US threatens to pull WADA funding as war of words escalates
The United States is threatening to cut off funding to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) unless it immediately enacts serious reforms, according to a report by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
If WADA does not “change its way of doing business” the agency could soon find itself out of funding and out of business, warned Travis Tygart, the head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The 19-page report seen by Reuters contains a series of recommendations to the U.S. Congress that are highly critical of WADA, particularly its handling of the Russian doping scandal, and questions its use of taxpayers money.
The U.S. is the largest single contributor to WADA, paying over $2.7 million to the 2020 budget of $37.4 million, half of which comes from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“The United States Government has a duty to ensure that American taxpayer dollars are spent effectively for the purpose to which they are appropriated,” the report said.
“American taxpayers should receive a tangible return on their investment in WADA in the form of clean sport, fair play, effective administration of the world anti-doping system and a proportionate voice in WADA decision-making.”
The report details WADA’s investigations into the Russian doping saga that began in 2015 when a WADA-commissioned report detailed state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics.