— Published 25 September 2023

Time for sanctions

Meeting at the end of last week in Shanghai, China, the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) handed out a generous number of yellow and red cards. More than half a dozen countries were involved. At the top of the list are Bermuda and South Africa. Their national anti-doping agencies have been declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. Never very good news, especially less than a year before the Olympic Games. The two countries have 21 days from the date of receipt of the notification of non-compliance to contest it. Six other countries – Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Mongolia, Morocco and the Philippines – have been placed on WADA’s “watch list”. A form of warning, nothing more, but one that could lead to a declaration of non-compliance if they do not rectify the situation within the next four months. The same goes for Panam Sports. The Pan-American sports organisation was also declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. Finally, in a more usual, almost ritualistic fashion, WADA’s Executive Committee examined the case of Russia. Not surprisingly, its members decided… to take no decision. Despite the end of its two-year suspension last December, its national anti-doping agency (RUSADA) has still not been reinstated. WADA also states that it has continued its patient work to recover data and samples from the Moscow laboratory. To date, this has resulted in the sanctioning of 218 cases of anti-doping rule violations, plus 63 others that have led to charges being brought.