The shape of the new anti-doping testing authority advocated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) looks set to come into clearer focus at World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) meetings in Glasgow this weekend.
A steering group chaired by Valérie Fourneyron, the former French Sports Minister, is to report back to WADA’s Foundation Board on the political and policy implications of establishing such a body, a key element in IOC President Thomas Bach’s reform push.
insidethegames understands that government reticence about shouldering part of the cost of the new venture, along with a view that WADA should remain solely a regulator, may lead to calls for a separate organisation or foundation to be established by WADA.
This would then need to be funded by the sports sector.
An outside study is understood to have assessed the cost of the new body at anywhere between $20 million (£16.1 million/€18.9 million) and $96 million (£77.3 million/€91 million) per annum, depending on how many International Federations (IFs) sign up.
A judgement will also have to be made on whether to make adherence to the new body voluntary or compulsory, with opinion thought to be moving towards the former.
Last month’s Olympic summit proposed that a new anti-doping testing authority be established “within the framework of WADA”.
To put the projected cost into context, a new report by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) puts 2015 anti-doping spending by these bodies at $27.68 million (£22.3 million/€26.1 million).
It says that six IFs are responsible for 80 per cent of this.
insidethegames understands that consideration may also be being given to whether it makes sense to fold some or all of SportAccord’s anti-doping activities into any new organisation.
In a busy programme following hard on the heels of this week’s drama in Doha, where WADA President Sir Craig Reedie endured a string of critical comments following his presentation to the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly, the Glasgow gathering is also set to feature WADA Presidential and vice-presidential elections.
With Sir Craig, 75, determined to continue in spite of his bruising experience in Qatar, he is expected to secure a further three-year term.
Norwegian Culture Minister Linda Hofstad Helleland is among candidates for the vice presidency, which is currently vacant following the death in August of South Africa’s Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile.
WADA's Foundation Board is represented by figures from sporting bodies and governing authorities on a 50:50 basis, with the agency’s core funding provided in line with the same principle.
The Presidency normally alternates on a six-yearly basis, with public authorities due to take over from sports stakeholders after the next three-year term.
However, there are growing expectations that this arrangement might be changed over the next three years, possibly in favour of an independent President, as part of the incipient reform process.