Gabon Found Non-Compliant By WADA, Will Be Required To Compete Under Neutral Flag

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has ruled the National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) of Gabon to be non-compliant.

The ruling will result in athletes from Gabon being unable to compete under their own flag until their NADO is cleared by WADA.

The non-compliance comes as a result of the Gabon NADO failing to implement the 2021 version of the WADA Code fully within its legal system.

The Gabon NADO will have 12 months to meet the reinstatement conditions put in place by WADA. If those go unfulfilled within the timeframe, Gabonese athletes competing at the 2024 Olympic Games will do so under a neutral flag.

“As a condition of reinstatement, the Gabon NADO must ensure the adoption and entrance into force of the required amendments to the relevant Gabonese legislation in order to bring it in line with the Code,” WADA said.

The organization was placed on the WADA ‘watchlist’ in November, and had four months to execute a corrective plan, but failed to do so by the March 17 deadline.

“The Gabon NADO did not dispute WADA’s assertion of non-compliance, the proposed consequences of non-compliance or the proposed reinstatement conditions within 21 days from WADA’s assertion of non-compliance,” WADA said. “As a result, the asserted non-compliance is deemed admitted and the conditions accepted.”

The Gabon NADO will face a number of “consequences” until it is reinstated by WADA, including being unable to host “regional, continental and World Championships, as well as other events organised by major event organisations,” and the country’s flag will also not be permitted to fly at major events.

Gabon will also lose all WADA funding and Gabonese officials will be ineligible to hold any office or position within WADA and will not be permitted to take part in any WADA programs.

Gabon had two swimmers compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games under the universality qualification system, Adam Mpali and Aya Mpali, who competed in the men’s and women’s 50 freestyle, respectively. Adam Mpali also raced at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships in the men’s 50 free.

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4 months ago

Am I the only person who had to Google where Gabon is…..

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Reply to  Chlorinetherapy
4 months ago

I never heard of Gabon!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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