WADA proposed reforms an 'insult to athletes', says British para-powerlifter Ali Jawad

The British para-powerlifter leading a group of global athletes in their fight against doping in sport has described the World Anti-Doping Agency’s proposal to reform itself as “an insult to thousands, if not millions of athletes".

Ali Jawad who leads an increasingly angry and militant group has accused WADA of a missed opportunity over plans to give athletes a greater voice. He presented his own recommendations earlier this month, called The Alternative.

In a statement Ali said: “These reform suggestions fall woefully short of anything that the global athlete community has been demanding the last few years.

"They are merely 'baby steps' that skirt around the deep issues of WADA’s lack of transparency, accountability and, most importantly of all, its independence.

“They are minor adjustments that fail to heed the unprecedented outcry from athletes recently for major, significant calls for WADA to change.”

WADA have come under criticism for their reforms. Credit: PA

In the face of an unprecedented global athlete revolt, WADA has been discussing ways of making itself more independent but under its proposed reforms, to be voted on in November, there is no space for more athlete representation on its all powerful executive committee.

WADA said it could not reach a consensus on how to do this and would await further representations from the athlete community.

Chair of WADA’s working group Dr Ulrich Haas said earlier this week: “The entire process of governance review has been comprehensive and has clearly shown WADA’s willingness to adapt and that it wants to ensure it has the right processes in place.”

Jawad has called on WADA to have a rethink and to start listening “before it’s too late".