Former head of the World Anti-Doping Authority (Wada) David Howman describes sport as being in "a state of chaos" and believes fans are continuing to be duped when it comes to integrity.

New Zealander Howman was last night announced as adjunct professor at AUT's School of Sport and Recreation. In his role he will mentor students researching sports integrity issues.

The barrister headed Wada for 13 years and believes the modern environment is no less corrupt than in 1998, the year Wada was formed out of the morass that saw the Festina cycling team expelled from the Tour de France for transporting performance-enhancing drugs across borders.

It was also the year a bribery scandal emerged when several International Olympic Committee delegates were found to have received financial benefits in return for voting the Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City.


"You look now and the situation relating to Russian doping is miles more serious and depressing than Festina," said Howman. "Over at the IOC there are nine to 12 members under scrutiny for corruption.

"It's a scenario that is disturbing and that's even without mentioning [world football governing body] Fifa or the continuing problem of match manipulation."

Howman is pressing sports authorities and governments to set up an independent integrity commission with powers of compulsion: in other words, it must have the resource to investigate and to sanction.

Several sports bodies have their own integrity units but Howman believes they are seem to be self-controlled and the public continues to be duped.

That was highlighted last year when, despite a massive investigation uncovering widespread state-sponsored doping in Russia, the IOC bowed to self-interest and refused to ban Russia outright from the Rio Olympics, leaving it instead up to the individual sports. It was a see-no-evil, speak-no-evil decision the New Zealand Olympic Committee endorsed.

Howman said the Olympic movement "didn't live up to their principles" and continuing evidence of foul play by Russia now leaves them in a more difficult position leading up to next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

A genuinely independent body with real powers could restore the public's faith to a degree.

"We missed the first boat," he said. "It's important we don't miss the second one."

In the meantime, Howman will pass on his experiences to students focusing on ethics and integrity in sports governance.

"I've learned there's a lot of corruption that goes on. I've been at the coal face and don't want to be complicit by remaining silent, but rather to rally aggressively against it. It comes down to the question, do you want the bad guys to win? No, I don't."

Director of AUT's Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Associate Professor Lesley Ferkins, says the partnership is indicative of the global sporting environment.

"Issues of integrity are one of the biggest challenges facing sport," she says. "David has a strong interest in New Zealand being a world leader in integrity in sport globally."