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Leave testing to others, WADA chief tells Major League Baseball

Leave testing to others, WADA chief tells Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball needs to farm out its drug-testing program to an independent agency if it wants to regain credibility, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency said Wednesday.
"The message to the average person is very clear: How can you trust in-house (testing)?" WADA president John Fahey said.
Despite a scathing review in the Mitchell Report, Major League Baseball wants to keep its current program largely intact, with commissioner Bud Selig arguing there is no need for a third party to get involved.
"If you really are serious about eliminating a problem in your sport," Fahey told reporters, "then you really could not argue against independent testing."
He said WADA stands ready to help to avoid any conflict of interest.
So far, Selig has said he wants to increase the independence of the MLB's doctor who runs the program.
Fahey said this did not go far enough and rejected the MLB argument that U.S. pro baseball needed a special approach because of its drawn-out season. Currently, players and owners jointly select an anti-doping program administrator.
"If you think about it holistically, over 570 sporting organizations in the world have committed to the code that WADA is responsible for," Fahey said at a symposium at the Olympic Museum. "There must be something good about it, something right about it.
"Why not Major League Baseball? What is it about it that does not work for them? All these other sporting bodies say that it works. Adherence to that code surely isn't all that difficult."
Baseball and other U.S. pro leagues have been at odds with WADA in recent years because their programs are seen as inadequate to curtail doping. The Mitchell Report underscored that criticism.
Currently, each baseball player is tested within five days of arriving at spring training and is tested one additional time each year. There also are 600 random tests, of which up to 60 may be conducted during the offseason.
Beyond the frequency, Fahey insisted on a whole change in structure.
"Why would they not go to a third party? I am hopeful that they will recognize this," he said.
"We are available at WADA to work with them ... to bring the confidence that I am sure the fans of baseball actually want," he said.
Fahey, a former Australian finance minister, took over as WADA president this year. He succeeded senior Canadian Olympic official Dick Pound, who led WADA since its inception in 1999.


Updated : 2021-05-07 03:00 GMT+08:00