Friday, 16 November 2007

Madrid NINE: WADA CODE in the nose...

When you ask a noted British journalist, in the midst of a salmon-flavoured conversation, what his opinion is about WADA (or perhaps in the interests of neutral objectivity: what he'd heard in jest about WADA), you may not be surprised to hear this:

“WADA is a masking agent...”

Another brilliant lunch, as we prepared to endure the long series of brisk interventions regarding WADA's prepared, redrafted CODE.

The point made by my luncheon-table partner (of eight), an international bilingual table of French and English-natives, is an important one that WADAwatch has been pondering.

Is WADA becoming a victim of its own success?

Will WADA be able to maintain its high-profile momentum, transcend its high-profile, outgoing President Dick Pound, and implement (in 2009) a newly-forged CODE, or...

From the Madrid Conference Dungeon, home of all goodly Observers in the B class...

The question becomes:

Will WADA suffer from having opened a door that it no longer has the force of nature to close?

Recall that in Madrid SIX: Overnight Contemplations, WADAwatch mentioned that, only a generation ago, it was the Governments themselves that created the Doping Generation, a Cold-War tool that purported to invigorate a country's standings in the 'Medal War Count' that are still so fondly marked in any country with Olympic reasons for glory... this was one of the points that were supporting the idea mentioned, that WADA is a 'masking agent', which presumes the power to turn the tide of a multi-billion-dollar business.

Can WADA and governments stop science's advances, and the perversion of those advances toward an outcome wherein an athlete cheats, a doping-substance-supplier gets richer, and the Public, the Sponsors (offering a Great Benefit towards Presumption of Innocence to some who may not merit that) come out the poorer, and the most deceived.

WADAwatch proposed that the Marion Jones / Bjarne Riis models of confession (voluntary as was Riis, more-or-less compelled as was Jones), are one of WADA's strongest weapons.

Now that Sport is a Business of global importance, and the nefast transfer of the 'power' to suggest doping to Athletes (from some unscrupulous sources, certainly!) has gone from 'patriotic' to 'bottom line', whether that be corporate sponsor, or Team, or Individual, someone has gauged their risks and costs (financial, health, longevity of activity (if caught) against perceived benefits and...

It has become the "crime of the decade", selling papers, selling lab-testing services, submerging Federations in financially-bankrupting paperchases and Athlete-chases (for out of competition situations, Swiss has a Testing officer that logs nearly a half-million km annually to perform over 800 OOC tests)

Will the New WADA, under the New President (to be announced tomorrow, Saturday, the 17th of November, 2007), be able to a) grow the budget, b) maintain the competence of laboratory-testing that has, through the light of more intense public scrutiny, showed the weaknesses and over-amplified the needs of these Laboratories to find better testing transparency, competency, and legal and scientific reliability?

From a lower-level (here at the Conference...) perspective, WADAwatch concedes that a new President may have the 'tabla rasa' chance to regain some of the dispersed energy that were produced through certain regrettable WADA or Pound-oriented incidents, yet that regained momentum is what any organization needs, if a mandate forgotten comes again to the forefront in its quest to succeed.

+ + + + + +

FLASH: an Intervention (typing and listening are sometimes incompatible, apologies for not naming the Federation that has stated this) has just enforced that, through WADA's rapid acquisition of 'accredited labs', latent disparities have revealed unequal levels of testing competence, and that the 'WADA Laboratory point system' should be accelerated.

WADAwatch will investigate this for further information.



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