WADA receives wide support in efforts to free the former Director General of the Tunisian National Anti-Doping Organization


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) joins with other clean sport organizations around the world calling for the immediate release from custody of the former Director General of the National Anti-Doping Organization of Tunisia (ANAD) and the reinstatement to his role after his arrest last month for simply trying to abide by the consequences of ANAD’s non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).  

Further to its statement of 13 May 2024, WADA reiterates its support for former ANAD Director General, Mr. Mourad Hambli, and has received letters of concern from other anti-doping organizations, including WADA’s NADO Expert Advisory Group, the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO), the Central European Anti-Doping Organization, and the NADOs of France, Kenya and South Africa. 

WADA has met with and subsequently written to the Minister of Youth and Sports in the Government of Tunisia urging him to do all that is necessary to secure Mr. Hambli’s release. In addition, on 28 May 2024, WADA wrote to the Tunisian Embassy in Switzerland, the Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations Office at Geneva and specialized institutions in Switzerland to schedule a meeting with the ambassador to discuss this urgent matter. To date, no response has been received. 

WADA President Witold Bańka said: “WADA and the wider anti-doping community is shocked and dismayed by this situation. In recent weeks, we have received several letters from National Anti-Doping Organizations of other countries and other clean sport organizations, expressing their deep concern and supporting WADA as it works hard to find a solution to this situation. This injustice must not be allowed to continue. WADA calls for Mr. Hambli’s immediate and unconditional release, as well as the dropping of any charges against him pertaining to this. In collaboration with the community, we will not stop until this has been achieved.” 

WADA supports the efforts of ANAD and International Federations to uphold the decision by WADA’s Executive Committee to assert non-compliance in this case. Reports that the ANAD Director General had been arrested for doing so is a matter of grave concern.  

On 30 April, the non-compliance of ANAD was confirmed as the result of its failure to fully implement the 2021 version of the Code within its legal system. Under the terms of the non-compliance, as is always the case, a series of consequences and reinstatement conditions were imposed, including that the nation’s flag could not be flown at certain covered events while ANAD remained non-compliant.    

Since the non-conformity in Tunisia was established, WADA worked closely with the authorities to ensure the compliance matter could be dealt with as quickly as possible. On 15 May 2024, WADA announced that the non-conformity had been successfully addressed and ANAD was reinstated as compliant with the Code.