The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has responded in detail to charges levied by the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) this week. The response comes a day after the ONDCP threatened to pull American funding for the global doping watchdog over what it claims to be a lack of “value” for American interests.
WADA’s rebuttal is in the form of an annotated version of the original ONDCP report.
The United States contributes $2.7 million out of the $37.4 million contributed by governments around the world, making the Americans the single biggest contributors among national governments to WADA’s core budget.
Among the specific charges levied against WADA is related to the ONDCP’s criticism of their handling of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory investigation
This is in spite of the fact that WADA levied harsh sanctions about Russian sport in December, which included a ban on official Russian participation under the Russian flag in the Olympic Games for four years, removing major hosting rights from Russia, and blocking Russians from serving in administrative functions within international sport federations that are WADA signatories.
WADA says that they are on track to meet multiple governance reform goals 3 years after those reforms were approved, including by the United States.
In their response, WADA outlines in red what it calls “misleading information,” and points out that while the US is the biggest contributor to WADA’s core mission, that other contributions to investigations, research, and operations actually makes Canada the leading contributor to WADA activities.
Among the ‘facts’ in the ONDCP report that WADA disputes:
- WADA says that the ONDCP uses an inaccurate breakdown of WADA’s Foundation Board makeup by continent
- WADA points out that WADA did not determine the regional representation breakdown, nor the breakdown of which governments would fund the organization. Both decisions, WADA says, were made by the governments themselves.
- WADA says that each region (in this case, the Americas, with 4 representatives) is responsible for determining their representatives, and that WADA is not involved in those decisions.
- WADA also responds to the ONDCP’s criticism that 18 of 19 board members on the Olympic Movement side of the board (the Olympic Movement funds the other half of WADA’s budget) with a similar response: the Olympic Movement has decided how those seats will be allocated.
- WADA points out that no individual government may occupy more than one seat on the WADA Foundation Board, so that by an American being included, the representation is actually the maximum allowed. They also point out that the U.S. is one of the few nations that has held a seat on the Board continuously since WADA’s creation in 1999.
- WADA also points out that the United States has represented its 42-nation region more than any other nation in WADA history, including 7 of the last 14 years, on the WADA Executive Committee.