Board, Executive Committees Updated on Code Compliance, Funding
New Laboratory in UK Accredited
Montreal, June 21, 2004 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) today announced that its Foundation Board is considering an increase in the Agency’s income budget for 2005. The Board, meeting for the first time this year, will look at increasing WADA’s budget to approximately USD $21.7 million, the first increase in 2 years, to allow the Agency to meet its requirements under the World Anti-Doping Code. The proposed increase was put before the Board in June to allow governments ample time in their budgetary planning. Adoption of next year’s budget will take place at the Foundation Board meeting in November.
During the meeting, the Board and WADA’s Executive Committee, which also met for the first time in 2004, were updated on the funding the Agency has received to date from governments and the sports movement, coordinated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). To date, WADA has received approximately 60 percent of its budget for the year, which represents a significant improvement over this time last year, when only 16 percent of dues had been collected. Significantly, the United States and Canada have reached an agreement whereby the two countries will pay, beginning this year, 75 percent of the dues of the American continent. The remainder will be paid by the Caribbean and Latin American countries. Once dues are paid by the United States and Japan, the two biggest contributors to WADA’s budget, the Agency will have collected 90 percent of its dues for the year, which represents the greatest amount ever collected by the Agency in any given year.
“I am very pleased by the commitment the governments have shown this last year to fulfilling their financial commitments to WADA,” said Richard W. Pound, WADA’s president. “The budgetary processes now seem to be in place and governments should be commended for making sure that WADA is properly financed during this critical time in the fight against doping in sport.”
Pound also commented that the increased budget was necessary not only to offset inflation, but to handle WADA’s increased responsibilities under the Code.
“The Code mandates WADA to do a number of things, from monitoring compliance to accrediting new laboratories,” he said. “These activities require more resources.”
The Board and Executive Committee were also updated on which sports organizations have accepted and implemented the rules of the Code. Under the Olympic Charter, which was amended at the IOC’s session last July, all sports that wish to participate in the Olympic Games must accept and implement the Code. The deadline for doing so is the opening day of the Games in Athens.
To date, all international Olympic summer and winter federations except for the International Cycling Union (UCI) have accepted the Code. UCI has indicated it will do so prior to the Athens Games. Of the recognized federations, all but the International Golf Federation and the International Automobile Federation have accepted the Code.
In addition, 200 national Olympic committees out of 202 and 144 out of 160 national Paralympic committees have also accepted the Code.
WADA will make a report at the end of June to the IOC as to which organizations have accepted and implemented the Code.
A new laboratory in the UK was granted accreditation by the Executive Committee during its meeting. The HFL lab in New Market, Great Britain, has successfully completed the technical and administrative requirements and becomes the 32nd laboratory to be on WADA’s accredited list. WADA took over accreditation of laboratories this year from the IOC.
“WADA is pleased to welcome HFL into the group of accredited anti-doping laboratories,” said Olivier Rabin, WADA’s science director. “We believe HFL will make a significant contribution to increasing capacity in the anti-doping tests conducted worldwide.”
The Board and Executive Committee were presented with the names of WADA’s Independent Observer and Outreach teams for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The IO program aims to ensure that procedures followed during doping controls are fair and unbiased. A team of experts observe all aspects of doping control during competition and issue a report with suggestions for improvements at future events. Outreach team members man a booth in the Athlete’s Village at the Games, and speak with athletes throughout the Games about the issue of doping. Educational materials are also made available to the athletes.
“The Independent Observer and Outreach programs are two of WADA’s flagship programs,” said David Howman, the Agency’s director general. “It is fitting that the bulk of our work in Athens will be done through these teams of experts who will handle the two prongs of anti-doping: educating athletes and inspiring faith in the doping control process.”
Process for election of chair
At the meetings, Board and Executive Committee members approved the process for election of the chair of the Foundation Board. The present term for chair, currently filled by Pound, will finish at the end of 2004. Members of the Executive Committee and Foundation Board showed confidence and support to have Pound continue in this role and noted the importance of the partnership between public authorities and the sports movement in the governance of WADA. A formal decision will take place in November.