Lausanne, Mar 15, 2015: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced pledges of USD 6.45 million from world governments in the fight for the clean athletes which will create a joint fund of nearly USD 13 million.
One of the first initiatives of Olympic Agenda 2020 was the creation of a USD 20 million fund to protect the clean athletes, 10 million of which was to be used in particular to research new techniques to detect prohibited substances and methods. The IOC had called on governments to match the USD 10 million, and WADA, under the presidency of Sir Craig Reedie, has successfully secured pledges of USD 6.45 million, meaning that the WADA-administered fund will have a starting budget of almost USD 13 million.
The USD 13 million joint fund represents a 50-50 split between the IOC and world governments that responded to a call to match the IOC funding. China, France, Ivory Coast, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United States and Sweden have pledged their financial support.
The IOC will also administer the balance that remains from the full USD 10 million it approved as part of Olympic Agenda 2020 (remaining balance is USD 3.55 million) as a separate fund for new anti-doping research in the fight against doping. This will be allocated by the IOC to researchers involved in athlete-centred projects, with a science or social focus. Following a call for applications in 2014, the IOC has selected four applications from researchers in Spain and Australia, and further projects will be selected in 2015.
“With Olympic Agenda 2020, we are changing the philosophy with regard to the credibility of sports competitions and of athletes,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “We must consider every cent in the fight against doping as an investment in the future of Olympic sport, not as an expense. This fund clearly shows that we support innovative anti-doping research that will lead to better protection of the clean athletes.”
In December 2013 during discussions on Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, the IOC created a fund of USD 20 million aimed at protecting clean athletes from drug cheats and match-fixing and related corruption. Half of the money was earmarked to fund social and scientific research pertaining to anti-doping, the other half to fight match-fixing.
The IOC, together with WADA, called on world governments to match the amount by 16 November 2014. The funds committed by the 12 governments are payable in full to WADA by 31 March 2016.
“WADA is very pleased with the financial commitments that this partnership has generated for the fight against doping in sport”, said WADA President Sir Craig Reedie. “The fund allocated by the IOC has received the commitment of governments of the world to contribute a total of USD 6,452,296. The funds will provide a tremendous boost to WADA in their efforts to carry out innovative, anti-doping research focussed on protecting the clean athletes.”
The strategy for distribution of this fund is to complement, but not duplicate, existing anti-doping research programmes. Anti-doping organisations agree that alternative strategies are needed so the priority is innovative and novel research in all areas of anti-doping, which have the potential to lead to a significant change in the way anti-doping programmes are carried out and will have a direct impact on the daily lives of the clean athletes. —- IOC