WADA is tired of US threats

Americans can be suspended from the Olympics

By Panduleni Haindongo

THE world Anti-doping Agency (WADA) can suspend the United States national team from participating in international competitions due to threats of funding cuts. The president of the agency Vitold Banka, who is tired of political games of America, reported about it.

The United States Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) launched a war with WADA a few months ago, publishing a report that threatened to cut off funding if the agency did not undertake a major reform. The US threat shocked the anti-doping community and prompted several governments to call WADA to enact legislation that would declare the US to be in breach of the agency’s code. In fact, many countries are in favour of prohibiting American athletes from participating in international competitions.

“The consequences of the US withdrawal of WADA funding from the USA will inevitably lead to serious consequences for athletes from this country, including their exclusion from major international sporting events”, Banka stated in an interview with Reuters. He added that a number of governments have been shocked by the threats from the US Government, supported by the country’s anti-doping agency (USADA). According to him, these governments want to consider an amendment to the conformity standard, meaning that the Government’s failure to pay its WADA contribution could directly lead to that the National Anti-doping Organisation of that country being declared to be in non-compliance with the World Anti-doping Code.

USADA president Travis Tygart responded to Banka, calling the WADA threat empty and illegal.

“Threatening athletes in one country over a failed WADA management model is disappointing. WADA is very frightened, but it’s illegal to threaten American athletes. It’s a shame. It is wrong for an international agency to attack one of its key partners, who does everything to uphold the rules, but it turns a blind eye to a country like Russia, which runs a government doping programme,” Tygart said.

Tygart is the man who has been criticising WADA and IOC in the last years, demanding that they remove Russia completely and unconditionally from world sports. The American insists that Russia should not participate in the Olympic and World championships, but should also be denied the opportunity to compete in all other type of sports competitions.

And the head of USADA is the one, who provides proof for doping consumption by American athletes. Thanks To Tygart, it became possible to have a phenomenon like Simone Biles, an invincible American gymnast who for years consumes powerful drugs under the cover of the so-called therapeutic exclusion. When the truth about Biles and other American stars under drugs came out, Tygart caused hysteria, calling the data leak cowardly cyber-hooliganism against innocent athletes.

The essence of American demands for WADA is simple: the organisation should become another tool for Washington’s sport policy. In a July interview with Sportowe Fakty, the head of WADA stated that the Americans are demanding, among other things, greater influence on the organisation. Meanwhile, it must be clearly stated that control of WADA is not for sale.

Hypothetically, one can imagine a situation where both Russian and American athletes are absent from the Olympic Games at the same time. It is suspected that many athletes of other countries would only be happy to create for themselves a green street to the pedestal of honour. But what would it be like for audiences to watch the Games without the main characters?

Looking at the world of sport in recent years, it is sad to note that lofty ideals have long since been rendered meaningless, becoming a screen for a fierce battle for money and political influence in which anyone is happy to bite the throat of an opponent.