USADA's calls to defund WADA

This one has been bubbling away in the background for a while now. A quick catch up: in June the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) issued a report that called for the $2.7m US contribution to WADA's funding to be cancelled.

The US position, from Travis Tygart at USADA:
"The ONDCP asked for athletes to be given a voice, independence at the table with the removal of sports federations from the governance side, and then fair representation," Tygart told AFP.

"What's great is that the United States is clearly serious about reform and is willing to seek authority from Congress to withhold the money. That would have a devastating impact on WADA. Nobody wants that to happen.

"But the promises of reform have been unfulfilled. Athletes are frustrated and governments who are paying attention are frustrated."
WADA's position, from pres Witold Bańka, is that this is little more that a power grab by USADA:
“I read the report and I noticed mistakes and inaccuracies. I had a feeling that it was written in a rush. You can get the impression that USADA is behind everything because they want to gain more control over the system or create new and greater financial resources from Congress at the expense of WADA,” Banka was quoted as saying by Przeglad Sportowy.

“Just before the final version of the report was prepared, I had a very constructive meeting with James Carroll, head of the ONDCP, who mentioned that the report may contain critical conclusions, but we did not expect something like that. It included unfulfilled demands concerning activities that are not even within the control of WADA. This completely undermines the credibility of the report,” added the Pole.
The whole thing goes back to a 2018 White House summit attended by a select group of Ministers for Sport and NADO heads:
Today, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), together with the United States Anti-Doping Agency, convened a meeting at the White House to discuss the urgent need to reform the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Representatives in attendance included Linda Helleland, WADA Vice President and Norway’s Minister of Youth; fourteen members of the global athletic community; and Ministers of Sport and the leaders of National Anti-Doping Organizations from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom. American Olympic athlete Katie Ledecky sent a video message of support to the attendees, all of whom were united in their call for widespread, athlete-centered reform of the WADA-led anti-doping system.
The upshot of that was that WADA was called out for being soft on doping in the wake of the Russia scandal:
The World Anti-Doping Agency was accused on Wednesday night of failing clean athletes, being soft on Russian doping and “bullying and disheartening” those arguing for reform in an extraordinary emergency summit at the White House.
A version of the ONDCP report, with WADA's responses to it, can be found here (PDF).

Cutting funding for, or walking away from, international bodies is popular in the US at the moment. Is WADA next on the kill list?
 
Americans trying to run the world. What else is new? Interesting how for the longest time the Americans were accusing the Russians of 'government funded doping' and how it was 'bad that governments are involved,' are now the ones that are pushing things through the White House and Congress. Just another reminder that Travis Tygart is an unrepentant hypocrite.

And this is just talking about Olympic sponsored sports. What about all the professional sports and athletes, colleges, local clubs, state clubs, city clubs, etc that USADA doesn't care for?

And the line 'failing clean athletes' is just laughable.
 
Americans trying to run the world. What else is new? Interesting how for the longest time the Americans were accusing the Russians of 'government funded doping' and how it was 'bad that governments are involved,' are now the ones that are pushing things through the White House and Congress. Just another reminder that Travis Tygart is an unrepentant hypocrite.

And this is just talking about Olympic sponsored sports. What about all the professional sports and athletes, colleges, local clubs, state clubs, city clubs, etc that USADA doesn't care for?

And the line 'failing clean athletes' is just laughable.
USADA goes soft on their athletes and have a history of accepting unusual excuses and often providing lighter penalties - They will go hard after selected 'big name' athletes to get kudos in society - They are hypocrites of the biggest order.
 
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While I know little about all this from what I have experienced in my lifetime,I think that the public at large worldwide has some appetite for the cat and mouse of sports cheats, starting to think that that same public thinks it's a very very very expensive and futile battle against technology. I am not sure if the government mandated labs can ever replicate the unlimited criminal imagination.
 
