IOC ignores own charter

WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency


By Stine Alvad
The IOC charter states that “only sports that adopt and implement the anti-doping code, can be included or remain in the programme.” According to the minutes from a WADA executive board meeting in May 2008, IOC was aware that several countries and IFs were not compliant with the WADA anti-doping code when they competed in Beijing.

About 2000 athletes competing at the Beijing Olympics have not been subject to the same anti-doping rules as the rest of the athletes since either their countries or their sports were not compliant with the WADA code.

In an interview in Danish newspaper Politiken, Richard W. Pound says that he is unsatisfied with the decision to let non compliant countries compete and that he thinks the publication of the WADA report is taking far too long.

“The Foundation Board chose to postpone the publication. That choice does not correspond with my personal preferences. I would have wanted it published. It is not rocket science: The code can be implemented as fast as you want it to be”, he says in Politiken.

The inconsequence with which the code is being handled is not the only concern.

“This distorts the competition,” says Joachim B. Olsen, Danish shot putter and Olympic contester in Beijing to Danish newspaper Politiken. “Knowing that my competitors are not competing on the same conditions as me is deeply unsatisfying and problematic”.

The WADA code compliance report scheduled to be published in November 2008 was rescheduled till May this year. The report lists 5 sport federations and 10 countries who have failed to comply with the WADA code. According to the minutes of the board meeting, the IOC was aware of this before the Beijing Olympics but did not act on it.

It will be noisy and complicated”, Pound says on implementing the code consistently, “it will be a test for the IOC.”

The lack of code compliance is a big problem. According to Dag Vidar Hanstad, a Norwegian anti-doping expert who has recently done a survey among the nado’s federation ANADO, a federation believed to be consisting of the strongest of the anti-doping countries. But even here the codex is not complied with. 9 out of the 32 federations answering the survey did not have registered athletes in their databases and were as a consequence not able to conduct surprise tests.

“The biggest problem in the anti-doping fight is the lack of regimentation”, Hanstad says to Politiken.

2000 athletes competing at the Beijing Games did not comply with the WADA codex letting 93 medals to non-compliant countries.

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