Leaders of 18 NADOs have called for WADA to rethink their governance reforms ©NADA

Leaders of 18 National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) have called for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to rethink their governance reforms and adopt alternative proposals.

The NADOs met at an "emergency summit" in Paris which was hosted by the French Anti-Doping Agency.

The NADOs of Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and Poland were among those present at the summit.

They were joined by Sport Ireland, the Swedish Sport Confederation, Swiss Anti-Doping, UK Anti-Doping and the US Anti-Doping Agency.

The summit was aimed at discussing the "concerning state" of the global anti-doping system and the "need to restore athlete and public faith in WADA".

It is claimed this followed the controversial decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) at the WADA Executive Committee meeting on September 20 in Seychelles. 

The NADOs stated they stood alongside athletes following "recent global athlete uproar" after the decision to reinstate RUSADA.

"While others may not be listening to your concerns and your solutions for how to improve WADA governance, we wish to make it clear that we, the anti-doping leaders, do," the leaders were quoted as saying.

"We stand united with you.

"We hear and share your concerns, and we stand with you every step of the way to strive to transform WADA so that it respects your rights and makes decisions in the interests of clean sport."

The group called upon WADA to consider proposals they had put forward in August 2016 following the McLaren Report, which outlined the extent of the doping scheme that led to RUSADA's suspension.

The NADOs offered supported to
The NADOs offered supported to "The Alternative" proposals put forward by British powerlifter Ali Jawad ©Getty Images

The "Copenhagen reforms" state that the anti-doping system should be independent of sporting organisations, and asserts that this should apply equally to WADA, major event organisations - including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - and International Federations (IFs).

This would include ensuring key decision makers and employees of anti-doping organisations do not hold board or officer positions at IFs and major event organisations, while ensuring the chief executive and board would be selected "independently and transparently".

Continued "independent funding" from the IOC and IFs was called for and Government funding would also be supported by new sources that benefit from clean sport.

As well as the Copenhagen reform proposals, which were aimed at boosting independence, transparency and best governance practices, the NADOs also endorsed the athlete-led governance reform paper titled "The Alternative".

The paper put forward by British Paralympian Ali Jawad proposed several changes to WADA’s governance structure.

"The Alternative" document by the newly-formed Athletes for Clean Sport group led by Jawad urged WADA to give them increased representation, particularly on the Executive Committee.

It said the Executive Committee should grow to 15 members, with three positions dedicated to "athletes who are retired and not involved in any position in the world of sport".

The only athletes representative on the Executive Committee is Slovakian shooter and IOC member Danka Bartekova.

The emergency summit was called as the fallout from RUSADA's reinstatement continues ©Getty Images
The emergency summit was called as the fallout from RUSADA's reinstatement continues ©Getty Images

Jawad had asserted that the WADA Governance Working Group proposals are "completely inadequate, minor and modest reform suggestions".

Adam Pengilly, a member of the working group, admitted the recommendations they made "do not go far enough" to insidethegames.

The group proposed adding two "independent" members to the 12-person Executive Committee, who will be vetted by a new Nominations Committee.

The governance working group said one official representing athletes and National Anti-Doping Organsations should be present on all Standing Committees.

In a statement announcing the suggestions, WADA urged athletes to "confirm exactly how and by what means they are represented as well as how their representatives are selected".

An "open discussion" should then be held to "determine at which existing and/or new levels within WADA, athlete representation could be strengthened", according to WADA.

Other recommendations included the formation of an independent ethics board and the establishment of three-year term limits for all members of the Foundation Board, Executive Committee and the Standing Committees with no possibility of stepping out for a term and returning.

The changes are expected to be given the green light at the Foundation Board meeting in Baku on November 15.

Jawad has claimed his ideas in "The Alternative" have been ignored and overlooked, asserting he had "not had any official acknowledgment or any engagement from the WADA leadership".

The NADOs have urged WADA to rethink their governance reforms and called on the global anti-doping watchdog to embrace both the Copenhagen and The Alternative.

"We must continue to work to overhaul WADA governance, and restore its credibility with athletes and the public," the NADOs stated.

"WADA will rise once again, but only when it embraces global athlete community concerns."

"Given the athletes' concerns in WADA's decision-making and governance process, and after all that we have regrettably witnessed in the wake of the Russian doping crisis, WADA's limited proposals for governance reform fall far short of what the world's athletes and other champions of clean sport have been calling for these past two years, and there should be a rethink", the leaders said.

"We urge WADA not to repeat the mistakes it made in the process to reinstate RUSADA, and to conduct its actions in a more transparent and open fashion.

"Looking ahead to the crucial December 31 deadline, we call on WADA to run an open, transparent and clear process for securing the anti-doping samples and, given the gravity of the issue and level of athlete and public interest, for the WADA Compliance Review Committee to convene an urgent and robust meeting to make its recommendation on the compliance of RUSADA.

"The world is waiting, and the world is watching."

The WADA have repeatedly defended the decision to reinstate RUSADA ©Getty Images
The WADA have repeatedly defended the decision to reinstate RUSADA ©Getty Images

The NADOs also called for WADA to commission a thorough, transparent, independent investigation into the public allegations of bullying, which were alleged by Beckie Scott, Canada's WADA Athlete Committee chair and a Winter Olympic cross-country skiing gold medallist.

WADA defended their Governance Review process last week, with a spokesman highlighting how the two year process would ensure the organisation would be "fit for the future", asserting that their Athlete Committee and other athlete groups were represented and active in the process.

The decision to reinstate RUSADA was also hailed as a "win-win", with the organisation claiming they would either have access to all the data from the Moscow Laboratory by the end of the year to boost efforts in catching cheats, or that RUSADA would be made non-compliant again under stricter criteria.

WADA also hit out at a "small, politically motivated group of detractors" who it claimed were attempting to "destabilise the global anti-doping programme".

The "detractors" were accused of aligning themselves with concerned athletes in order to further their own motives.

It appears likely the NADOs were the group referred to by WADA.

insidethegames has contacted WADA for a reaction.