Dick Pound, one of the founders of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) founders, has denounced recent comments made by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
Last month, ONDCP sent a report to Congress asking it to pull approximately $2.7 million in funding from WADA if it does not implement key governance reforms. ONDCP claimed that this was due to many reasons, the most prominent one being WADA’s handling of the Russian doping scandal despite the fact that the organization levied harsh punishments, including a four year ban of Russia from the Olympic Games.
Speaking in a recent interview, Pound commented on the situation stating, “It’s certainly the first time that a major partner who’s been in WADA and played an important role from the very beginning all of a sudden is threatening to take its marbles and go home. It’s really inexplicable. There’s no reason for it. It can do no good in the fight against doping in sport. It’s not really conduct you expect from one of your founding partners.”
“Were I a responsible member of the Congress, I would want to know why a report was submitted to my attention by the executive branch despite the ONDCP’s knowledge that it was replete with factual errors and omissions,” Pound said, “the effect of which was to encourage me to act on the basis of an erroneous and incomplete factual matrix. I would have serious concern that, as a member of the Congress, I had been deliberately misled by the executive branch.”
Pound was the first president of WADA and is a former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee. He is also the chairman of the Olympic Broadcasting Services, the organization that the IOC created to maintain standards of Olympic broadcasting around the world.
Last week, WADA also released its own comments on the situation, disputing several “facts” that the ONDCP presented. In addition to its response, WADA published its 5 year plan to combat doping, which will be implemented from 2020 until 2024.