Seeking Reform, US Holds $ 1.3 Million in WADA Dues

The US government will keep nearly half of the $ 2.93 million in dues it owes the World Anti-Doping Agency while it waits to see how the World Drug Enforcement Agency progresses in reforming its governance structure. .

Richard Baum, of the White House drug control office, told a congressional committee on Wednesday that a payment of $ 1.6 million to the AMA would be made soon, but that a break with past practices , the total amount would not be paid all at once.

“We think half the payment is appropriate,” Baum said.

“There were some good conversations within WADA on the reform, but we still think that to be comfortable with full payment we would like to see some extra steps.”

The news, given during a hearing in Washington to provide updates on a recently passed law to criminalize international doping patterns, was the latest in a year-long struggle between WADA and the US government.

The government criticized the agency for not acting quickly enough to reform itself in the wake of the doping scandal in Russia. The government has issued reports complaining that the United States is not getting its money’s worth for its contribution to WADA and does not have a significant enough decision-making role in the global agency.

The $ 2.93 million represents about 7.3% of WADA’s $ 40 million budget; the United States normally delivers the full amount in the first quarter of the year.

After the United States first threatened to withhold dues last summer, WADA responded by suggesting it could sanction countries that do not pay dues. Congress then authorized the White House office to withhold payment.

Baum said the government has had “good conversations” with WADA “but we still feel that to be comfortable with full payment we would like to see some extra steps.”

WADA has moved forward on a series of reforms that would increase athlete representation on some of its decision-making boards, while calling for higher levels of transparency.

“In collaboration with all of our various stakeholders, including the US government, WADA will continue to make significant improvements to ensure that the governance of the Agency evolves in line with its role and the global fight against doping in the sports in general, ”AMA spokesman James Fitzgerald said in a statement. “We are confident that the US government will ultimately accept the results of this democratic and collaborative process.”

The United States and other critics say WADA’s reforms don’t go far enough. They want a deeper break between WADA and the

, who have members who sit on both agencies and who may have conflicts of interest.

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