Six countries may well find themselves banned from the Olympics and other major sporting events. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) who have grown impatient at non-compliance, warned last week that this may be the only course of action open to them.
It does not come as much of a surprise that the nations concerned are hardly ones expected to garner a swag of medals in Rio. North Korea, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Sierra Leone and Virgin Islands (US) have all been deemed to be out of step with the revised WADA code and have failed to provide the agency with draft rules or information about their rules drafting process.
WADA president Sir Craig Reedie has been quoted as saying at the conclusion of last Wednesday’s Foundation Board meeting, “We came across a very small number of people who have done precisely nothing for a period of 17-18 months and they have had seven or eight reminders. At the end of the day, the whole compliance system will collapse if you don’t have some form of sanctions.”
“My guess is that the information that they might be declared non-compliant might just encourage the anti-doping people of North Korea to (take action)…and become compliant.”
Of course it is not the role of WADA to ban nations from competition, as Reddie was quick to point out. He stated clearly that it is now be the responsibility of the governments in those six countries, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to decide on the consequences of non-compliance.
Reedie indicated that he was happy to turn the matter over to the IOC as his organisation had grown tired of chasing these six nations for a response.
“We are not in the business of keeping them out of sport, we’re in the business of them having a proper set of rules. Our obligation and our duty is to tell people whether they are compliant or not and pass it up the line to the IOC or other major event organisers and it is up to them to take the steps.” Reddie said
Time will tell if the threat of suspension sees these nations administrators speed up their processes.