Veteran drugs testing official David Howman believes the International Olympic Committee (IOC) response to the publication of the McLaren Report in July should have led to them being considered for World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) non-compliance.
The longstanding former WADA director general also fears the IOC's plans to reform sport's anti-doping infrastructure will prioritise increasing their personal control over establishing true independence.
Howman, who was replaced by Olivier Niggli in June after 13 years in his WADA role, believes the anti-doping body must do more to defend themselves following huge recent criticism from the IOC and other sporting groups for not having found out about the allegations earlier.
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie has, however, defended his organisation's response and claimed that "by and large", they are "encouraged by the view that, while there is some room for improvement of the system, stakeholders believe that WADA should be strengthened as the leader of clean sport".
Discussions on the future of anti-doping are expected to take place between the IOC, WADA and other stakeholders at an Olympic Summit on October 8 in Lausanne.
It is thought increasingly possible, however, that the IOC could advocate a new "Integrity Unit" set-up with less WADA involvement in order to collectively administer the issues of anti-doping, match-fixing and corruption.
“This concept of some kind of integrity unit is something I have talked about and supported for a long time, but not in the form the IOC are thought to be advocating," the New Zealander told insidethegames.
"For them it seems to be about retaining control rather than ensuring full independence.
“There appears to be an issue of frustration [from the IOC] with what WADA advocated regarding Russia.
"But nobody has asked the IOC why they are not happy with WADA?
“Is it the evidence they have found [regarding Russia] or the results of their investigations?
“The IOC supported the new WADA Code when it came into operation in 2015 and permitted samples to be stored for 10 rather than eight years - thus leading to the Beijing and London retests which have given the IOC much positive publicity.
"The only issue which has occurred since then is that WADA conducted an investigation [permitted under the new Code] and found all sorts of horrendous doping [in Russia] similar to what we saw in East Germany in the 1970s and 1980s.
“There has been a long running battle between those in the sports movement, who want WADA to be a service-based body, and the Governments, who want it to be regulatory.
"This has now come out into the open and we have a stand-off."
This comes as the sports world continues to wrestle with the allegations of state sponsored doping in Russia ahead of the expected publication of more revelations from the WADA-commissioned report spearheaded by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren in coming weeks.
WADA called for Russia to be handed a blanket ban following these revelations, but the IOC rejected this and instead handed responsibility to International Federations to form individual criteria for Russian participation.
This led to an inconsistent approach in which some IFs took a hard-line approach, notably World Rowing and the International Weightlifting Federation, while others adopted far less draconian policies in which only those who had been directly implicated in failed tests were barred.
The IOC also attempted to insert a clause stipulating that Russians who had previously served doping bans should be barred from Rio 2016 despite this having been something which had repeatedly failed to get past the Court Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Russia's eventual two-time silver medal winning swimmer Yuliya Efimova was among those who successfully appealed to CAS and ultimately competed despite two failed tests, while no action was taken from those in similar situations from other countries.
Howman fiercely criticised this overall approach, and is uncomfortable with a procedure in which only those who test positive are deemed guilty.
"What about Marian Jones? What about Lance Armstrong? Neither of those individuals failed tests," he added to insidethegames.
Howman called on WADA President Sir Craig Reedie - an IOC vice-president until last month - to do more to defend WADA from criticism and in turn sanction those bodies, like the IOC, which have acted differently.
“Outside of the IOC, you can hear plenty of voices from athletes and others criticising the [Russia] decision," he said.
"Why didn’t they do the same thing as the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)?
"The IOC delegated to IFs and didn’t make a decision.
“WADA needs to speak with a stronger voice and use its capability to issue non-compliance.
"There has been a distinct silence from the day before the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony to the present time.
"I didn’t hear the WADA President Sir Craig Reedie saying well done to [IPC head] Sir Philip Craven, for instance.
"An opportunity has therefore been missed.
"They should have referred the IOC to the independent Compliance Review Committee for consideration over their Russian response, and for their direction to not allow Russian athletes with previous doping sanctions, as that is contrary to the [WADA] Code."
Sir Craig believes they struck the right balance with their response.
"After the extensive commentary in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games as to WADA’s recommendations regarding Russia and the IOC’s reaction, WADA has received substantial support for the position taken by the WADA Executive Committee," he told insidethegames today.
"WADA stands by its recommendations regarding Russia and the Olympic Games; and, we strongly, and publicly, supported the IPC’s decision regarding Russia and the Paralympics.
"In effect, WADA embraced its investigative powers, did the right thing; and, as a result of doing the right thing, issues emerged that put WADA and the anti-doping system under greater scrutiny.
"As always, we are in constant contact with our stakeholders; and, by and large, we are encouraged by the view that, while there is some room for improvement of the system, stakeholders believe that WADA should be strengthened as the leader of clean sport.
"This of course is a view that we, and David Howman, fully support."
Sir Craig, who worked alongside Howman for three years after being elected to the Presidential post in 2013, cited a Think Tank meeting due to be held in Lausanne on September 20 as a key step towards forming future policy.
This Think Tank, taking place ahead of an Executive Committee meeting scheduled for the following day, will explore the three topics of "Preventing Corruption and Bribery Practices in the Anti-Doping Process", "Implementing stronger Consequences for Non-Compliance" and "Reviewing WADA’s Governance and Funding Structure".
insidethegames understands that the Integrity Unit proposal will also be presented during the meeting.
The Briton appeared skeptical of this idea, however, and is determined to maintain WADA's leading role in the anti-doping movement.
"Regarding the creation of some form of integrity unit, we have heard some commentary but have no detailed information as to how such a unit could interrelate with the long established independent status of WADA; and, the global consensus that was reached between the Sports Movement and Governments of the world, which led to the first World Anti-Doping Code that was introduced in 2003 and subsequent revisions," he added.
insidethegames has contacted the IOC for a reaction to Howman's comments and for clarification about their future anti-doping plans.