The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) agreed to extend the suspension of its declaration that FIFA’s (football) rules are not compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code, the core document that provides the framework for harmonized anti-doping policy rules and regulations in Sport and Government, so that FIFA can bring its rules into compliance prior to its World Cup to be held in June in Germany. The decision was made during the Agency’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board meetings held in Montreal on May 13 and 14 respectively.
At its May 2005 meeting, WADA’s Executive Committee had declared FIFA non-compliant, but suspended the declaration while an advisory opinion from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), an independent body, could be sought. On April 24, 2006, CAS released its advisory opinion confirming WADA’s claims that FIFA rules differ with the mandatory provisions of the Code in several key areas, including in relation to sanctions and WADA’s right of appeal against doping decisions.
“Both WADA and FIFA have committed to accept and abide by the CAS opinion, and FIFA has stated it will make the necessary changes in time for its World Cup next month,” said WADA Chairman Richard W. Pound. “FIFA’s achieving Code-compliance will be an important and welcome step in the global fight against doping in sport.”
Expedited Consideration of Non-Compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code
The Executive Committee agreed to implement a mechanism for expediting official declarations of non-compliance in situations that require urgent attention and decision. This issue stems from the difficulties experienced earlier in 2006 when the IBAF (baseball) refused to inform WADA of the anti-doping rules in place for World Baseball Classic (WBC), nor had IBAF renewed its contract allowing WADA to perform out-of-competition testing in the lead up to the WBC. With the new mechanism in place, when sports and other signatories to the Code are not Code-compliant for a period of time and in significant circumstances, the Executive Committee will be able to consider and vote on official declarations of non-compliance within a seven-day period.
Artificially-Induced Hypoxic Conditions
The Executive Committee decided to seek broad stakeholder comment on the question of whether artificially-induced hypoxic conditions should be placed on the 2007 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List). The consultation process on hypoxic conditions will occur in parallel to the process implemented for feedback on the draft 2007 List which is currently in circulation. Following the consultation period, stakeholder feedback will receive full review by the WADA List Committee in September 2006, which will then consider the appropriate next steps.
The Foundation Board received a full report on the status of the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping Sport (UNESCO Convention), the tool that enables Governments to incorporate the Code into domestic policy. Currently 13 countries have ratified the UNESCO Convention, and 30 are needed for it to come into formal effect. Some 185 countries have signed the Copenhagen Declaration, stating their political commitment to adopting the Code; and the UNESCO Convention was unanimously adopted by 191 Governments at the UNESCO General Convention on October 19, 2005. WADA encourages Governments to swiftly ratify the Convention, as further evidence of Government support of anti-doping and WADA.
A working group has been formed to look at potential changes to WADA’s constitution.
Foundation Board members received a report on the process for the Consultation and Review of the Code. Building on the experience gained to date and to further advance anti-doping efforts, WADA has initiated a Code consultation period for a practical review of its provisions and fine-tuning them to enhance worldwide anti-doping programs. The consultation provides stakeholders with the opportunity to contribute constructively to the improvement of the Code. This process includes three stages and will conclude at the World Conference on Doping in Sport, taking place in Madrid (Spain), 15-17 November 2007.
Regional Anti-Doping Organizations
Board members were also informed of the development of Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs). Under this program, WADA initiates the creation of RADOs that will assume responsibility for anti-doping in areas of the world where there currently is limited or no anti-doping activity. The Agency works with stakeholders in the regions so that resources and expertise are shared in the establishment of anti-doping education and testing programs. By the end of 2007, the goal is that 117 countries are involved in anti-doping, and by 2010, there is global coverage of anti-doping.
Contact for the media:Frédéric Donzé, WADA Media Relations Manager
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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.