In a bid to bolster its anti-doping programme, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has signed a two year memorandum of understanding with its Australian counterpart and its international parent body, the WADA.
A detailed project plan has been established among the three parties — the NADA, the Australian Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) and World Anti-Doping Agency — to ensure India implements a more effective anti-doping programme that is fully compliant with the WADA Code. The MoU was signed on Tuesday.
WADA’s role is to oversee the partnership, including the timeline set for the project, and to assist with the implementation of the work required. The scope of the agreement includes the need for improvement of key aspects of NADA’s programme, including testing and results management structures, more timely appeals processes, and a review of the agency’s structure to confirm that the current structures enable autonomous operational decision making.
“We are happy to have the Australian Anti-Doping Agency on board to assist us with strengthening our anti-doping program, as we look to further protect the rights of clean athletes,” NADA Director General Navin Agarwal said in a WADA release. “We fully recognise some of the shortcomings our program has had in the past, and that is why we will cooperate wholeheartedly with ASADA and WADA to ensure that we make the changes needed and, in doing so, give athletes full confidence in the Indian anti-doping system,” added Agarwal.
ASADA Chief Executive Officer Ben McDevitt said, “We look forward to sharing our expertise and experience with India as they strive to improve their anti-doping capacity.”
“In the lead up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, this partnership will be an important component to strengthening the anti-doping capabilities of Commonwealth nations,” he added.
The ASADA-NADA collaboration is part of a concerted drive by WADA to promote knowledge-exchange and enhance the quality of national anti-doping programmes through its NADO Partnership Program.
There have been nine other NADO-NADO partnerships struck in recent years, which include the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) assisting the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), and Anti-Doping Norway (ADN) and the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) supporting Kenya.
“As the independent, international Agency promoting doping-free sport, WADA is focussed on delivering high-quality, Code compliant anti-doping programs worldwide,” said WADA Deputy Director General Rob Koehler.
“We are pleased at the introduction of this partnership, whereby ASADA will provide expertise and support in crucial areas for the Indian NADA. A country as large as India, and with such fervour for sport, demands a strong anti-doping program; and that is what this partnership aims to deliver,” added Koehler.