Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Where have all the WADAwatchers gone?

Hello WADAwatchers...

We missed you also!

In the high country of Colorado, as the spring suns melt the winter snowpack, it recently dawned on our Editorial Panel (of one) that very little 'insidious' information is coming out of the world regime for anti-doping in sport...

Has 'WADAworld' gone over the top, into a high and lofty plateau founded on good judgement, rightful pursuit of a balanced system, and (perhaps?) even Laboratory Disciplinary Rules (which we first found mentioned, and wrote about in our post...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

WADA true story in Black and White...

Wherein we wrote:

Director General Howman offered this comment to the ExCom on that item:

... in relation to the disciplinary committee for laboratories mentioned at the September meeting. There had been a request for WADA to prepare the rules for such a body. The management had done that, and a paper had been tabled, detailing the process to be followed in relation to this specific committee. It was working pursuant to the ISL, and was not a matter requiring formal Executive Committee approval [.....] This was to deal with situations whereby accredited laboratories were not performing properly and were therefore subject to potential or partial suspension and, rather than leave this responsibility to the Laboratory Committee, which comprised experts, he felt that there should be a proper process. Secondly, he had wanted make sure that everything was established in a proper legal fashion.

Yet WADAwatch returns to this issue, especially to the concept that the institution of a 'laboratory disciplinary committee' (by whatever name) "was not a matter requiring formal Executive Committee approval" (!!??).

WADAwatch apologizes for a somewhat lax approach to keeping our faithful band of readers informed throughout these last few months, as life's necessities got in the way of constant updates and data-mining... We hope to make up the slack in this 'off-season' in the Rockies!

Such as missing the publications of the May and September, 2009, 'Minutes of the Executive Committee' (May's report is here, and that of September)!

Quel horreur!

Interesting facts are gleaned out of these two pre-Cataclysm reports ('cataclysm' being the rift induced by a seemingly-demented attempt by the French Agency AFLD's Director to stain the reputation of the most prolific anti-doping IF (UCI), in last October's reports regarding 'accusations' by the AFLD, and the countering Report by the UCI, which we summarized in gentle video fashion (and shows up better on YouTube) at this post).

As to the two 2009 ExCom Reports, let's highlight some fascinating factoids, and assure you of follow-up coverage,

... after a word from our sponsor!

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Thank you for shopping at WADAwatch! We now resume to a brief analysis of the two 2009 WADA ExCom Reports, whose links are posted above.

Good news, for cities that want to sponsor future Olympics; the May report showed that, to date, 112 UNESCO States had ratified the International Convention against Doping in Sport (link in our right column, and here), and by September that number had risen to 124 (D-G. David Howman expressed that that number represented "nearly 90pc" of the world's population).

As we had pointed out in our previous look at the ExCom report of 2008, it was a concern of the organization that Russia posed considerable problems, in that Testing teams or DCOs had faced 'many incidents', which were not elaborated but one could 'surmise' involved the ADOs or DCOs being 'inhibited' when approaching certain National Federations' Athletes... Can WADA find a means to support the non-violent (we offer a hypothetical) collection of Russian Athletes' Samples?

IT may come as no surprise to many readers, but we missed the implementation of the 'so-called' laboratory disciplinary rules', which is discussed in this Report under heading 6.3 "Report on Disciplinary Procedure for Laboratories" (which do not seem to appear as a searchable item at the WADA-AMA site). To the point, two labs have already been found 'non-conforming' (our Ww term) and suspended: they are Malaysia and Turkey; both labs were hoped to be back and eligible for reinstatement 'at the end of the (unknown?) suspension period' (see p. 17/30 of this document).

Chers amis d'AMA, dear friends at WADA; cannot these Rules or Procedures be transparently available through your website?

Cannot the procedures, evidence
and hearings against such labs be transparent? Are Athletes' cases affected by the suspension of laboratories? We *Do Not Know*...

It was also noted, in this May 2009 report, that Compliance was again deferred, to a first official reporting in 2011. Coupled with that, was an outline of new CODE reforms to be undertaken in 2012, with a next World Conference to be held in 2013, and that that reformed CODE would be in force in 2015. Nevertheless, an official of WADA did report on the 2003 CODE implementation (by noting that ExCom members could consider this Report as 'complete', amongst the discussion points), and offered an interim assessment of the 2009 CODE.

So the four-year period that existed from inception of the original CODE in 2003, to its revision in 2007 (the Madrid Conference), and implementation in 2009, seems to have been drawn out to a six-year interval, with a shorter period for review and comments. Heads up! To all you IFs, and NADOs, who are interested by the subject of international anti-doping reform and revision...

On a positive (Ww hopes) note, two new labs were in a 'probationary phase', from Kazakhstan and Romania. If these facilities gained membership, it would boost the number of existing facilities from 34 to 36 (Ww presumes the suspended labs in Turkey and Malaysia are still counted as 'lab facilities' for this count).

Turning to the September ExCom Report, we find some interesting news:

  • WADA was seeking to liaise with Interpol, which requires national legislation on the trafficking and distribution of doping substances (for which a survey of national legislations is a prerequisite);
  • A 'Thought Leadership' seminar in Oslo, in June was a success, according to D-G Howman, as two aspects came out of their discussions: compliance and monitoring of practice and rules implementation, as well as pursuing the goal of 'quality rather than quantity'. (WADAwatch will return to this important announcement in a future post);
  • It was announced, for purposes of Blood Passport and laboratory analysis, that Samples had to get to a lab for analysis "within 36 hours, and ... that such measures were impossible in some parts of the world". This meant that some analyses may have to be performed at facilities NOT accredited by WADA (thus not of the 34);
  • Bribery in Austria was an issue! An Athlete's Agent was allegedly involved in an attempt, and apparently succeeded in accessing Samples in a lab facility, although this was not elaborated;
  • Dr Alan Garnier of France, a man whose implications in the WADA/Equipe/Lance Armstrong 'affaire' were never fully vetted, or disproved, and whose obvious loyalties to comrades and compatriots within the French Lab and AFLD Agency were much more than 'circumstantial', was 'no longer WADA's Medical Director'.

Sacré bleu, one thinks: after the human errors of Pierre Bordry at the AFLD, creating an embarrassment for La France and the Sarkozy government, after the human tragedy of the loss of Prof. Jacques de Ceaurriz, whose professional life ended at age 60 from a heart 'incident', and the loss of Jean-Pierre Lamour to the Honourable John Fahey as WADA's president in 2007, we now consider the 'changing of the Guard' at the helm of WADA's Medical division?

He's replaced by Alan Vernec, who was the 'official doctor for the Canadian track team in Sydney', and as WADA puts it:

Dr Vernec joined WADA in October 2009, as the Agency’s Medical Director. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego (Bioengineering) and McGill University, Montreal (Medicine), Dr Vernec has worked extensively in clinical sport medicine and has taught at both l’Université de Montréal and McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Having extensive experience with elite-level sport, he has worked as team physician for several professional and national sport teams, at many international competitions, as well as served as physician for Team Canada at three Olympic Games. For the past 16 years, Dr Vernec has also served as Director of Athletics Canada.

Thus we end this 'Welcome Back' WADAwatch posting, with a hope that the world continues to ascribe to the Fundamental Rationale that WADA portrays in its 2009 CODE... and that Dr Vernec appreciates the quality now sought over quantity, as discussed in Oslo last June 2009.

Additionally, we hope to create more frequent posts, now that we are not shepherding li'l skiers into a better, snow-loving future, as a ski Instructor for one of Colorado's most prestigious Ski Schools.

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