Global anti-doping agency accused of ‘blackmailing’ Olympic host – AFP

WADA threatened its French counterpart with non-compliance action after facing pushback from the organization

Anti-doping authorities in France have lashed out at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) over a letter in which the global organization accused them of leniency and threatened punitive action ahead of the Olympics in Paris next year, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).

On Tuesday, the news agency revealed details of a brewing conflict between the Montreal-based global doping watchdog and the French body tasked with keeping sports clean in the country.

In late July, WADA wrote to the AFLD, the French anti-doping agency, listing three cases in which it claimed decisions had been inconsistent with international standards. It told the French watchdog to “change its behavior in the future” or face non-compliance procedures, AFP reported.

WADA has the authority to decertify national anti-doping agencies, jeopardizing the ability of a country’s athletes to enter international competitions.

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The independent disciplinary commission that oversees investigations conducted by the AFLD issued a rebuke to the letter from WADA.

It told AFP that WADA had never challenged any of the hundreds of decisions that the commission had issued since it was established in 2018, and said the threat of non-compliance action just a year ahead of the Summer Olympics in Paris constituted “real blackmail.”

The AFLD, however, described the correspondence as a “reminder of the rules that apply to all anti-doping organizations around the world.”

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