Roy Gilbert

US gov’t rep unhappy with WADA lobbying effort

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KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — A key American delegate at the World Anti-Doping Agency meetings lashed out at the agency’s director for using government money in hopes of reshaping U.S. legislation designed to fight drugs in sports.

At the WADA board meeting Thursday, Kendel Ehrlich of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy seized on an Associated Press story from the previous day that described efforts by WADA and the International Olympic Committee to lobby for substantive changes to the bill known as the Rodchenkov Act.

The core provision would allow the federal government to go after any person or organization that tries to carry out a fraudulent doping scheme. The law would cast a wide net, covering doping fraud at pretty much any major international event with ties to Olympic sports, even if it isn’t held on U.S. soil. It would not go after individual athletes caught up in the schemes.

Not long before it passed the House last month, the IOC engaged a lobbying firm, in part to discuss the bill with policymakers in Washington. WADA has been working the halls for longer, and has budgeted $250,000, with the potential for more, to keep tabs on the bill and other doping issues at the Capitol.

This was a head-scratcher to Ehrlich and a number of WADA board members who also represent their governments back home.

“What we want and ask this committee to do, through you, is to stop any such efforts,” Ehrlich said. “It’s just common sense. If we, as payers […]

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