The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published results of a yearly audit of its Intelligence & Investigations Department, calling for three new employees and raising concerns about the United States’ passage of the Rodchenkov Act.
That’s one of three recent WADA press releases detailing some various updates to the anti-doping organization.
Intelligence & Investigations (I&I) Yearly Audit
WADA policy requires the anti-doping organization to undergo a yearly audit of its Intelligence & Investigations Department. Independent Supervisor Jacques Antenen conducted the audit, which ran from August 31 to October 12 of this year.
The report includes a list of 11 items – potential improvements or areas of concern. Here are a handful of the most notable:
- The report calls for physically separating the workspace of the Confidential Information Manager. That would help provide more confidentiality and secrecy to whistleblowers.
- Antenen writes that he made this same recommendation in his 2019 report, but the change has not been made yet – in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It calls for hiring three additional employees by the end of 2022 and, independently of the new employees, creating a three-person compliance unit. The report says WADA’s I&I Department currently has 12 staff members, up two from last year. (WADA’s press release says that since the audit, it is already up to 14 staff members). The department would still like to hire more employees in order to have four investigative teams to cover four separate regions (Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia/Oceania).
- WADA is concerned that the Rodchenkov Act, passed by the US, will negatively impact WADA’s activities.
- The Rodchenkov Act allows the U.S. government to pursue criminal penalties against athletes from any other country who violate doping laws at events involving American athletes. WADA has previously criticized the act, saying it would have unintended consequences that would undermine existing anti-doping measures – among them, a patchwork of overlapping doping laws between nations (rather than one set of standard regulations set up by WADA) and potentially de-incentivizing whistleblowers, who could report doping violations to WADA only to be prosecuted by the U.S. or other nations.
- The report says WADA must help international sports federations (governing bodies like FINA) and national anti-doping agencies develop more investigative structures. WADA “alone cannot bear all the responsibility for anti-doping investigations,” the report says.
India, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt Pledge More Funds To WADA
Yesterday, WADA also announced new financial contributions from a host of international governments. The additional contributions are above and beyond what each government typically contributes to WADA’s annual budget. You can see the breakdown of annual funding here.
- India: $1,000,000
- China: $992,694
- Saudi Arabia: $500,000
- Egypt: $100,000
The International Olympic Committee matches these contributions, bringing the total to about $5.2 million. WADA has already received China’s contribution, and the other three nations have pledged their money. The additional funds go to WADA’s scientific research, and not to its Intelligence & Investigations budget.
WADA says that over the past four years, it has received additional contributions from a host of countries, including Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, Kuwait, Poland, and the United States, along with the Swiss city of Lausanne and the Canton de Vaud.
WADA Executive Committee Confirms Two Independent Appointees
Today, WADA added one more piece of news: its Foundation Board confirmed two appointees to serve as independent members of the WADA Executive Committee.
Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni of Italy and Patricia Sangenis of Argentina will join the Executive Committee. Both were recommended by WADA’s Nominations Committee and by the Executive Committee. They are set to join the committee on March 1 of 2021
Battaini-Dragoni is the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and has a background in youth sports governance in that organization. She’s also the Council of Europe’s representative on the WADA Board. She will resign from both of those posts now that she’s joining WADA’s Executive Committee.
Sangenis has been a sports physician for more than 20 years. The WADA press release says she helped with doping control in multiple sporting events, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sangenis has also previously served on the International Olympic Committee’s Medical and Scientific Commission.
The WADA Executive Committee will now expand to 14 members. Four seats are for independent members, including the president and vice president. Five will represent world governments (one each from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania), and five will represent sport (from organizations like the IOC and the IOC Athletes Commission).
Active or former athletes should be represented in each of the three categories (independent, governments, sports movement).
Here’s the full Executive Committee as of next March, per the WADA release:
- Witold Bańka (Independent Chair, WADA President)
- Yang Yang (Independent Vice-Chair, WADA Vice-President)
- Patricia Sangenis (Independent)
- Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni (Independent)
- Ugur Erderner (International Olympic Committee)
- Jiri Kejval (Association of National Olympic Committees)
- Ingmar de Vos (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations)
- Nenad Lalovic (Global Association of International Sports Federations)
- Danka Bartekova (IOC Athletes Commission)
- Amira El Fadil (Public Authorities – Africa)
- Andrea Sotomayor (Public Authorities – Americas)
- Tanose Taido (Public Authorities – Asia)
- Dan Kersch (Public Authorities – Europe)
- Grant Robertson (Public Authorities – Oceania)