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Anti-Doping Update November 22, 2012

22 November 2012 by Erin Greene

Several announcements were recently made after the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Foundation Board meeting. According to WADA “WADA’s Foundation Board was presented with the second draft of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code at a meeting in Montreal during which it also confirmed a zero-percent funding increase for WADA in 2013.

In accordance with the ongoing Code Review Plan, the Foundation Board discussed the revised draft Code and acknowledged changes which had been reviewed by WADA’s Executive Committee a day earlier.
The present draft substantially strengthens the sanctions for serious violations, increasing from two years to four years the penalties, for example, for the use of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents, trafficking and prohibited methods.

Consequently, Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter has not been included in the draft version of the Code. Also known as the Osaka Rule, it was part of the Olympic Charter until last year when it was ruled non-compliant with the Code.

It had been originally drafted to allow the IOC to prevent athletes who had received a doping sanction of more than six months from competing in the next Olympic Games.
“It is clear from the number of submissions we received, that there is a strong desire in the world of sport, from governments and within the anti-doping community to strengthen the sanction articles in the Code,” explained WADA President John Fahey.

“This second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organizations to impose lifetime bans.
“The Code review is intended to increase the effectiveness of anti-doping, and athletes must know that there is a heavy price to pay for intentional doping, that the risks are high. I am confident this draft will deliver that message loud and clear, and that our own stakeholders will agree.”

Prohibited List criteria
Remaining in the next draft is the proposal on the criteria for a substance or method to be included on the Prohibited List.
It is proposed that for any substance or method to be on the List it must first have the potential to be performance enhancing, and second be either contrary to the spirit of sport or contrary to the health of athletes.
Among submissions that did not result in amendments to this draft were suggestions to remove the B sample, and to change the sanction process for teams should there be positive cases for two members. These remain the same as the existing Code.

Stakeholders to the Code will have another opportunity to comment on the latest draft version during the third and final consultation phase of the Code Review Process. This starts on December 3 – when the second draft will be published – and runs through to March 1, 2013.

Funding freeze
For the second year in succession, WADA’s Foundation Board confirmed that the Agency would not be receiving additional funding, and would have to continue to operate in 2013 with the same level of income it received in 2011. With the continuing economic conditions worldwide, representatives from Governments did not agree to provide any additional funding for WADA, which has an annual income of approximately $28 million.

“This is the second year in a row that we have received a zero-percent increase, and while we appreciate that economies across the world continue to struggle, this freeze is not ideal for the fight against doping in sport,” explained Mr. Fahey.

“It is widely accepted that doping is a major issue no longer restricted to the sporting world, and that it must be addressed by society as a whole.
“WADA has dipped into reserves over the last two years to cover shortfalls for its operating costs, but if funding continues to remain the same then the Agency will be forced to cut back its activities.”

Data Protection
Following the Foundation Board meeting in May, WADA’s Legal Counsel again gave an update on the status of data protection in Europe with regards to the submission of athlete information to anti-doping databases.
It was again explained that the data protection regulation proposed by the European Commission could be an impediment to the fight against doping in sport. WADA’s Athlete Committee also raised concerns on an issue that is a major matter for sport in general to deal with.

“It is important to acknowledge the impact this legislation will have, and it is essential our representatives from Europe report back to us on the steps that are being taken to resolve this potential issue,” added Mr. Fahey.

Ankara Laboratory
Executive Board members agreed that the Ankara Laboratory’s application for reaccreditation proceeds with an immediate accelerated process. Ankara’s accreditation was revoked on June 27, 2011 after a WADA review confirmed that the Laboratory had reported false positives for the stimulant Modafinil.”

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