March 16, 2006
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WADA Skeptical about Anti-Doping Policy at World Baseball Classic

No Evidence of Compliance with World Anti-Doping Code

March 16, 2006 - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) expressed serious doubts today about the anti-doping policy implemented during the World Baseball Classic (WBC) and called for baseball officials to publicly disclose the details of the policy and testing program prior to the end of the tournament. The Agency said that failure to do so could further jeopardize the sport’s re-entry into the Olympic program.

“It’s very simple. We are asking baseball to come clean and set the record straight,” said WADA President Richard Pound. “Either baseball officials seriously want to rid their sport of doping, or they want to brush the issue under the carpet. So far, we haven’t seen much evidence of the former.”

Because the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) is sanctioning the WBC for Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the tournament is required to adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code. Without public disclosure of the anti-doping policy and implementation details, WADA will be left no choice but to declare the WBC non-compliant with the world doping standard.

There have been obvious contradictions between public statements made by baseball officials and the information provided to players. MLB, MLBPA, and IBAF officials have claimed publicly that the WBC would be implemented according to the World Anti-Doping Code. Yet information circulated by baseball officials among WBC players conflicts in several ways with the World Anti-Doping Code. For example, significant performance enhancing substances that are part of the World Anti-Doping Code, such as ephedrine, human growth hormone and DHEA, are not banned by the WBC.  Players on provisional rosters could not be tested by WADA as part of the Agency’s global out-of-competition testing program. And, public disclosure of pre-WBC anti-doping violations was not permitted.

Baseball officials have resisted repeated offers of assistance as well as requests from WADA for a copy of the anti-doping policy to ensure that the anti-doping rules are compliant with the world recognized Code.

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the international independent organization created in 1999 to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms. The Agency is composed and funded equally by the sports movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, out-of-competition testing, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code – the first document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and all countries.