Which future for anti-doping - if any?
According to lawyer and Western University (Ontario) professor Richard H. McLaren, there is no denying institutional doping taking place in Russia, which is the result of what he called a “medals-at-any-cost" mentality – a culture that needs to change “now.” The World Anti-Doping Agency, however, has no policing authority; there isn’t a clear way to effectively sanction a country. Athletes are woefully undereducated about banned substances, and there needs to be international standards for protecting whistleblowers because they are “almost always” mistreated, McLaren said. This results in athletes not being comfortable reporting suspicious behavior to WADA, but instead to journalists. Not everyone was satisfied with WADA’s structure. ARD German TV producer Hajo Seppelt argued that WADA has distinct conflicts of interest, with 50% of its budget coming from the Olympic movement. Sporting Integrity Director Michele Verroken said everything coming from WADA looks “very male and very pale.” WADA’s Benjamin Cohen responded, saying anti-doping agencies are relatively new (doping in sport has been around since "before Christ"), and more education is needed: hundreds of athletes don’t have a clue about what they can and cannot take. Cohen said he believed an organization could promote sport while policing sport, and that policing yourself is the best way to promote yourself. This philosophy was met with much scoffing, from fellow panelists and the audience.