WADA on the mill of the USA – Sport – Kommersant

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The most notable event at the regular meeting of the Board of Founders of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was the speech of Regina Labelle, Director of the White House Department of National Drug Policy Control (ONDCP). She received an invitation to the meeting after the ONDCP once again accused WADA of unwillingness to carry out radical reforms and again threatened to deprive the agency of its American share of funding – $ 2.9 million annually. In response to the call from Mrs. Labelle to begin serious transformations, the head of WADA, Vitold Banka, said that the department plans to carry out 70 reforms, more than half of which have already been implemented.

Regina Labelle, Director of the White House’s Department of National Drug Policy, spoke at a regular meeting of the WADA Board of Founders, which took place on Friday in Montreal, Canada.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has invited Ms Labelle to the meeting to resolve the already protracted conflict between WADA and ONDCP.

It started last year. Then, the White House’s Department of National Drug Control Policy called on the US Congress to stop funding WADA. According to the ONDCP, the agency does not meet the standards of efficiency, “independence” and “transparency”. This manifested itself, among other things, in too lenient sanctions against Russia for manipulating the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.

In May this year, ONDSP prepared another report, which stated that “the United States has provided WADA with millions of dollars of its taxpayers for many years,” expecting the agency to carry out “transparent” and “independent” activities. In the meantime, according to the body, no progress has been made in this area.

The authors of the report also noted the extremely low level of representation in its governing bodies of “independent athletes” and functionaries of other anti-doping structures. Of the 14 members of the WADA Executive Committee, five represent the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and only two are independent. In the council of founders, the document says, the influence of representatives of the IOC is even stronger – out of 38 members, there are 18 of them at once.

The United States also decided to reiterate its threat – to deprive the World Anti-Doping Agency of American funding.

The American contribution to the WADA budget is currently the largest among the countries’ contributions and amounts to $ 2.9 million (the agency’s total funding is $ 39 million).

At the meeting, ONDCP director Regina Labelle once again listed the claims set out in the report, but she did it, however, in a much less categorical manner. They were presented by her rather as recommendations.

WADA President Witold Banka said at a press conference after the meeting that he generally welcomes the “positive and constructive comments” of the ONDCP Director. However, Mr. Ban’ka also stressed that it is too early to give “final recommendations”. The World Anti-Doping Agency, according to it, began implementing reforms related to WADA management back in 2018. Of the 70 reforms announced then, 49 have already been implemented. “Another 15 are at the development stage, six have not yet begun,” concluded the head of the agency.

Ekaterina Remizova

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