Montreal, Canada – This week, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of National Drug Control Policy, participated in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee meeting in Montreal where the implementation of WADA governance reforms and the status of Russia’s anti-doping policies were discussed. Dr. Gupta participated as the representative of the Americas region in the wake of the United States assuming the Presidency of the Americas Sports Council (Consejo Americano del Deporte or CADE) from Colombia on May 5. During the meeting, Dr. Gupta pressed for holding Russia accountable for past doping and ensuring fair treatment of athletes to maintain the integrity of international athletic competition.
Additionally, in coordination with other governments, Dr. Gupta:
- Called for international sports federations to develop eligibility criteria that would subject athletes to a minimum number of required doping tests. These criteria would apply to all athletes, including, but not limited to, Russian athletes;
- Pressed that in cases where the awarding of medals is delayed due to the investigation of a potential doping violation, including, but not limited to the Kamila Valieva case, it is vital that a meaningful medal ceremony take place after consultation with the affected athletes. It would be appropriate for such a ceremony to occur at a subsequent Olympic Games;
- Thanked WADA for moving forward on implementing governance reforms adopted over the last two years and emphasized that WADA should not hesitate to adjust the reforms, or to push for new reforms in the future, when required, to ensure fair athletic competition; and
- Welcomed the new Athlete’s Council Chair, Mr. Ryan Pini, and encouraged him as the representative of athletes on the Executive Committee to share recommendations from athletes on how to improve the entire anti-doping effort and better ensure that athletes are treated fairly across the globe and in every sport.
Prior to the Executive Committee meeting, on May 8, Dr. Gupta met with officials from other governments participating in the Executive Committee (Japan, Australia, the African Union, and France). On that same day he also held a bilateral meeting with WADA President Witold Banka and met informally with International Olympic Committee representatives. During his meeting with Mr. Banka, Dr. Gupta offered to foster a collaboration between the U.S. and WADA to exchange information on performance enhancing drugs sold on the dark web or on the open web.
This was the United States’ first participation in the WADA Executive Committee since 2015, when the Americas Sports Council (CADE) designated that the country serving as the Council’s president would also represent the Americas on the WADA Executive Committee. The Executive Committee includes representation from athletes, the International Olympic Committee, independent experts, WADA leadership, and five government leaders representing the inhabited regions of the world (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania). During the United States’ term on the Executive Council as the representative of the Americas, Dr. Gupta will work to promote clean sport for all athletes.
Dr. Gupta said: “ONDCP is very pleased to be back on the Executive Committee representing the Americas for the first time since 2015. Maintaining clean sport is an obligation of every government, every sport, and every athlete. Those governmental and sports organizations that are complicit in allowing or facilitating doping should be held accountable for their actions, just as each athlete is held accountable for theirs.”