Philippine sports

The flag will fly: WADA clears the Philippines of anti-doping compliance issues

JR Isaga

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The flag will fly: WADA clears the Philippines of anti-doping compliance issues

Richard Bachman, chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission, attends the senate hearing on the benefits and incentives of the national athletes and coaches, on August 14, 2023.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

The World Anti-Doping Agency finally clears the Philippines of inadequate requirements after a ban threat in all international sporting events like the Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine flag will fly in international sporting competitions for the foreseeable future as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) finally cleared the nation of its anti-doping compliance issues on Tuesday, March 19.

“I am pleased to confirm that in light of the latest developments, the Compliance Review Committee has decided to sign off the remaining pending critical corrective actions relating to testing and results management,” WADA Chief Compliance Manager Emiliano Simonelli wrote in an email.

“As a result, the compliance procedure has now been closed and the case will not be filed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” he added in his correspondence with Philippine National Anti-Doping Organization (PHI-NADO) head Dr. Alejandro Pineda.

The Philippines was initially in danger of losing its privilege to be represented by its athletes in all major sporting competitions like the Olympics, Asian Games, and Southeast Asian Games, after WADA found supposed inadequacies in its practices, policies, and facilities concerning anti-doping.

Hand-in-hand with PHI-NADO and even Malacañang, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) raced against time and appealed initial deadlines to meet WADA’s requests, finally resulting in a favorable ruling ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Had WADA banned the Philippines, Filipino athletes would have still been allowed to compete in international meets, but under a neutral flag and all their achievements would not have counted under their country’s tallies.

“We would like to thank WADA for all the support to resolve all issues. The PSC in coordination with PHI-NADO will continue to make improvements and propose the proper legislation in compliance with the WADA Code 20.5.1 to avoid future issues,” said PSC chairman Richard Bachmann. –

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