Effective February 13th, 2019, the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has declared the anti-doping committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) non-compliant. North Korea was declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code after failing to meet a 4-month deadline to “correct non-conformities related to the implementation of its testing program.”
The decision came out of the same Executive Committee meeting where WADA decided to not make the same declaration of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in spite of missing a deadline. Instead, the committee reinstate Russia with new deadlines and requirements, which they also missed, and still were not resuspended.
WADA says that by January 21, 2019 the non-conformities remained outstanding. After being served formal notiication, and being given 21 days to dispute WADA’s assertion, North Korean officials did not dispute the assertion, resulting in the organization’s suspension.
North Korea has signed an agreement with the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) to supervise their testing activities, which includes up to 6 site visits per year.
The declaration of non-compliance does not bar North Korean athletes from competing in international sporting events.
While North Korea didn’t send any swimmers to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, they did send divers. They also entered two swimmers at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships, with the top finisher being Jang Myong-gyong, who finished 39th in the 50 breaststroke in 35.11.
WADA lists the sanctions for non-compliance as follows:
(a) The DPRK Anti-Doping Committee will lose its WADA Privileges until Reinstatement (see ISCCS Art B.3.1(a)), i.e.:
- In accordance with the relevant provisions of WADA’s Statutes, the DPRK AntiDoping Committee’s Representatives shall be ineligible to hold any WADA office or any position as a member of any WADA board or committee or other body (including but not limited to membership of WADA’s Foundation Board, the Executive Committee, any Standing Committee, and any other committee).
- The DPRK AntiDoping Committee shall be ineligible to host any event hosted or organized or co-hosted or co-organized by WADA.
- The DPRK AntiDoping Committee’s Representatives shall be ineligible to participate in any WADA Independent Observer Program or WADA Outreach Program or other WADA activities.
- The DPRK AntiDoping Committee shall not receive any WADA funding (either directly or indirectly) relating to the development of specific activities or participation in specific programs.
(b) Some or all of the DPRK Anti-Doping Committee’s activities related to testing will be subject to Supervision by an Approved Third Party, at the DPRK Anti-Doping Committee’s expense, including up to six site visits a year, with all costs to be paid in advance (where known) (see ISCCS Art B.3.1 (b)). The DPRK Anti-Doping Committee and the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) have signed an agreement to this effect.
(c) The DPRK Anti-Doping Committee’s Representatives shall be ineligible to sit as members of the boards or committees or other bodies of any Signatory (or its members) or association of Signatories for a period of one year or until the DPRK Anti-Doping Committee is reinstated (whichever is longer) (see ISCCS Art B.3.1 (c)).