WADA adds three National Anti-Doping Organizations to compliance ‘watchlist’

Compliance Review Committee also met on 24-25 October

As part of a circulatory vote that ended yesterday, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s)  Executive Committee (ExCo) approved the 7 October recommendation from the Agency’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to add the following three National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) to the compliance ‘watchlist’[1]:

  • German Community of Belgium;
  • Montenegro; and
  • Romania.

In April 2021, WADA initiated a compliance procedure against these NADOs as a result of their failing to implement the 2021 version of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) fully within their legal systems.

On 14 September 2021, WADA’s ExCo asserted these NADOs as non-compliant with the Code as their non-conformity had still not been solved.

In the days following the ExCo assertion, the three NADOs provided draft revised anti-doping rules that WADA confirmed were in line with the Code, as well as a clear calendar for adoption of those rules. On this basis, the CRC recommended their inclusion on the ‘watchlist’. As per the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), by adding the NADOs to the ‘watchlist’, the ExCo has given them four months to execute their corrective action plans. If by 28 February 2022 the non-conformities have not been corrected to the satisfaction of the CRC, the NADOs will be declared non-compliant without the need for a further decision by the ExCo.

Currently, there are five[2] Signatories that remain non-compliant while 12[3] are on the ‘watchlist’, including the three NADOs listed above.

Meanwhile, the CRC met in a hybrid fashion (in-person in Paris and virtual) on 24 and 25 October 2021 to discuss a number of other important issues relating to WADA’s Compliance Monitoring Program. This was the second regular meeting of the CRC since August 2021, while four additional ad hoc virtual meetings were also held during this period to discuss cases of non-compliance, as well as WADA’s ongoing monitoring of the implementation by Signatories of the consequences associated with the December 2020 decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant.

At this latest meeting, the CRC discussed in particular:

  • The latest details of WADA’s monitoring of the implementation by Signatories of the consequences imposed by CAS in the RUSADA case, as well as WADA’s monitoring of RUSADA in light of the CAS decision;
  • A number of specific cases of Signatories;
  • A briefing on the ‘Operation Hercules’ investigation report concerning the Ukraine NADO;
  • An update on progress made by non-compliant Signatories and those on the ‘watchlist’;
  • A review of WADA’s proposed revised tiers for the Agency’s Prioritization Policy;
  • Progress on WADA’s Compliance Monitoring Program, including an update on audits conducted this year and the audit plan for 2022, the Code Compliance Questionnaire for International Federations and NADOs set to be launched in 2022, and continuous monitoring; and
  • The Agency’s progress on its implementation of the findings from its 2020 Compliance Annual Report through its 2021 Compliance Annual Plan, including the development of a compliance risk management system.

The CRC is responsible for providing independent advice, guidance and recommendations to WADA Management and governing bodies on matters relating to Signatories' compliance with their obligations under the Code. The CRC Chair, the Hon. James Wood QC, will report to the next meetings of the ExCo and Foundation Board that will be held on 24 and 25 November 2021.

[1] Under ISCCS Article 8.4.5, if a World Anti-Doping Code Signatory has provided a Corrective Action Plan that explains to the satisfaction of the CRC how the Signatory will correct its Non-Conformities within four months, then the CRC may recommend to WADA’s ExCo that it decide (a) to give the Signatory that period (starting to run from the date of the Executive Committee’s decision) to correct the Non-Conformities, and (b) that the formal notice described in ISCCS Article 8.4.4 shall be sent to the Signatory upon expiry of that timeframe (without the need for a further decision by the ExCo) if the CRC considers that the Non-Conformities have not been corrected in full by then.

[2] The five non-compliant Signatories are: Deaf International Basketball Federation; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea NADO; Indonesia NADO; Russia NADO; and Thailand NADO. Note: The International Gira Sports Federation has now been removed entirely from the list of Code Signatories as a consequence of its non-compliance.

[3] The 12 Signatories currently on the compliance ‘watchlist’ are the NADOs of: Flemish Community of Belgium; French Community of Belgium; Brussels Community of Belgium; German Community of Belgium; Greece; Montenegro; Netherlands; Iran; Portugal; Romania; Spain; and Uzbekistan