WADA calls on US government for 'constructive' funding discussions

Montreal (AFP) –


The World Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday called on the US government to restart discussions after Washington threatened to withdraw funding for the global body.

In June, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) recommended US lawmakers be given the power to withhold its annual $2.7 million financing of WADA.

The ONDCP accuses the body of failing to implement governance reforms and has been critical of WADA's dealing of the Russian doping scandal.

"It is very important that WADA and the US authorities work together to further strengthen anti-doping," WADA president Witold Banka said in a statement.

"I state my willingness to be part of constructive discussions in order to ensure collaboration between the US and the global anti-doping community," he added.

Earlier this month, Banka played down suggestions US athletes could be barred from the Olympics over the issue after WADA had said it was ready to implement sanctions against the country.

WADA also reiterated its criticism of the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, currently before the US Senate, which makes it unlawful to knowingly influence a major international sports competition by use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method.

WADA said "there remain widely held concerns among other governments" because the act "was amended specifically to exclude the American professional leagues and college sports, which account for more than half a million athletes within the US".