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WADA fund safe

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

WADA fund safe

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As the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) struggles to do its job in the wake of a global economic crisis which has affected all of its member federations, president John Fahey has given the assurance it will continue with the given budget.
During a London 2012 Olympic Games press conference Wednesday, Fahey said WADA was still lucky.
WADA’s funding is provided by the 193 countries which have signed the anti-doping code, including Barbados, and every cent is then matched by the International Olympic Committee.
But despite the recession, several countries that had never paid were now honouring their commitments and some paying outstanding balances.
“Whatever the outcome of the money, let me say this. We will work within the funds we are given,” Fahey said. “There is no doubt we would be more effective if we had more money.”
Fahey’s concern was for the smaller countries which may suffer in their anti-doping fight at home, but said WADA was constantly looking for new ways to wage the battle against performance enhancing drugs without the use of lots of money.
One such method is “intelligence testing”. He pointed out that WADA has a network of close to 200 countries and shares information. For example, the United States passed information to Britain about an athlete who was going to compete there and when the tests were conducted, that person was caught.
Several countries have also developed protocols with law enforcement agencies and have memoranda of understanding. Fahey’s own country, Australia, also has legislation which allows it to share information with the police and customs.
“So, if a package comes through the customs centre with a name of the recipient [who] happens to be registered with ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority), there will be a knock on the door looking for the contents of that package, [and] no doubt, if it is a coach, all of the athletes that are coached by that particular person. That is the intelligent approach,” the president said.
As a result of such systems, he added, 40 per cent of the positives had come through non-analytical methods in the past year.
WADA is also working with pharmaceutical and bio-technology companies and have a full-time officer looking at the sources of manufacture and trafficking.