOA], the member organization for Olympians worldwide, has today backed calls from the WADA Athletes’ Committee to extend the mandate of the WADA Independent Commission to other sports and countries and welcomed the promise from WADA to re-analyze the initial report and re-engage with the enquiry team.
WOA has also reaffirmed its full support for all clean athletes and their individual right to participate in major sporting events. As a voice for all Olympians worldwide, the individual rights of clean athletes is of utmost importance to WOA and the organization firmly believes that it would not be fair for clean athletes to miss out on the biggest moments of their sporting lives due to the actions of others.
WOA President, Joel Bouzou, said:
“With the best interests of clean athletes and the integrity of global sport at heart, WOA fully supports the calls by the WADA Athletes’ Committee to extend the mandate of the WADA Independent Commission to other sports and countries. We also welcome the response from WADA to re-analyze the initial report and re-engage with the process.
“As stated by the WADA Athletes’ Committee, the response to date to the Independent Commission report has been unsatisfactory and has not gone far enough to protect clean athletes. WOA therefore fully backs the call for a wider investigation as a sign of greater commitment to protecting the integrity of global sport and ensuring the interests of clean athletes are ferociously protected.
“A wider, more comprehensive investigation could also be a catalyst for a return to action for clean athletes, ensuring they can achieve everything they have worked for and fulfil their dreams of competing at major sporting events. Make no mistake, cheaters should pay the price for their misdemeanours but the individual rights of clean athletes should also be respected as well as their right to train and to compete in the sport that they love. Clean athletes should not be affected by the actions of others.
“An urgent solution is needed for athletes who are seeking to qualify for and participate in major events allowing them to train, prepare and compete with certainty. It is not only the rights and reputations of athletes at stake, but also their ability to act as role models, inspiring young people and encouraging the next generation to take up sport.