WADA: READY TO TEST, READY TO OBSERVE
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (20 June 2000) - Out-of-Competition Testing Agreements Imminent with 15 IFs; Testing Underway with One -
The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) made significant progress in its programs related to the Sydney Olympic Games at its meeting today at IOC headquarters. The Committee took key decisions advancing WADA’s out-of-competition testing program and its independent observer role of the Sydney Olympic Games doping control result management system.
The Executive Committee ratified the cooperation agreement that WADA must sign with each international Olympic sports federation (IF) in order for WADA to conduct random out-of-competition tests on the athletes under that IF’s supervision. WADA already has reached a number of signed and verbal agreements with IFs. Two federations, FINA (swimming) and IWF (weightlifting) signed the contract today, and 13 others have agreed in principle. One federation, FITA (archery) has allowed the testing to commence already on the basis of its verbal agreement.
During its earlier Board meeting, WADA announced its goal of implementing 2,500 out-of-competition tests in 2000, of which it hopes to have most completed before the Olympic Games. At the conclusion of the program, WADA will publish the results of the testing program by sport. One federation, WTF (taekwondo), has yet to respond to WADA proposals.
The following summarizes the current status of discussions with the 28 IFs:
ITTF (Table Tennis)
UIPM (Modern Pentathlon)
Commenting on the progress to-date, WADA Chairman Richard W. Pound said, “To have 15 IFs, more than half, already working or ready to work together on testing is a testament to the cooperation we are seeing between WADA and the IFs, especially when less than half had conducted out-of-competition testing in the past. This means, before signing the agreement with WADA, they had to amend their own statutes to allow for the new tests. A great deal of work has been accomplished over a few short months.”
Following the discussion of the testing program, the WADA Executive Committee took its first step in identifying the team it will send to Sydney to observe the doping control result management system. The Executive Committee established the WADA Office of the Independent Observer and named its Secretary General, Harri Syvasalmi, as chairman. The WADA Office of the Independent Observer will randomly observe all facets of the results management system, from the collection of the samples to the analysis in the lab to the review the test results. As chairman, Mr. Syvasalmi will head up a panel of up to eleven persons, who have competence and experience in the scientific, administrative, and legal aspects of doping control, to act as observers.
“We promised WADA would be up and running by the time of the Sydney Olympic Games. Thanks to some great cooperation and quick work, not only will we be there to observe, but we will have already contributed through our pre-competition testing program,” said Mr. Pound.
Also during today’s meeting, the Executive Committee reviewed a number of matters related to its overall mission.
Reviewing the preliminary work submitted by its committees, the Executive Committee set each committee’s terms of reference for the coming year. It also agreed to expand the membership of those committees in order to take advantage of expertise outside of the WADA membership and to ensure continental representation.
The Committee gave approval to a pilot program to test the viability of issuing athletes “passports” that would contain their history of doping control testing and health information. The test pilot will examine the effectiveness of maintaining such records and the efficiency of different technologies to store the information.
The Committee also agreed on the need to enhance its communications capabilities so it can better share information with various constituencies. It determined to launch an interactive web site in the near future.
The next meeting of the WADA Executive Committee is scheduled to take place at the end of August, pending the confirmation of schedules.