Just in the nick of time, the Brazilian government passed necessary legislation to avoid seeing its compliance status dented by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Last November, Brazil was 1 of 6 countries placed on WADA’s ‘watch list’ for not meeting the organization’s guidelines and the 2016 Olympic Games host nation had until last Friday, March 18th to shape up its protocol. As such, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff signed an executive decree, which included a couple of key changes to the nation’s anti-doping legislation, thus bringing Brazil up to code.
According to the decree, in an effort to ensure independence of the Brazilian Anti-Doping Agency (ABCD), ‘all doping cases must be heard in an independent, specialized tribunal instead of a general sports court.’ Additionally, cases will now be heard within the international standard of a maximum of 21 days, rather than the Brazilian average time frame of 60 days.
Rousseff stated that the changes mark a “historic breakthrough in the fight for clean sport in Brazil.” The statement continued, “This Brazilian anti-doping code sets the standards for the fight against doping in Brazilian sport, contributing to its harmonization with the world (standard).”
Had the legislation not been formulated and passed by last Friday, Rio’s doping lab would have been deemed non-compliant and would have lost its accreditation. In that scenario, thousands of doping samples to be taken during the Olympic and Paralympic Games would have had to have been sent outside Brazil for testing, similar to what occurred during the 2o14 World Cup. With that event, samples taken by host Brazil had to be shipped to Lausanne, Switzerland for testing.