18 September 2007

PART II: WADA gonna do about Madrid in November?

Serious work product week...

Click here for Part I of this two-part post concerning the upcoming Madrid conference to revise the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) CODE.

At ZEN central, recent, incessant work has been under way, to produce and now publish a questionnaire with a very focussed audience: the 34 World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratories, the current listing of which you may link to here...

After a profound immersion in the 'macro-legal' aspects of the Floyd Landis doping case, for which I've written nearly 20 separate articles here on crystelZENmud, I'm confronted with the legal dilemma that I now share with you. In Madrid, Spain, this coming November, WADA is convening its final session for the approval of drafting reforms to its controlling documents, especially the WADA CODE.

If you care about doping and sport, I'm glad you're reading this.

I care as well, that the documents that allow athletes to be prosecuted are in legal balance, with responsibilities and rights that fall on each of the incumbent parties... comprising the 570 'Signatories' as denominated in the CODE.

Signatories are the governmental, or quasi-governmental national Antidoping Agencies (eg: United States Anti-doping Agency, or USADA), the Olympic and Paralympic International Committees, the international Federations (eg: Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS)), major event Organizers (eg: Tour de France, owned by the Amaury Sport Group), etc. (WADA CODE 2003, Appendix One)

I have reviewed the latest available version of the WADA CODE, displaying proposed 'redline revisions', which (as of September 18th, 2007) you may not download until AFTER OCTOBER 17 (it's been pulled!! Why??).

This column does not discuss the proposed CODE reforms that are oriented towards the Athletes.

I am convinced, and hope to convince readers, that the upcoming session will not focus, as it should, on the most important, heretofore ignored aspect of the WADA CODE: full harmonization of laboratory procedures, and further tightening of sanctions against laboratories that do not display adherence to the scientific International Standards, or who fail proper, 'results management' procedures by allowing premature releases (or leaks) of 'A Sample' results, prior to the 'B Sample' testing/confirmation of those, to the press.

For this Questionnaire, I outlined the WADA clauses that, as currently enforced, create the perceived imbalance. The imbalance, is a lack of comprehensive control of potentially sub-standard laboratory performance. The results of WADA CODE reform, without addressing the Articles or sub-Articles that I've listed, which denote unlinked points, or untied threads that threaten this novel system's stability and improved acceptance.

Links to the survey I developed are for each page, from the previous post. You may download these for printing:

Page one
Page two
Page three
Page four
Page five
Page six

Page seven
Page eight

As an 'interested party' (under the applicable WADA definition) I hope to provide insights to ZENmud readers, and to the 34 WADA-accredited laboratories that function to serve Athletes, and to provide incentives for cleaner competition, by offering them an opportunity to rectify the imbalance that was written into the WADA CODE that became official in 2003.

The WADA CODE Articles, or sub-Articles that I find incomplete (clicking on the links will connect to the JPG content of this annexed ZENmud post: WADA QUESTIONAIRE FOR LABS, so you can sequentially track the questions raised), include the following:

INTRODUCTION (p. 1): ... The purpose of the WADA CODE, itself, is to advance the anti-doping effort through universal harmonization of core anti-doping elements. It is intended to be specific enough to achieve complete harmonization on issues where uniformity is required...

FUNDAMENTAL RATIONALE (p. 3) ... the essence of Olympism; it is how we play true. ... the following values: [.....] Respect for rules and laws. ...

WADA CODE 3.2.1 (p. 12): WADA-accredited laboratories are presumed to have conducted Sample analysis and custodial procedures in accordance with the International Standard for laboratory analysis. ...

WADA CODE 6.4 (p. 21): Standards for Sample Analysis and Reporting

Laboratories shall analyze Doping Control Samples and report results in conformity with the International Standard for laboratory analysis.

WADA CODE Article 7 (p. 22-23): Results Management

7.1 ... the Anti-doping Organization ... shall conduct a review to determine whether ... (b) there is any apparent departure from the International Standards for Testing or laboratory analysis that undermines the validity of the Adverse Analytical Finding.

7.2 Notification after Initial Review

If the initial review under Article 7.1 does not reveal ... [a] departure that undermines the validity of the Adverse Analytical Finding, the Anti-doping Organization shall promptly notify the Athlete ....

Article 8 (p.24-25): Right to a Fair Hearing

Each Anti-doping Organization with responsibility for results management shall provide a hearing process for any Person who is asserted to have committed an anti-doping rule violation... (Defined as “A natural Person or an organization or other entity.”)

Article 13 (p. 40): Appeals


13.5 Appeals from Decisions Suspending or Revoking Laboratory Accreditation

Decisions by WADA to suspend or revoke a laboratory's WADA accreditation may only be appealed by that laboratory with the appeal being exclusively to CAS.

14.2 (p. 40-41) Public Disclosure

The identity of Athletes whose Samples have resulted in Adverse Analytical Findings ... may be publicly disclosed by the Anti-doping Organization with results management responsibility no earlier than completion of the administrative review described in Articles 7.1 and 7.2. [.....]

Given the anticipated, returned questionnaire responses, hopefully prior to mid-October, from WADA-accredited Laboratories, international Federations or other Signatories, three vital steps will have been achieved:

  • Participants to the Madrid redrafting session will be 'on notice' that the current WADA CODE lacks transparency in procedures of discipline and accountability, as to the Signatories that work together to promote a drug-free sporting world;

  • They can go on record, prior to the Madrid session, as being in favour of increased discipline and accountability concerning those WADA CODE imbalances, and;

  • They have now, the opportunity to arrive in Madrid with an 'action plan' to create a finely-tuned, and better-harmonized body of regulatory procedures that will enforce the transparency and accountability of Signatories, as they have mandated towards the Athletes whose world they serve and control.

+ + + + + + + + +

Without a conclusion for this post, we at ZEN Central await a chance to return to it, in the fall months to come: the serious cards are now on the WADA table.

What's 'table' in Spanish?

COURAGE, friends for CLEAN SPORT!!!

ç*”*”*””*ç”*”* ZENmud ”*””*ç*”*”*””*ç”

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