ONDCP Urges World Anti-Doping Agency to Continue to Progress on Governance Reforms

Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll urged the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to continue forward with concrete governance reforms, which Carroll, along with the United States Anti-Doping Agency and a coalition of governments and international athletes, called for at a White House summit in October 2018.

“Substantial reforms are needed at the World Anti-Doping Agency to better protect athletes, increase transparency, and restore confidence in clean competition. The White House and the global athletic community have joined together to help restore faith and integrity in international sport, and that starts with reforming WADA. I am pleased that WADA has begun to implement initial steps to improve its governance structure, and I look forward to seeing the Agency operate in a more accountable, democratic, and athlete-centered manner in the future,” ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said.

Director Carroll also offered congratulations to Mr. Witold Banka, Poland’s Minister of Sport and Tourism, on his nomination to serve as WADA President. Minister Banka will be confirmed as President at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in November 2019.

“Minister Banka’s campaign was founded upon engaging athletes, improving cooperation among all stakeholders, and ensuring good governance standards are in place. The United States is eager to support Minister Banka in strengthening WADA and restoring its credibility,” Director Carroll said.

Additionally, Director Carroll supports the move by the governments on WADA’s Foundation Board to establish a working group to examine the manner in which global financial contributions to fund WADA are allocated. President Trump’s 2020 budget request proposes consolidating grant funding supporting domestic anti-doping activities with funding for WADA dues payments to allow for a more rigorous review process of WADA’s resources.

“The current formula to fund WADA was established twenty years ago and requires re-examination. The U.S. looks forward to working with our partners to ensure our shared efforts to fund anti-doping initiatives are more equitably distributed across regions and among nations,” Director Carroll said.

Many of the reforms undertaken by WADA are responsive to the unprecedented global summit the White House hosted. ONDCP, together with the United States Anti-Doping Agency, convened the meeting to discuss the urgent need to implement reforms and improve the culture at WADA.

Representatives in attendance included WADA’s Vice President Linda Helleland of Norway, high-level government officials, anti-doping leaders, and members of the global athletic community representing more than a dozen Nations, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. American Olympic athletes including Alysia Montano, Lilly King, Emma Coburn, Katie Uhlaender, and Dr. Edwin Moses attended and Katie Ledecky sent a video message of support to the attendees, all of whom were united in their call for widespread, athlete-centered reform of the WADA-led anti-doping system.

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