PSC Ensures Compliance with WADA Code for Athletes’ Participation in Olympics

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The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), in collaboration with the Philippine National Anti-Doping Organization (PHI-NADO), has announced that it is making significant progress towards achieving full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. This update comes in response to concerns raised regarding the commission’s adherence to the code, which could potentially jeopardize the participation of Filipino athletes in international sporting events such as the Paris Olympics, Paralympic Games, and regional competitions like the Asian and Southeast Asian Games.

Initially, WADA had set a deadline of January 22 for the PSC to comply with the code. However, this deadline was extended to February 13 after PHI-NADO submitted its initial requirements for evaluation by the anti-doping agency. The PSC has been actively engaged in a series of activities related to compliance since September to December of the previous year, well before the extended deadline set by WADA.

Following evaluations from WADA, certain revisions to critical code requirements are currently being addressed by PHI-NADO. The PSC has reported that these requirements are nearing completion within a 21-day period. WADA’s letter to the PSC emphasized the importance of developing and implementing an effective, intelligent, and proportionate Test Distribution Plan, which includes all Registered Testing Pool athletes from various sports or disciplines, among other obligations.

In the event that the PSC fails to dispute WADA’s allegations of non-compliance, the consequences and reinstatement conditions proposed by WADA will be deemed accepted. This formal notice from WADA serves as a final decision with immediate effect. However, the PSC remains committed to avoiding these consequences by working closely with WADA to address any remaining concerns and ensure that Filipino athletes can continue competing on the global stage with honor and integrity.

One of the key efforts undertaken by the PSC to comply with WADA’s Code is maintaining open communication with the agency. A meeting was held on January 25, where concerned parties discussed pending concerns and revisions raised by WADA. The objective of this meeting was to foster open communication and collaboratively undertake measures to ensure complete compliance at the earliest possible time.

Representatives from WADA, including Ying Cui, Manager for RADO/NADO Relations, Perumal Saravana, Manager of the Asia Oceania Office, and Searado Director General Gobinathan Nair, were present at the meeting. The PSC officials, led by Chairman Richard Bachmann, Executive Director Paulo Francisco Tatad, PHI-NADO Head Alejandro Pineda Jr., and Philippine Olympic Committee Secretary General Wharton Chan, actively participated in the discussions.

The PSC acknowledges that the potential consequences of non-compliance were avoidable. By working closely with WADA and addressing any remaining concerns, the PSC aims to ensure that Filipino athletes can continue to compete on the global stage with honor and integrity. The commission is committed to meeting the necessary requirements and upholding the principles of fair play and clean sport.

In conclusion, the Philippine Sports Commission, in partnership with PHI-NADO, is making significant progress towards achieving full compliance with the WADA Code. The commission is actively working to address any remaining concerns and revisions raised by WADA. By ensuring open communication and collaboration, the PSC aims to ensure that Filipino athletes can continue to compete at international sporting events while upholding the highest standards of integrity and fair play.

Source: The Manila Times

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