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Cablegate: World Anti-Doping Agency has Financial Problems

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

292048Z Sep 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MONTREAL 001377

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KOLY SCUL SNAR TBIO PREL CA CH
SUBJECT: World Anti-Doping Agency has Financial Problems

REF: 02 Montreal 00575

1. SUMMARY: The World Ant-Doping Agency (WADA) is
experiencing financial problems because member countries,
including the United States, are behind on paying dues,
according to WADA President Richard Pound. The agency
collected 80 percent of its U.S.$20 million budget in 2002
and thus far, has received only 63 percent of dues owed in
2003. WADA's executive committee met on September 23, and
considered imposition of sanctions on countries that are in
arrears to the anti-doping agency, including barring
national anthems and flags at international sporting events
of late-paying or non-paying countries. END SUMMARY

2. At WADA President Richard Pound's invitation, Consul
General Bernadette Allen (accompanied by FSN economic
assistant Zbily as notetaker) visited WADA's Montreal
headquarters (9/16) and received a briefing on the Agency's
activities and current situation. Pound, a prominent
Montreal lawyer and former Olympic swimmer, was the runner-
up in the 2001 election of the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) presidency, losing out to Belgian Jacques
Rogge. He was instrumental in the campaign to have WADA
headquartered in Montreal, where it is now situated in very
luxurious office space in the city's stock exchange tower.
The new office space was funded by the Canadian, Quebec and
Montreal governments. WADA's activities include random
testing of athletes, establishment of doping control
standards, and research and development of anti-doping
tests.

3. Pound informed the CG that the preparation of testing
facilities and staff for the 2004 Athens Games will be
conducted on a "low-budget" basis, due to the problems WADA
has been having in collecting member country dues in a
timely fashion. The IOC covered WADA's budget for its first
two years of operation, with the understanding that member
countries would pick up half of WADA's budget after the
agency was up and running. Beginning in 2002, the IOC has
been responsible for matching, on a 50-50 basis, funds
collected from member nations. In 2002, WADA collected 80
percent of member country dues; so far in 2003, WADA has
only received 63 percent of money owed from member
countries. This year, the IOC has advanced WADA so-called
"operational" funds until it can collect payments from
member countries.

4. WADA member countries, acting through the International
Inter-Governmental Consultative Group on Anti-Doping in
Sport (IICGADS), are divided into five regions: the
Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania. The Americas
share is set at 29 percent of the total or almost $2.5
million, with the U.S. and Canada committed to paying 9.41
percent each. However, other countries in the region have
failed to pick up the remaining 10.18 percent of the
"Americas" allocated share. According to WADA's website, in
2002 Canada paid $800,000, the U.S. $794,800 and other
Americas countries only $16,663.

5. Pound complained that WADA's coffers have been
negatively affected by the U.S. budget cycle. Pound noted
that the U.S. payment has been significantly delayed not
only because the U.S. government fiscal year doesn't match
WADA's calendar year budget, but also because the USG has
for months at a time operated on a continuing resolution
(CR). That said, Pound acknowledged that he is confident of
eventually receiving the U.S. share. Other countries have
simply not paid, Italy being the most notable in that
category. Pound suggested that it would be helpful if the
U.S. dues (of approximately US$ 1 million a year), could be
paid a year in advance to avoid the "out of sync" budget
cycle problem and the CR issue.

6. WADA held an executive committee meeting on September 23
(reported in the press and on WADA's website). Committee
members reportedly discussed possible measures to sanction
late-paying/non-paying countries including removing members
from Exec. Committee or Board membership, if their country
has not paid dues. In a Quebec television interview, Pound
went so far as to suggest that countries in arrears to WADA
could be prevented from displaying national flags, or having
anthems sung, at Olympic and other international events.
Such sanctions, according to Pound, "would have a far
reaching effect."

7. At WADA headquarters, CG Allen was also introduced to Dr.
Olivier Rabin, the organization's Science Director. Rabin
bemoaned WADA's US$5 million budget for research and
development, which he characterized as "way too small" to
significantly develop new testing methods. Rabin stated that
the newest trend in doping is the use of "growth hormones."
While there are no testing mechanisms in place to detect
these hormones, Dr. Rabin said WADA is working on developing
a test to distinguish between synthetic hormones and those
naturally produced by athletes.
8. Both Rune Andersen, Director of Standards and
Harmonization, and Dr. Rabin saw the run-up to the Beijing
games in 2008 as potentially challenging for anti-doping
testing. The WADA executives shared with the CG an article
(dated 9/14) from the Daily Telegraph newspaper of London
that reported on the high priority China is placing on
producing world-class athletes. The article states that in
addition to setting up schools and training centers for an
estimated 260,000 athletes, the Chinese Government has been
developing scientific strategies to identify athletic
potential and create optimum training methods. The WADA
executives expressed concern that the organization's limited
budgets will make it increasingly difficult to test athletes
in a meaningful way. WADA conducted 4,500 tests on athletes
in 2002 and plans a modest increase in testing in 2003.
ALLEN

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