The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced today that its Executive Committee approved the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods for 2007.
The 2007 List, like the 2006 List, is a consolidation list and includes only minor modifications. For example, the List was clarified to state that all stimulants are prohibited and to incorporate benzylpiperazine in the list of stimulant examples. The new List will be published online by October 1, 2006, and will go into effect on January 1, 2007.
WADA assumed responsibility for the List following implementation of the Code and the International Standards in 2004. If a substance or method is found to meet two of three criteria (enhances performance, poses a threat to athlete health, violates the spirit of sport), then it is possible that it be considered for placement on the Prohibited List. The List is developed through a highly consultative year-long process, beginning with the circulation of a draft List among more than 1,700 stakeholders for comment. The comments received are processed by WADA's List Committee, who then presents its conclusions to the WADA Health, Medical and Research Committee, who in turn submits its final recommendations the Executive Committee at the annual September meeting. The Executive Committee, WADA's ultimate policy-making body, discusses the recommendations and makes a final decision.
"The List, one of the four mandatory International Standards, is one of the key tools in the harmonization of the global fight against doping in sport," said Richard W. Pound, WADA's president. "Developing the List involves an elaborate process to ensure the full consideration of current scientific knowledge, understanding of doping trends, and stakeholder experience and input."
Artificially-induced hypoxic conditions
The Executive Committee approved the recommendation of WADA's scientific committees not to add artificially-induced hypoxic conditions to the 2007 List, of which the consultation was held under a separate but parallel process to the draft 2007 List.
WADA had been asked by its stakeholders to lead the process for consideration of hypoxic conditions, and consequently, WADA's scientific committees (Health, Medical and Research, and List Committees) and Ethical Issues Review Panel engaged in an extensive examination of the scientifically published literature and opinions from internal and external experts. The Committees found that the method was performance enhancing, raised some concerns but was inconclusive about the method's threat to athlete health, and determined that the method was contrary to the spirit of sport. A substance or method may, but is not required to, be added to the Prohibited List if it meets two of these three criteria.
"We are pleased with the progress of the discussion surrounding artificially induced hypoxic conditions," Pound said. "In response to our stakeholders who requested that there be full consideration of hypoxic conditions in the context of the Prohibited List, WADA performed a scientific and ethical review of the matter, and engaged in a thorough consultation with experts and stakeholders. While we do not deem this method appropriate for inclusion on the List at this time, we still wish to express the concern that, in addition to the results varying individually from case to case, use of this method may pose health risks if not properly implemented and under medical supervision."
Committee members also suggested that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission look into the matter for a medical consideration of the method's impact on athlete health.
The Executive Committee also discussed the 2007 draft budget. The proposed budget calls for a minor increase of three percent, bringing the 2007 annual budget to US$23 million. The budget will be submitted for approval by WADA's Foundation Board at its November meeting.
WADA's budget and government contributions in 2006 were also discussed. WADA has received more than 90 percent of its 2006 budget to date from governments and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and anticipates the final contributions this year to be similar to the 95 percent collected in 2005.
"The rate at which WADA stakeholders fulfill their financial commitments accelerates every year and indicates universal support of the work we do on their behalf in the global fight against doping in sport," said WADA Director General David Howman. "These resources enable WADA to meet its mission as international monitor and coordinator of anti-doping in sport and engage in vital initiatives such as scientific research and anti-doping education."
UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sport
Committee members considered the current status of individual ratifications of the International Convention Against Doping in Sport (Convention), giving governments the practical tool for aligning domestic policies with the Code. As of today, 17 countries have officially ratified the Convention, which was drafted and unanimously adopted by 191 countries at the session of UNESCO General Conference in October 2005. The Convention affirms the indispensable role that governments play in the fight against doping in sport, particularly in areas outside the direct purview of the sport movement. For example, governments can take measures against the manufacture and trafficking of doping substances, encourage the establishment of codes of conduct for professionals in fields impacting sports and facilitate investigations into doping allegations.
Recent high-profile doping cases and investigations underscore the fact that when sport and government combine efforts, the fight against doping gains efficiency. Thirty individual ratifications are needed for the Convention to come into formal effect. It is expected that all 186 nations that have signed the Copenhagen Declaration, the political commitment signifying the intent to adopting the UNESCO Convention, will proceed with ratification in the coming months so that this international treaty comes into force without delay.
WADA will commit US$ 5.4 million to scientific research in 2006. The Committee received a record number of proposals (71) from all five continents and agreed to fund 25 projects.
Since 2001, WADA's has committed approximately US$27 million to scientific research. WADA-sponsored research is targeted at identifying and detecting doping substances and methods, and some examples of outcomes include the development and validation of a detection method for haemoglobin based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) and the demonstration of the masking properties of finasteride.
The Executive Committee discussed a recommendation that will be presented to the Foundation Board in November involving Board membership and representation. The proposal would allow an increase of members on the Foundation Board from 36 to 38; permit the selection of Chair and Vice Chair from outside of the Board; remove the restriction limiting service of individuals to three terms of three years; and support the principle of rotation in the Chair and Vice Chair seats so that there would be an alternation of representation between the sport movement and governments in the Chair and Vice Chair positions respectively, with a limitation on consecutive tenure to six years.
Code Review and Consultation
WADA management also reported to the Executive Committee on the status of the review of the Code currently underway.
The Code assigns WADA the responsibility of managing the evolution of the Code. As such, in year three of the practical implementation of the Code, WADA is engaging stakeholders in a review of the Code for the purpose of fine-tuning its provisions to enhance global anti-doping efforts.
David Howman, WADA Director General, highlighted the success of the Code to date. "Since coming into force on January 1, 2004, the Code has proven to be a very powerful and effective tool in the harmonization of anti-doping efforts worldwide, as is indicated by the overwhelming support of governments and sports in adopting the Code, as well as the growing body of Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) jurisprudence supporting the Code's tenets."
"The Code review is modeled on the extensive consultation process that was used with stakeholders for the initial development of the Code and the four International Standards (list, laboratories, testing, and therapeutic use exemptions) and stresses practical and constructive solutions for enhancing anti-doping programs worldwide," explained Howman.
There are three phases of review, the first having just closed, which will culminate with the final draft of the reviewed Code being discussed and approved at the Third World Conference on Doping in Sport in Madrid (Spain) in November 2007.