The Executive Committee (EC) of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) today in Lausanne accepted the invitation of the International Olympic Committee to observe all doping control activities during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

The EC took this decision, amongst others relating to out-of-competition testing, a uniform Anti-Doping Code, the site selection process for WADA’s permanent headquarters, the Agency’s mid-term strategic plan, and other issues shaping WADA’s activities for the coming year.

‘WADA will make the same positive contribution to the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City as it made to the Olympic Games in Sydney,’ said Richard W. Pound, Chairman of WADA’s Foundation Board. ‘WADA’s Independent Observer function in Salt Lake City will mean athletes can have complete confidence in a results management system that is already well developed and professionally conducted.’

Due to the growing interest in WADA’s Independent Observer program from the international sports federations (IFs), the EC decided to establish a standing panel of individuals with expertise in all facets of doping control that can be called upon to act as Independent Observers. To date, WADA has accepted the invitations of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) and the International Swimming Federation (FINA), to provide the Independent Observer function at their world championships later this year.

The EC agreed in principle to appoint the Drug Free Sport Consortium (DFSC) to implement its unannounced, in and out-of-competition testing program for the years 2001 and 2002, pending successful negotiation between WADA and the DFSC. WADA expects to conduct at least 3,500 tests in 2001 and 4,500 tests in 2002.

These tests will be distributed across the 35 Olympic sports, and for the first time, in several other sports recognized by the IOC but not in the Olympic program. WADA has reached agreements in principle with all 28 international Olympic summer sports federations to continue conducting unannounced out-of-competition tests within their sports.

As for the winter sports, the Agency has already started testing athletes in five of the seven international Olympic winter federations. Athletes in the other two, the International Skating Union (ISU) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), will become part of this program once agreements with these federations are finalized. Agreements with the recognized federations are in the process of being negotiated, as well as with the International Paralympic Committee.

Reviewing the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code (OMADC) List of Prohibited Substances, 2001, the EC accepted its Health, Medical, and Research Committee’s recommendation that Terbutaline, an asthma medication that was added to this year’s list of prohibited substances list by the IOC Medical Commission, be reinstated as a restricted substance. If ratified by WADA’s Foundation Board, the recommendation will be forwarded to the IOC Executive Board for enactment of the necessary amendment to the OMADC. As for the 2002 list, the EC asked the Chairman of the Health, Medical and Research to establish and chair a ten-person, ad hoc committee to begin preparing recommendations.

The EC appointed an ad hoc working group to begin developing the WADA Anti-Doping Code. In order to develop a fully comprehensive and harmonized code, the drafting process will include broad involvement and consultation amongst all stakeholders. The working group is expected to develop a comprehensive code that can be fully adopted within two years.

Regarding the search for WADA’s permanent headquarters, the EC reported that the city of Lille, France, has been disqualified from the process because it failed to tender its proposal by the deadline and in the manner clearly specified in the bidding documents. WADA’s Evaluation Commission will begin visiting the five remaining cities, Bonn, Germany; Lausanne, Switzerland; Montreal, Canada; Stockholm, Sweden; and Vienna, Austria, in April. The Foundation Board will select the host site during its meeting in early August.

In other matters, the EC announced its Strategic Planning Committee has made significant progress in drafting a five-year plan for the Agency. This plan will be presented for adoption to the WADA Foundation Board in August.

Also, the EC gave the authority to the Legal Committee to organize an essay competition among law students. The five students, one from each of the five continents, who write the best essays concerning the legal aspects of collecting blood samples for doping control purposes will each be rewarded with a US$1,000 prize and an invitation to give a lecture on his/her essay during a symposium that will be organized by WADA in 2002.

Four times World Judo Champion and two times Olympic Champion, Mr David Douillet, today presented the kimono that he wore in his victory at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. While in Lausanne, Mr Douillet also took the opportunity to meet the EC of the World Anti-Doping Agency during their meeting today. The EC members welcomed his attendance and his commitment to future collaboration with the Agency.

The EC will hold its next meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 1, 2001.

For further information, please contact:

Isabelle Tornare
World Anti-Doping Agency
Agence Mondiale Antidopage
Tel.: + 41 21 343 43 02
Fax: + 41 21 329 15 05