(Editor’s Note. There is an ongoing battle over how tough world anti-doping laws should be in terms of sanctions given to athletes who are found in violation of the code. The British Olympic Association wants to take a hard-line stance in the 2012 Summer Games and ban any athlete from competing if he or she has ever been found to have used banned substances. Among other athletes who would be banned from competing in London is John Merritt, the current U.S. Champion in the outdoor 400 meter run. Readers are encouraged to join in the conversation by submitting comments to the blog).
November 29 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is initiating a review of the World Anti-Doping Code, nearly three years after the last changes were put into practice.
John Fahey, WADA President, served notice of the review in a letter to stakeholders.
The process will include three stages of consultation and conclude at a world conference in Johannesburg in November 2013.
Fahey called for stakeholders to submit suggestions, urging them to consider their practical experiences and to lodge submissions no later than March 15, 2012.
“In view of the relatively successful harmonious operation to date, we suggest you look carefully at areas which will benefit from change, additions or omissions, and reflect on the benefits to the global community of athletes arising from any suggested alteration,” Fahey said.
The move comes at a time when WADA is at loggerheads with the British Olympic Association (BOA) over the BOA’s bylaw banning drugs cheats from representing Britain at an Olympic Games.
WADA recently declared the BOA “non-compliant” with the code, in an escalation of the dispute.
It will be interesting to see whether Colin Moynihan (pictured), the BOA’s combative chairman, now steps back from out-and-out confrontation in favour of lobbying strongly for incorporation of language in the global code that would, in effect, see the BOA’s bylaw adopted worldwide.
There would be no shortage of support for such a hard-line move, not least among athletes.
The code review process is to be managed by an expert drafting team. It will include reviews and approvals from both the WADA executive committee and the Foundation Board “at relevant times”.