I think that the public at large worldwide has some appetite for the cat and mouse of sports cheats, starting to think that that same public thinks it's a very very very expensive and futile battle against technology.
You think the public at large thinks this or are you seeking to hide your own opinions behind opinions you ascribe to others?

Correct me if I am wrong here, but effectively you appear to be saying you can't win, so give up and go home, let the dopers dope, no one cares and you can't catch them, is that correct?

Last question: you think anti-doping is solely about catching cheats in labs, is that correct?
 
USADA goes soft on their athletes and have a history of accepting unusual excuses and often providing lighter penalties - They will go hard after selected 'big name' athletes to get kudos in society
I'm just trying to work out how you can test this theory.

For the first part, going soft on their own, I imagine you'd require very few positives, cause even a few months on the naughty step litigating the matter is hard on the reputation and the earning power of anyone.

For the second part, going after selected 'big name' athletes, how do we test the intent here, how do we show that, for example, they only took LA down for the kudos that came with that and it wasn't because they had enough evidence against him to build a case?

If we can't test theories like this, it really is just more conspiracy theory craziness. So, how 'bout some proofs, eh?
 
I'm just trying to work out how you can test this theory.

For the first part, going soft on their own, I imagine you'd require very few positives, cause even a few months on the naughty step litigating the matter is hard on the reputation and the earning power of anyone.

For the second part, going after selected 'big name' athletes, how do we test the intent here, how do we show that, for example, they only took LA down for the kudos that came with that and it wasn't because they had enough evidence against him to build a case?

If we can't test theories like this, it really is just more conspiracy theory craziness. So, how 'bout some proofs, eh?
You can search through USADA's website listing sanctioned athletes for further information and investigation - I am referring to athletes testing positive who can be considered to receive soft penalties who are usually of the minor variety - It makes for interesting reading - You can research further to see how often USADA tests 'big named athletes' compared to number of tests completed by lead sport agencies or event organisers.
 
Leaving aside a moment the drums some folk just love to bang when and wherever they can, let's get back to the actual topic in hand and park people's pet peeves awhile.

Among the WADA reforms demanded by USADA is "U.S. representation commensurate with the United States’ financial contributions to WADA" (ie more seats and more votes for the US). WADA's response to that has been about as equanimous as you'd expect (to paraphrase, they told USADA to RTFM). Now a body representing athletes has joined the fray. And in criticising WADA they have effectively undermined USADA by demanding that:
  • Funding must be decoupled from decision making.
  • WADA must create a more independent structure free of real or perceived conflicts of interest.
 
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You think the public at large thinks this or are you seeking to hide your own opinions behind opinions you ascribe to others?

Correct me if I am wrong here, but effectively you appear to be saying you can't win, so give up and go home, let the dopers dope, no one cares and you can't catch them, is that correct?

Last question: you think anti-doping is solely about catching cheats in labs, is that correct?
yes you are correct..I am saying that you can't win..as an American..home of dope I can tell you that as long as there is the type of stressers in pro cycling there will always be some type of substance abuse.
take American's war on drugs..are cartels and drug dealers evil? Sure. But that is only a critique of the supply side. The demand side needs to shoulder some blame..wanting some drugs for or at a party or concert,a club is at minimum more than half the problem..the numbers play that out,huge demand for the products that drug manufacturers sell..
In cycling..especially Covid era, Olympics cancelled ,major race cancelled cycling,teams folding or contracting cycling..in this climate..drug use may appear to be even more the evident life line to bicycle racers than it once was..and that is saying something.
As cycling finally rolls out, July..the rider weight value of results are going to be astronomical!.if you have been training for the last eight months and your back or knee starts hurting..if the line of cycling camps or clothing looks way less valuable as your retirement from pro cycling looms..or 1000's of other..do or die scenarios plays out in your head..maybe drugs may look like the solution or part of one..
you look at pro footballers, or basketball or professional tennis..the earning potential is there..in bike racing not so much..
I think that any historic sampling of bike racing has doping..it was never,ever clean. Superimposed amateur - pure- Olympic style over professional bike racing is. uber idealistic and misguided..
other professional sporting disciplines have significant differences,money involved,unions and team\ league ownership to protect,promote and profit from the brands and sub brands..there is drug use on the Lakers,Yankees, Real Madrid..Arsenal,Man U..everywhere..all sports..it's all a balance..that same balancing act is why Lance made more money then,now and always..than a fantastically talented Peter Sagan..
Pro bike racing needs to flush in the toilet any and all association with the Olympic amateur standards..stop being different and start acting like all other professional..profitable pro sports..
pro cycling needs to ask F1 and professional football everywhere..what is your drug policy and procedure and use one of theirs instead of the current absolutely failed model..
Save bike racing from itself..
how in the world can a professional football player be punished at a fraction of anything like pro cycling for a first offense? Pro basketball or baseball players? Pro cycling is very very obviously taking it self way way too serious in the scheme of sports importance
 
