The scandal-beset Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro took another hit yesterday, as news sources ProPublica and the BBC released an interview and news story featuring extensive comments from American doping investigator Jack Robertson.
Roberston was the lead investigator for the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) until last January. He has since emerged as a critic of WADA, and has similarly impugned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its handling of the Russian doping allegations.
In an extensive interview with ProPublica’s David Epstein, Robertson claims that his investigative work was ignored and dismissed by senior IOC officials. He has concluded that both WADA and the IOC need new leadership to be successful at combating doping in sports.
Much Robertson’s criticism is aimed at Sir Craig Reedie, WADA’s president. Noting that Reedie is also a member of the IOC’s executive committee and a former chairman of the British Olympic Association, Robertson points out that WADA’s funding is largely controlled by the IOC, an organization that has financial incentives to position the Olympics in a positive light.
“Craig Reedie, he had to be literally pressured into every investigation,” Robertson told Epstein in the interview. He also claims that the IOC has strong ties to Russia, including connections with president Vladimir Putin.