| Nov 12, 2015
The World Anti-Doping Agency released a concerning report earlier this week, outlining findings that suggest the Russian government is running a state-run doping program. The report details serious allegations including bribery and intimidation of doping testers, destruction of laboratory materials and police intervention in laboratory work. The report suggests disciplinary measures including banning Russia from participating in next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio. Russia will also face scrutiny as the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after reports of misconduct at the Sochi Olympics. For more information, see this recent news article from the New York Times.
In response to this news, and based on his expertise and experience with the World Anti-Doping Agency, Gary Wadler, M.D., FACSM shares his opinion in the following blog post. This viewpoint reflects the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM:
"Once again, the world of sport has been wracked by the scourge of institutionalized and state sponsored/supported doping. This time it is neither the East Germans nor FIFA. This time it is Russia and it is International Track and Field- and who knows what doping practices and violations lie beneath the surface of the field of play? We are now faced with another crisis of confidence in sport with the potential to destroy sport as we know it. What is particularly disconcerting is the depth and the pervasiveness of the allegations and the fact that all this has been occurring in the context of worldwide comprehensive antidoping programs and practices. The independent WADA commission amongst other violations confirmed allegations that some Russian doctors and/or laboratory personnel acted as enablers for systematic cheating along with athletics coaches. The commission identified the intentional and malicious destruction of more than 1,400 doping samples by Moscow laboratory officials after receiving written notification from WADA to preserve target samples. This multipronged doping scandal once again threatens the very existence of sport."
Dr. Wadler practices internal medicine and sports medicine in Manhasset, New York. He is also a clinical associate professor of medicine at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He has served as medical advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and recently served as chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and Methods Committee. Dr. Wadler is an expert on sport and substance abuse and has provided medical leadership and served as a policy advisor on these matters at the highest levels nationally and internationally for many years.