FIFA Must Update Disciplinary Rules According to Code
Third World Conference in Anti-Doping Announced for 2007
2005 Out-of-Competition Testing to Increase by 30 Percent
Montreal, May 16, 2005 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced today that it will open a Latin American regional office in Montevideo, Uruguay. This decision was made by WADA’s Executive Committee during a two-day meeting of the Agency’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board.
“I am very pleased that we will have a stronger presence in Latin America,” said Richard W. Pound, WADA president. “It’s an important region that is willing to do more in the fight against doping. The Latin American office will be instrumental, permitting WADA to work on a grassroots level with stakeholders and facilitate implementation and compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code in this region.”
The decision follows on numerous expressions of need for anti-doping efforts from countries in the region. Three candidate cities (Bogota, Colombia; Santiago, Chile; and Montevideo) each submitted very compelling proposals, which were evaluated by a commission last January. Based on the evaluation report, WADA’s Executive Committee selected Montevideo.
The Latin American office will be WADA’s fourth regional office, joining those serving Europe (Lausanne, Switzerland), Asia/Oceania (Tokyo, Japan), and Africa (Cape Town, South Africa). Regional offices are a key element to WADA’s fight against doping in sport, increasing understanding and facilitating implementation of the Code. Most of the costs associated with the Latin American regional office will be assumed by the local and national authorities of the host country.
FIFA Disciplinary Rules
WADA’s Executive Committee unanimously agreed that the International Football Federation’s (FIFA) current disciplinary rules do not comply with the World Anti-Doping Code. Representatives of both governments and the sports movement seized upon the urgency of this issue and pressed FIFA to fulfill its responsibility under the Code. The Executive Committee agreed to allow FIFA until September 2005 to make the changes required to bring it into compliance, at which time these changes could be approved if necessary by the FIFA 55th Congress in Marrakech.
“If these changes are not adopted by September, WADA will be forced to report to all stakeholders, including the International Olympic Committee and governments, that FIFA is officially non-compliant,” said Pound. “The consequences of non-compliance could be far-reaching.”
“It’s unacceptable that FIFA does not comply with the Code,” said Brian Mikkelsen, WADA vice chair and Denmark sports minister. “If FIFA does not comply by September, it’s the view of all the governments within the Foundation Board that there will be consequences. One consequence might be that governments will not accept FIFA tournaments on their territories.”
“The governments are committed to putting pressure on FIFA in order to change its attitude, and we will encourage our national football associations to convince FIFA of the merits of Code compliance,” said Mikkelsen.
The specific provisions that FIFA must adopt in order to become Code-compliant have been provided to FIFA on several occasions dating back to 2004, and relate to sanctions, Therapeutic Use Exemptions, and the right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Third World Conference on Doping
WADA’s Executive Committee approved the publication of a call for tender to host a third World Conference on Doping in Sport in 2007.
Members unanimously supported holding a World Conference in 2007, recognizing it as an important opportunity to assess the status of the fight against doping following the implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Convention against Doping in Sport, and to identify the next steps that should be taken.
The first World Conference, held in Lausanne in February 1999, conceived the idea of an independent international agency to be responsible for coordinating and monitoring the fight against doping in sport and led to the birth of WADA in November 1999. A second World Conference followed in Copenhagen in 2003, when the World Anti-Doping Code was unanimously accepted by all governments and the sports movement.
WADA updated the Executive Committee and Foundation Board on the Agency’s 2005 activities, including its out-of-competition testing program for which a 30 percent increase in testing is to occur in 2005.
“The allocation of resources to testing in 2005 remains consistent with the strategic plan and activity priorities agreed upon by the Board and Executive Committee in September 2003,” said David Howman, WADA director general. “The difference in our situation this year is that we’re seeing a strong recognition among governments of WADA’s importance and impact, demonstrated by their fulfillment of funding obligations. We’re pleased by the increase in support and to be able to allocate it accordingly.”
This provides for WADA, as the independent, international watchdog organization leading the fight against doping in sport, to maintain its multiple responsibilities under the Code.
“WADA’s existence should not be used as an excuse for others not to fulfill their responsibility in the fight against doping,” emphasized Pound. “WADA is fully committed to increasing testing capacity worldwide, and we work to achieve that on several fronts, including the development of anti-doping programs in regions of the world where testing is extremely limited or non-existent. At the same time, WADA’s out-of-competition testing program is intended to complement, not replace, the testing programs required of international federations and others under the Code.”
UNESCO and the International Convention Against Doping in Sport
The Executive Committee and Board received a report on the status of the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, prepared under the auspices of UNESCO. The treaty will enable all governments of the world to fully accept their responsibilities in relation to the World Anti-Doping Code.
The Convention as presently drafted is to be tabled for acceptance at the General Conference of UNESCO in October 2005. The target for implementation, following acceptance, is the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin.
“We are pleased by the developments so far, and recognize that much needs to be done prior to the October Conference to ensure that all nations are in a position to accept the convention by this target date,” said Howman. “WADA continues to provide assistance and technical support to progress the Convention.”
Government Commitment to WADA
“The participation of twelve Ministers at WADA’s Foundation Board meeting today sends a strong signal that governments are committed to the fight against doping in sport,” said Pound. “In addition, there has been a profound shift in the governments’ fulfillment of their financial pledges to WADA.”
In 2004, WADA collected 95 percent of its funding; and as of today, WADA has already collected 60 percent of its 2005 funding. This is significant news when taking into consideration the funding status in 2003 when, at this point in the year, WADA had received only 6 percent of funds. These developments are a strong indication of the global commitment—by governments and sports—to the fight against doping in sport.
Gene Doping Symposium Announced
WADA announced that it will co-host a Symposium on Gene Doping with the Swedish Government in Stockholm on 4-5 December 2005.