Israel supporters stage a demonstration in Paris.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Anti-Doping Committee of Israel chairman Shaul Schreiber said he was surprised that Israel was among six signatories declared as non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA ) Foundation Board on Wednesday and promised to rectify the situation immediately.
Alongside Russia, Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine, Israel was also found non-compliant of the WADA Code and can no longer conduct anti-doping programs, being given until March 18 to comply with the agency’s demands.
“Andorra and Israel were declared non-compliant after it was deemed they did not have sufficient anti-doping rules in place,” said WADA spokesman Ben Nichols, following the board meeting held at Colorado Springs.
Schreiber insisted on Thursday that the Anti-Doping Committee of Israel had done no wrong.
“Israel, along with a small number of other countries, was unexpectedly announced as non-complaint with the WADA guidelines,” said Schreiber. “The reason for that is the Anti-Doping Committee of Israel’s insistence to adapt the new code to the Israeli law and that process has taken place with WADA over recent months.
“WADA ’s unilateral move is unfortunate as the Anti-Doping Committee of Israel honored and adopted the code on January 1, 2015 and implemented it in its regulations.
“In light of Israel being included in the non-complaint list, we will immediately remove our requests (even though they are just) to adapt the code to the Israeli law and will continue our discussions with WADA on the issue. The Anti-Doping Committee of Israel acts according to all the rules and regulations of WADA and will continue to do so in the future.”
Russian anti-doping agency suspended Meanwhile, Russia’s sporting reputation was in tatters and drug cheats around the world put on notice on Wednesday as an emboldened WADA vowed to step up the war on performance-enhancing drugs.
The organization capped a big fortnight for its cause, and a miserable one for Russia, by suspending the country’s anti-doping agency on the back of an independent commission report that uncovered evidence of state-sponsored doping and cover- ups.
The suspension of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA ) completed a non-compliance hattrick.
The Moscow laboratory implicated in the cover-up has been decertified, while the Russian athletics federation (ARAF) was banned last week by the world governing body (IAAF).
The commission, led by former- WADA chief Dick Pound, generated plenty of buzz at Wednesday’s board meeting as the world-doping authority signaled a possible change in the way it does business going forward.
While Russia and their athletics program have been in the WADA crosshairs, Pound has repeatedly made it clear that it is not the only country, and athletics not the only sport, with doping issues.
President Sir Craig Reedie announced he would go to governments seeking additional money to fund probes and then ask the International Olympic Committee, which set up WADA , to match those donations.
“If you are going to do proper investigations you need to employ the correct people and it’s expensive,” said Reedie.
Pound put a price tag of at least $1 million on investigations similar to the one just completed and finding the money to aggressively pursue drug cheats will be hard.
WADA has an operating budget of $31 million and will eat up $500,000 of its reserve fund this year to stay alive.Reuters contributed to this report.