It has long been obvious that the World Anti-Doping Agency is politically motivated. The latest illustration is provided by Fancy Bears, which released hacked WADA records, showing that United States athletes have taken banned substances with impunity. However, one might struggle to notice, as the corporate news media are busily spinning the story as Putin stealing and publishing private medical records. This is, of course, a well worn strategy: blame Putin. Yet, the evidence-free blame Putin strategy cannot hide the real story.
WADA was content to allow US athletes who it knew to be doping to compete in the Rio Olympics. Yet the same organisation, on the basis of the evidence-free Maclaren Report, demanded the exclusion of all Russian athletes from the Olympics. The IOC baulked and passed the buck to the Federations. The result was hundreds of Russian athletes were excluded even though there was no evidence of doping against individuals.
All this followed WADA's banning of meldonium at the beginning of the year. This medicine was banned supposedly on the basis of research. Yet there was no basis for banning the medication in terms of WADA's own criteria, which are: proven performance enhancing effect; demonstrably harmful effect; and the catch-all - violates the spirit of sport. Meldonium has no known performance effect. It is not known to be harmful. And it is impossible to see how the medicine could be seen as violating the spirit of sport - whatever the phrase might conceivably mean. So why ban it? The medicine is used mainly by Russians. The prohibition of the medication immediately resulted in the banning of Maria Sharapova.
So WADA bans a medicine with no performance enhancing effects and no known harmful effects, yet allows US athletes to compete who are known to WADA to have taken performance enhancing drugs, including amphetamine, which not only is a known performance enhancer, but is also known to have serious harmful effects. WADA is not merely unfit for purpose, it is equally obviously a politically motivated organisation that is bringing the anti-doping system into disrepute.