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I haven't actually read your post, I got through the first para and ... wow! The moon is full tonight.

Anyway, the salient point: who said anti-doping is about eradicating? Do speed limits eradicate speeding? Does any law actually eradicate its subject?
 
WADA tries to put the pressure on:
“The consequences of a withdrawal of WADA funding by the U.S. could be more severe and far reaching for American athletes,” WADA president Witold Banka told Reuters. “We have been approached by a number of governments of the world that were shocked by the threats from the U.S. government supported by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). These governments want us to consider an amendment to the compliance standard meaning that non-payment by a government of its WADA contribution could lead directly to that country’s NADO (National Anti-Doping Organisation) being declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. Inevitably this could have serious repercussions for athletes from that country including their participation in major international sporting events.”
USADA fires back:
“To threaten one country’s athletes over WADA’s failed governance model is pretty remarkable and disappointing,” Tygart told Reuters. “WADA is very threatened and rattled but to illegally threaten U.S. athletes is shameful. They ought to spend the time trying to fix and make WADA what the world wants it to be, which is a strong independent WADA. There’s something wrong when the global regulator attacks one of its key partners that is doing everything to uphold the rules, yet they turn a blind eye to a country like Russia that runs a state-sponsored doping programme. The hypocrisy here is incredulous.”
Full article's worth a read.
 
there is political pressure from outside, ie the Trump administration itself. Tygart wants to keep his job so has to go along whatever his opinion (not to defend the guy).

President Trump’s drug policy office contends that the U.S. government is the largest contributor to WADA, giving $2.7 million annually, and that “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.”

 
there is political pressure from outside, ie the Trump administration itself.
Doesn't it look more like USADA using the White House via the ONDCP (the drug policy office), starting with the original summit? Can you find any evidence linking this to Trump himself - ie quotes like his calls to defund NATO or defund the UN or defund the WHO?
 
Doesn't it look more like USADA using the White House via the ONDCP (the drug policy office), starting with the original summit? Can you find any evidence linking this to Trump himself - ie quotes like his calls to defund NATO or defund the UN or defund the WHO?
It was coming directly from his budget cuts last year. I don’t have a direct quote from Trump but it’s basically in line with every single organization request he’s made where he withholds funding for more US control.

 
I don’t have a direct quote from Trump but it’s basically in line with every single organization request he’s made where he withholds funding for more US control.
Being in line with Trumpland also suggests USADA are playing the White House, seizing their moment. Again, go back to the beginning, the summit, it all looks like USADA leading. If it was Trump led wouldn't you expect the man himself to have said something by now?
 
Being in line with Trumpland also suggests USADA are playing the White House, seizing their moment. Again, go back to the beginning, the summit, it all looks like USADA leading. If it was Trump led wouldn't you expect the man himself to have said something by now?
No because it’s an election year in the middle of a pandemic. This isn’t an issue that is going to move the needle. I doubt he even knows anything about it personally. It may come from Tygart in his ear, or more likely the administration sees it as wasteful spending when they would have to reign in an out of control deficit were he to win another term. It’s standard operating procedure as far as I can tell.

