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PH at risk of not seeing flag flown in Olympics, other meets if PSC fails to comply with anti-doping code

Hidilyn Diaz might not be able to use the name "Philippines" on her jersey as she looks to defend her Olympic gold in Paris if the PSC fails to comply with WADA's ruling. PSC-POC Media Pool (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA—The Philippines stands the risk of the flag not being flown at the Paris Olympics and the Paralympic Games, in all regional and continental meets—Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games—and the world championships unless the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) complies with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

Compounding the potential woes will also be a ban on the country from hosting regional, continental, and world championships.

The WADA made the warning in a notification to the PSC dated Jan. 23 that stressed its non-compliance with the WADA Code and prompted the government sports body to address outstanding non-conformities identified in the WADA Code Compliance Questionnaire.

The PSC was notified through the Philippine National Anti-Doping Agency (Phinado) in September last year to comply with the WADA Code but has barely responded since.

The WADA gave the PSC four months to comply with the deadline already expiring last Monday.

“Should the outstanding non-conformities not be solved by 22 January 2024, the Philippines Sports Commission would be automatically alleged as non-compliant by WADA’s Executive Committee,” said the notice, which was signed by WADA Director General Olivier Niggli.

The WADA said the PSC has to comply with the code on developing and implementing an effective, intelligent, and proportionate Test Distribution Plan and include all Registered Testing Pool athletes from sports or disciplines, among others.

The WADA pinpointed a case of an athlete who yielded a positive anti-doping result in 2016 but wasn’t notified by the PSC or its anti-doping arm.

The Montreal-based agency gave the PSC until Feb. 13 to dispute “WADA’s allegation of non-compliance and/or the consequences of non-compliance and/or the reinstatement conditions proposed by WADA.”

“If the PSC 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,” the notice said.

The WADA attached with its notification the consequences of non-compliance and reinstatement conditions by the PSC including the banning of the Philippine flag in all major international competitions.

The consequences also include the Philippines losing its WADA privileges and funding and a ban of any Filipino from sitting as a member of the boards or committees or other bodies of any signatory, member, or association of signatories of the world agency.

The PSC, WADA said, must satisfy the outstanding critical requirements and comply with all the consequences of non-compliance to be reinstated.

The Philippine Olympic Committee was furnished a copy of the WADA notification.

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