The World Health Organisation has dealt with a threat to withdraw funding while fighting the Coronavirus and now it is the turn of the World Anti-Doping Agency to feel the wrath of The United States Executive arm of Government.
The Washington Post reports that a withdrawal of the entire $2.17 million of funding provided by the US to WADA is on the cards without reform of its processes and a move towards more proportionate funding.
“American taxpayers should receive a tangible return on their investment in WADA in the form of clean sport, fair play, effective administration of the world anti-doping system and a proportionate voice in WADA decision-making,” according to the report on the report.
“For years the United States has provided the World Anti-Doping Agency with millions of taxpayers’ dollars in annual dues — far more than any other nation in the world.”
“We do so with an expectation that WADA will operate in a transparent, accountable, and independent manner that is above all else fair to athletes – America’s athletes devote years of effort and passion preparing to represent the United States in international competition.”
“They deserve a fair shake and a WADA committed to guaranteeing competition on a level playing field.”
Its special concern is reserved for handling of the doping scandal surrounding Russian athletes.
The findings of the report have been supported by the US Anti Doping Agency which has been a vocal critic alongside our own Sport Ireland.
The two sides are shaping up for this to get more heated with WADA’s initial response accusing the White House of “multiple inaccuracies, misconceptions and falsehoods.”
In relation to the greater representation it feels the US is demanding, it asks back if the US Congress should give greater weight to the wealthiest of the States.
The report was requested by a Senate sub committee towards the end of last year as the Russian scandal took yet more twists and turns.
If it serves as a threat which prompts better governance and more effective work from WADA it will have done some good. If on the other hand it is used as a sound bite in a Presidential press conference and cuts off funding, that will diminish the battle for clean sport.
The stakes in this particular game are high.
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