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Saturday, May 25, 2024

PSC confident row with world doping group resolved soon

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The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is extremely confident the brewing issue with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which has placed the country under threat of suspension from international competitions, will be resolved sooner than expected.

No less than PSC chairman Richard Bachmann and executive director Paulo Tatad together with Philippine National Anti-Doping Organization (PHI-NADO) officer Nathan Vasquez made the assurance during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

“We are working with Malacanang with the legislative requirements of WADA. The help of Malacanang is greatly appreciated,” said Bachmann during the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, MILO, PLDT/Smart, and the country’s 24/7 sports app ArenaPlus.

To make sure the country complies with all the WADA requirements, Bachmann called for the need to empower PHI-NADO, which is undermanned as it is right now, into a fully independent and operational group with the personnel that could cater to the thousands of athletes in the national pool.

“Right now, ang trato namin sa PHI-NADO is like an NSA. We just fund them. Siguro dapat independent na sila,” said Bachmann, citing the importance of Malacanang’s full support more particularly in funding.

“A perfect example is Indonesia which was non-compliant in 2021. They were forced to establish their own organization (like PHI-NADO),” said Vasquez.

The issue came to a boil when WADA wrote the PSC last January after a previous notice in September last year for its alleged failure to comply to the WADA code. Failure to respond positively in 21 days could have led to a suspension on the Philippines from international events like the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and even the coming Paris Olympics as raised by the Philippine Olympic Committee.

The Philippines appealed the WADA action, and the issue has been elevated to the Court of Arbitration in Sports.

Bachmann said the PSC, PHI-NADO, which is in charge of anti-doping education in the country, and all the stakeholders are now doing everything they could to make sure the issue is ironed out even before WADA representatives pay the country a visit next month.

“Other countries within Southeast Asia are also experiencing it right now. That’s why we would look at this as an opportunity. Now, we have the stakeholders that are more conscious on what needs to be done,” said Tatad.

“The Office of the President is helping us and the POC and the NSAs (national sports associations) are more collaborative. If we have that in place, rest assured we will not have this administrative issues moving forward,” he added.

The PSC said Filipino athletes hoping to qualify to the Paris Olympics in July are moving on with their bids.

“Nothing is jeopardized. And we are confident that this will be resolved. But we need to prove ourselves,” said Tatad.


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