Philippine sports

Anti-doping code violation? PSC says resolution near 

Delfin Dioquino

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Anti-doping code violation? PSC says resolution near 

GIRL POWER. Volleyball star Alyssa Valdez leads an all-female athlete cast for the Philippines during the parade of nations in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/REUTERS

Philippine sports may face stiff consequences for its non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, including a ban in this year’s Paris Olympics and other major international events

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said on Friday night, January 26, that it is working toward resolving its alleged non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code that may lead to a ban in major international sports events, including the Paris Olympics this year.

The government’s sports arm said the Philippine National Anti-Doping Organization (PHI-NADO) has taken “prompt and decisive” actions after WADA gave the PSC a total of 21 days – or until February 13 – to dispute allegations of its non-compliance.

“We acknowledge the importance of adhering to the WADA Code and upholding the principles of fair play and integrity in sports,” the PSC said in a statement.

“After receiving evaluations from WADA, certain revisions relating to critical requirements of the Code are now being worked upon. PHI-NADO has reported that we are nearing closure for these requirements within a 21-day period.”

In September, the international anti-doping body already gave the PSC four additional months to comply with the WADA Code.

WADA said the PSC must develop and implement an “effective, intelligent, and proportionate” test distribution plan, and must share and maintain the list of athletes included in its registered training pool.

The PSC is also required to ensure all doping cases are prosecuted in a timely manner and it needs to simultaneously notify all involved parties, including WADA and the concerned NADO or international federation, with the right to appeal the decision in a case.

WADA pointed to an instance when the PSC failed to notify an athlete who tested positive for a banned substance in 2016.

The deadline of the four-month extension lapsed on January 22, prompting WADA to follow up.

“If the Philippines Sports Commission does not dispute any of these elements in writing to WADA within 21 days from the date of this formal notice, the allegation of non-compliance will be deemed admitted, the consequences of non-compliance and the reinstatement conditions proposed by WADA will be deemed accepted, and this formal notice will automatically become a final decision with immediate effect,” WADA director general Olivier Niggli wrote in a letter to PHI-NADO head Alejandro Pineda dated January 23.

Consequences of non-compliance include a ban from hosting regional, continental, and world championships as well.

The PSC also stands the risk of losing its WADA funding and other privileges, among them the eligibility for its representatives to hold WADA office.

Led by chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann, the PSC said it met with WADA officials on January 25.

“The primary objective of this meeting was to foster open communication, address the pending concerns and revisions raised by WADA, and collaboratively undertake measures to ensure complete compliance at the earliest possible time,” said the PSC.

“Furthermore, we wish to reassure the public that these possible sanctions are avoidable. We are fully engaged in a constructive dialogue with WADA, working collectively to address any remaining concerns and to ensure that our national athletes can continue to compete on the global stage with honor and integrity.”

It is a big year for Filipino athletes as they try to qualify for the Paris Games, which will be held in the France capital from July to August.

Four Filipinos have booked their tickets to Paris: pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxer Eumir Marcial, and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan.

“The PSC remains resolute in its commitment to upholding the highest standards of sportsmanship and ethical conduct to our national athletes and coaches,” the PSC said. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.