Right now a fight with WADA isn’t going to win or lose votes, whereas in COVID-19 free time this would be a big deal in an election cycle, or could be turned into one.
 
It may come from Tygart in his ear, or more likely the administration sees it as wasteful spending
I get the distinct impression you don't actually understand this story: USADA (via the White House) have threatened to cut WADA's funding (with the suggestion that USADA would get the money instead) if certain reforms are not implemented and a process has been put in place to make it easier to limit WADA funding. No funding has as yet been cut and there are no firm plans as yet to cut funding.

For some reason you seem to be in denial about USADA's role in this and so have crafted a Trumpland narrative that absolves Tygart & co.
 
I get the distinct impression you don't actually understand this story: USADA (via the White House) have threatened to cut WADA's funding (with the suggestion that USADA would get the money instead) if certain reforms are not implemented and a process has been put in place to make it easier to limit WADA funding. No funding has as yet been cut and there are no firm plans as yet to cut funding.

For some reason you seem to be in denial about USADA's role in this and so have crafted a Trumpland narrative that absolves Tygart & co.
I don’t pretend to be an anti-doping expert and read this sub for the opinions on the latest juice gossip.

What I do have an acute understanding of is politics, specifically US foreign policy, considering my degree is in international relations between the United States and Russia (a sub of political science).

The last thing I want to do is argue US politics on the one thing in my life besides my family where I can get away from them, especially issues concerning the POTUS.

What I do understand is proposed budgets. What the United States is asking is for more control and representation over WADA in relation to the amount of funds it allocates. This is a standard issue and falls in line with how the current administration deals with international funding.


A report by the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), presented to the U.S. Congress in June and seen by Reuters, was highly critical of WADA demanding that it implement immediate reforms.


The report also suggested that the U.S. withhold funding unless it was given greater representation on WADA boards and committees and "a proportionate voice in decision-making.”
Tygart doesn’t control the administration’s national drug policy. The head of the ONDCP who outlined the proposal is Dan Carroll.


Tygart’s opinion may be influencing the government position, but He doesnt have the authority to write the government policy or pull USADA funding from WADA.

That’s not bashing Trump or defending Tygart. It is how these things are decided at an administrative level in government. Tygart would be out of a job were this not a government position.


The federal US government has threatened, hinted at, or has pulled funds from other organisations during President Donald J. Trump’s tenure including the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as 13 Covid-19 test sites. Glaringly he has sought to reduce funding to the United Nations. Currently, the U.S. pays the highest amount of $10-billion dollars.

Congress has approved higher amounts during his presidency, while he continues to seek to partially defund the peacekeeping organisation.

The latest may damage WADA’s ability to fight doping in sport. This is inconvenient when WADA and the Athletics Integrity Unit, for the first time in decades, appear to be making progress in the anti-doping movement.

Trump appears to always be looking for a deal. In 2019, the U.S. government’s annual contribution to WADA was $2,513,65. That’s a small amount of money considering the cost of other international organisations. However, the U.S. does contribute more than any other country. This may be justified by the fact that Team USA is typically the largest and the U.S.’s ability to pay is also the highest. For example, Kenya, with 50 athletes currently provisionally or fully suspended paid just $2,727 to WADA. Ethiopia $2,756 and Morocco $3,779.

 
And now a new front opens. Not only could WADA ban USADA - and, by extension, US athletes - now the IOC could ban the US, on an unrelated matter: Bill which could put USOPC in danger of IOC suspension passed by House of Representatives.
A bill which could put the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) on a collision course with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been unanimously approved by federal lawmakers.

The United States House of Representatives today passed the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020, which grants Congress the power to remove members of the USOPC Board of Directors.
 
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