Beckie Scott says some WADA executives tried to bully her
Canadian Olympic champion says she endured ‘inappropriate’ comments after opposing Russia’s reinstatement
Canadian Beckie Scott, chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency's athlete committee, told the BBC that members at the organization's senior level tried to bully her after she criticized the decision to reinstate Russia's anti-doping organization.
Scott, a former Olympic champion in cross-country skiing, resigned from WADA's Compliance Review Committee last month after a six-person panel recommended the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be reinstated after serving a suspension resulting from the country's scheme to circumvent rules and win Olympic medals.
The WADA executive committee then accepted the review panel's recommendation, and Russia's scandal-ridden drug fighting operation received the green light to resume operations.
Scott, who resides in Canmore, Alta., told the BBC that she was "treated with disrespect" during a September meeting, enduring "inappropriate" comments and "gestures" from some members of WADA's executive committee.
"[It's] indicative of a general attitude of dismissal and belittling of the athlete voice," Scott told the BBC.
EXCLUSIVE: athletes’ figurehead Beckie Scott tells me she was subject to “inappropriate, disrespectful, belittling” comments & BULLIED by some members of WADA’s Executive Cttee over her opposition to Russian reinstatement. <br>Her explosive 1st interview since resigning coming up.. <a href="https://t.co/Ib4oWaPdcF">pic.twitter.com/Ib4oWaPdcF</a>—@danroan
WADA said in a statement, according to the BBC, that "tensions were running high" at last month's meeting and that strong views on both sides of the debate "do affect the tone and atmosphere" but "the athletes' voice was clearly heard."
The organization also said Scott's concerns "were being taken seriously."
"This behaviour will never be acceptable. Time to show leadership," said WADA vice-president Linda Helleland, who opposed Russia's reinstatement.
"Time to understand one of the reasons WHY WADA Executive Committee exists: To respect and protect the athletes. And listen to their views. It should be no place for bullies!" she said.
With files from The Associated Press, Reuters