World Anti-Doping Agency staff and chief don’t respond to multiple emails asking how to report doping code violations by code signatories

Despite a very fresh and large doping scandal in Norway that revealed wide-spread and systemic doping code violations by Anti-Doping Norway, neither WADA nor its chief Witold Banka responded when our publication sent emails asking how to “report to WADA violations of its code by a signatory National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO).” The scandal in Norway just two months earlier had revealed exactly such WADA code violations by “a signatory NADO” that we wrote to WADA about.

Anti-Doping Norway is classified as a NADO by WADA and has signed on to the WADA code, the rule book for anti-doping efforts and administration. Despite having signed on to the code, Anti-Doping Norway violated it for three years by not testing underage athletes, then tried to cover it up.

Witold Banka (from the WADA website)

Anti-Doping Norway violated the WADA code with the knowledge of NIF (Norges Idrettsforbund). In English, NIF becomes the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports, and describes itself as “an umbrella organisation which organises all national sports federations in Norway.” NIF receives substantial funding from the Norwegian government.

Our emails were sent to WADA on October 25 and November 1, 2022, a mere two months after news of the doping scandal in Norway broke. The email to Banka was sent on November 13, referenced our two previous emails and the scandal in Norway, expressed surprise at not receiving a response, and asked for a comment for publication.

Banka did not respond.

WADA has not denied receiving our emails. In a later article, we will report on the response we did receive when we brought up WADA’s non-response with the Media Inquiries department at WADA.

“In July 2022, WADA became aware of the details surrounding a critical non-conformity within the Norwegian system,” James Fitzgerald, Head of Media Relations at WADA said when we asked about the doping scandal in Norway. “Immediately, WADA demanded that Anti-Doping Norway resolve the issue as a matter of urgency. A solution was subsequently identified and has since been implemented to WADA’s satisfaction.”

In other words, the NADO that had violated the code for three years, then covered up its violations, was allowed to fix the problem and received no punishment. Had WADA instead declared Anti-Doping Norway “non-compliant,” then Norway could have been excluded from future Olympics and Paralympics, or not allowed to compete under the Norwegian flag.

Less than four months after what WADA itself called a “critical non-comformity” within Anti-Doping Norway, the NADO:s within WADA voted on a slate of 22 candidates for 10 seats on WADA’s “2023 National Anti-Doping Organization Expert Advisory Group.” One of those elected to this “expert advisory group” was Martin Holmlund Lauesen from Anti-Doping Norway.

Before Witold Banka became WADA President, Banka gave an interview to the AP expressing an almost singular focus on doping in Russia. Banka has repeatedly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, even though WADA’s mission is only about doping.

WADA is a Swiss private law, not-for-profit Foundation with its in seat Lausanne, Switzerland, and its headquarters in Montreal, Canada. WADA’s statutes give “the object of the Foundation” in eight numbered points. All have to do with doping, none have to do with “invasions” or any aspects of geopolitics.

Banka is a Polish national, and the centuries old animosity between Russia and Poland is well-known. Has Banka let his irrelevant personal views affect WADA’s work in a way that will hamper future anti-doping efforts by WADA?

As always – Lacrimonia reports and the readers decide.

Our next article will detail problems at the WADA-accredited doping lab in Stockholm that evaluated the positive sample submitted by Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva. We made public records requests, and beat the lab in court when they unlawfully tried to withhold records. Stay tuned!

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