FILE PHOTO: A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada November 9, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi//File Photo
January 6, 2022
(Reuters) – After threatening to withhold World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) funding until its demands for reform were met, the United States paid its 2021 dues in full, the global anti-doping body said on Thursday.
WADA’s largest donor outside the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. had been due to pay its dues of $2.93 million by the end of the year.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) approved a second and final payment of $1.33 million in December, avoiding a potential showdown with WADA.
“I welcome the decision by ONDCP to release the second tranche of its 2021 annual contribution to WADA,” said WADA president Witold Banka in a statement.
“It is a clear demonstration of support by the United States Government for WADA’s global collaborative mission for doping-free sport.”
The threat to withhold funding sparked tension between the U.S. and WADA with the world governing body saying it would consider introducing rules to punish nations which do not pay up by finding them non-compliant.
The U.S. has demanded a greater voice in WADA decision making and that reforms be immediately implemented.
At WADA’s Foundation Board meeting last November, members unanimously approved the latest raft of reforms to its governance structure, providing increased representation for athletes and National Anti-Doping Organizations, and greater independence.
The Board also approved a Code of Ethics and the creation of an independent Ethics Board.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis)