The audit said the intelligence and investigations department needed more resources ©Getty Images

An audit of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Intelligence and Investigations department has described the unit’s lack of resources as "acute" and urged the hiring of three people "as soon as possible".

The annual audit, conducted by independent supervisor Jacques Antenen, argued that "for the credibility of anti-doping" it was “essential” to process all sources of information.

It went on: “That is not currently possible.

"It is therefore very important to hire a second [Confidential Information Manager] (CIM)."

The document said that, "given the available means, there is still a risk, as pointed out last year, that the department (and through it, WADA) could be criticised for choosing and executing on its objectives arbitrarily."

The audit was conducted in April, with conclusions dated "August 2019", so it is possible that some of the findings have by now been acted upon.

For example, the succinct three-page document comments on the “need to physically separate the premises occupied by the CIM", adding: "This recommendation is taken word for word from my 2018 report," yet "the required changes have not been made".

The CIM was said to be "personally disturbed by the lack of privacy".

A footnote to the text states that WADA acknowledges the situation and would address it “as soon as possible”.

The CIM works with whistleblowers, hence requiring an appropriate, private work area "for obvious reasons of confidentiality," the audit said.

The WADA intelligence and investigations department is led by Günter Younger ©Getty Images
The WADA intelligence and investigations department is led by Günter Younger ©Getty Images

The department, under director Günter Younger, has been much consumed in recent times with the Russian doping crisis.

Its role is routinely trumpeted by WADA leaders as an increasingly vital complement to traditional testing in the fight against doping.

WADA director general Olivier Niggli affirmed recently that "investigative work is becoming even more important".

Niggli said that the "number of [anti-doping rule violations] as a result of non-analytical violations increased by about 28 per cent between 2016 and 2017".

The audit also had praise for the work of the department, saying that "taking into account the resources available…the quality of its work remains exceptional" and team spirit "truly impressive".

It cautioned however that "the department members’ work is extremely wearing, both psychologically and physically".

"Currently, all of the team members show unbridled devotion and are passionate about what they do," it added.

"As everyone knows, however, "results" obtained through judicial and other channels can be frustrating.

"The team members are therefore not immune to a form of burnout.”

Furthermore, the "professional status of certain team members and the ties they maintain with the bodies to which they belong also make long-term personnel stability relatively precarious".

"The personality of the director is central," the audit states.

"The director is the structure’s linchpin and thought has to be given to how to replace him in the event of his unavailability.”

The independent supervisor is required to submit a written report to WADA’s Executive Committee once a year, with the report’s conclusions later published.

The present supervisor is said to be Commander of the Cantonal Police in Vaud, the Swiss canton containing Lausanne, the Olympic capital.