Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy has expressed his full satisfaction with the way that the World Anti-Doping Agency performs on the ground but his ongoing frustration at the political moves that are impacting it at the highest level.
Speaking to Sport for Business yesterday at the announcement of Sport Ireland’s increased funding plans for 2019 he said “We have a very strong relationship with WADA, at an operational level, and we are very supportive of a number of initiatives they have brought in in recent years in terms of compliance and audits of countries.”
“It’s really important work and it is vitally important. Any anti-doping system is only as strong as it’s weakest link, so we have to be strong and we want every country to be strong.”
“There are decisions that have been taken recently at political level though that have been too strongly influenced by the IOC.”
“The IOC seem too eager to get Russia back in, as opposed to making them responsible for what they did in Sochi and in other games as well.”
“It’s a political thing, not an operational thing and that’s an important distinction to be made.”
“I think The IOC have too much influence over WADA. If they applied the same level of compliance as is being allowed for Russia we would stand for nothing.”
“We know there are 9,000 tests that need to be scrutinised. There might be some duplication but good analysis needs to be done in order to get to the bottom of the data that has been released, how that is to be analysed and what consequences there might be as a result.”
Treacy himself raced at the highest level and his passion for clean sport is intense and very clear.
The political workings of international sport are bigger than any one country, and Ireland is aligned with many others including the US, UK and Germany to keep fighting for what is right.
Sport has to be believable if it is to capture the imagination. That’s the battle that has to keep on being fought, regardless of the setbacks there may be along the way.