- 22 Sep 1999
- IOC News
Richard W. Pound Letter of September 22nd to General Barry McCaffrey
Lausanne, September 25th,1999 - September 22, 1999
BY FAX: ORIGINAL BY MAIL
Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Executive Office of the President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20502
Dear General McCaffrey:
I was surprised and, I must confess, quite disappointed with the remarks you appear to have made regarding the work we have been doing to establish the World Anti-doping Agency (“WADA”) that was announced at the conclusion of the World Conference on Doping in Sport last February. I can only hope that the position you seem to have taken is the result of less than complete information that may be at your disposal. It had been my hope that we could discuss the matter during face-to-face meetings (as we had planned), but both meetings which were scheduled were subsequently cancelled by your staff.
You will recall that what the IOC had proposed for the WADA was a governance structure that would involve equal representation from a number of constituencies within the Olympic Movement and from the public sector. This was intended both to create the necessary “buy-in” necessary to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the programmes and to make certain that no single constituency would be in a position to control the WADA and thus cast doubt upon the even-handedness of its activities. The governmental representatives at the World Conference wanted the role of the public authorities to be equal, on an overall basis, to that of the Olympic Movement. We agreed to discuss this, provided that there would be a fast-track consideration of the issue by the public sector and provided that the role of the public sector would include a financial contribution to the WADA commensurate with such a participation. As you will recall, the Olympic Movement committed US$25 million to this purpose.
The fast-track discussions were to begin within 90 days of the conclusion of the World Conference and, at the invitation of the IOC, they did. The IOC convened a working group, which has met five times and which has reached consensus regarding the framework of the WADA. The working group consisted of representatives of both sports and governmental organizations. The latter included the European Union, the Council of Europe and the Monitoring Group of the Anti-Doping Convention, the United Nations International Drug Control Program, the World Health Organization, the International Criminal Police Organization, the Arabic Confederation of Sports and the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa. There has been a remarkable degree of cooperation and consensus developed during this process and a genuine basis for a truly international approach to an international problem.
More troubling is your apparent view that the actions of the IOC were “unsatisfactory” and that the WADA as proposed is not independent or accountable. With the greatest of respect, your view is plainly wrong. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to recap the situation and the international perspective.
The IOC has an international coordinating role in the fight against doping in sport and the promotion of the ethical values of sport. This is a role that it took on more than thirty years ago, when it was the first organization in the world to do so. It has since used its position of moral suasion to build a consensus that culminated in the outcome of the World Conference in February and the resolve, inter alia, to proceed with the creation of the WADA. No other organization in the world has done more than the IOC in the struggle against doping in sport and, while the fight has not yet been fully successful, there has nevertheless been enormous progress and a much heightened awareness of the ethical and health considerations that surround doping in sport.
The IOC has announced, as you know, full support for the concept of a program of unannounced out-of-competition tests, especially for those athletes identified as being high-risk. It, unlike most organizations, has committed significant funding for this purpose. It has supported financially, and continues to support, research designed to develop and implement controls against the use of EPO and hGH. It has announced that it is ready to use blood analysis as part of the anti-doping controls, once the scientific reliability of such analysis has been established with the degree of certainty necessary to support sanctions.
The building of international consensus on doping in sport is not easy; it is far more difficult than developing mere national consensus. That the latter is difficult enough is, no doubt, already clear to you, given your present position as the person responsible for that task in your country.
Although I appreciate that your role is essentially domestic, it would have been more helpful on the international scene for you.