WADA Executive Committee Defines WADA Key Priorities

Montreal, September 23, 2003 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced today that its Executive Committee has confirmed, after a two-day strategy session, the priorities that will define the Agency’s mission in the short and medium term. The Committee has defined implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code, research into doping substances and methods, and education regarding doping issues as the top priorities for WADA in the coming years.

Four years into the Agency’s existence, the Committee looked at all activities WADA has undertaken since its founding and considered whether these activities should still be priorities in light of the Code and limited budget resources. The Committee concluded that in light of the responsibilities WADA must undertake under the Code, the bulk of available resources should be allocated toward key areas, including further funds devoted to research and education. In addition, the Committee gave approval to the further development of the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS), a computer system that will eventually allow WADA to coordinate information on athlete testing worldwide and help the Agency monitor compliance with the Code by sports organizations and governments.

“With these decisions, the Executive Committee has made it clear what WADA’s priorities should be in the near future,” said Richard W. Pound, WADA’s president. “In responding to our stakeholders’ needs, it is clear that we need to give more money to research, do better in educating athletes about the dangers of doping, and monitor whether the Code is being properly implemented.”

While the Committee decided that WADA should continue to be involved in funding anti-doping out-of-competition testing in the near future, it agreed that the bulk of this task should be undertaken by governments, international sports federations and national anti-doping agencies. Any testing done by WADA should be incremental to existing and future programs. It was agreed to emphasize the development of national anti-doping agencies who could eventually undertake doping controls in consultation with all international federations. Under the Code, international federations are mandated to conduct out-of-competition doping control tests.

The List, Research Projects

The Executive Committee approved the 2004 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. This is the first time that WADA is solely responsible for the publication of this List. Changes to the List this year include the removal of caffeine and pseudoephedrine. Some substances, such as modafinil, have been added. The complete list will be published on WADA’s website prior to October 1.

Nine new research projects, focused on areas of key priority for WADA, including blood doping, anabolic steroids and the development of a test for the detection of human growth hormone, were approved by the Committee.

The Committee also approved recommending to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) joint IOC / WADA accreditation to the laboratory in Havana, Cuba. Final accreditation will be given by the IOC later this week.

Sanctions for non-payment considered

The Executive Committee was presented with the Agency’s draft budget for 2004 and discussed at length measures that can be taken against stakeholders in case of non-payment of WADA dues. To date, WADA has collected less than 63 percent of the dues owed to the Agency for 2003. The Committee looked at a number of options that it will present to the Foundation Board at its meeting in November, including removing members from the Executive Committee or Board whose countries or regions have not paid their dues. It will also be recommended to the Board that no laboratory receive accreditation or re-accreditation from WADA until the country in which the lab is situated has met its financial commitments to the Agency. The Committee will also ask for IOC support on this matter.

The Committee will also recommend to the Board a change in the Agency’s statutes as to when monies due to WADA should be paid. Currently, the statutes require that stakeholders pay their dues by December 31 of the prior year. This commitment has proved difficult for the majority of stakeholders to fulfill and the Board will be presented with options in November of other dates by which all financial commitments should be paid.

Update on Code acceptance; Regional Offices

The Committee was updated on implementation of the Code following the World Conference on Doping in Sport in March, during which the document was unanimously adopted as the basis for the fight against doping in sport by delegates.

To date, 81 countries have signed the Copenhagen Declaration, affirming their support for WADA and the Code. 62 sports organizations have adopted the Code and will begin implementing it prior to the Olympic Games in Athens next year. One international sports federation, the International Swimming Federation (FINA), has already fully implemented the Code in its rules.

The IOC adopted the Code at its session in July and has already amended the Olympic Charter to reflect the document.

“The speed with which governments and sports organizations are adopting the Code is very encouraging,” Pound said. “I believe we are well on our way to implementation of the Code by the sports world prior to Athens.”

The Committee gave its approval to open both WADA regional offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Cape Town, South Africa, on November 1 of this year.