Anti-doping fight: red card for Tunisia

Anti-doping fight: red card for Tunisia
Anti-doping fight: red card for Tunisia

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Tuesday confirmed Tunisia’s non-compliance with the world anti-doping code and announced sanctions against the country.

Tunisia should no longer be able to host regional, continental or world championships, and the Tunisian flag will not be allowed to be raised at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, until the country can be reinstated by WADA, according to a statement official. The Tunisian Ministry of Sports announced Wednesday evening the promulgation of a decree relating to “required revisions”, saying it wanted to “reassure public opinion” in Tunisia and the organizers of sports competitions.

As soon as the text is published in the Official Journal, “the sanctions will be lifted”, affirmed the ministry, in a press release emphasizing the need for the entire procedure to “comply with the provisions of the legislative and regulatory texts of the Tunisian State”. Tunisia “is keen to adhere to the requirements of ratified international agreements and in particular the International Anti-Doping Convention” and is keen to respect “the standards approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency,” added the ministry.

But Tunis said it hoped that the entire procedure would be done “with respect for national sovereignty”, affirming that Tunisia “respects its commitments to the World Anti-Doping Agency since the beginning of the year”. In its decision, WADA indicates that Tunisian representatives will also not be eligible to sit on the Agency’s committees or boards.

In its press release, WADA explains that the decision of non-compliance, “final” and “with immediate effect” against Tunisia, results from “its inability to fully implement the 2021 version of the world anti-doping code within its legal system. The country had four months from November 2023 to adopt “a certain number of modifications to legislative and regulatory texts” to comply with the Tunisian legal framework code. But as of early April, “the non-compliances were still not resolved” and the Tunisian national anti-doping organization (ANAD) “did not contest” WADA’s allegation of non-compliance.

The global agency, based in Montreal, highlights that three other organizations are non-compliant with the world anti-doping code: the National Olympic Committee of Angola, the Russian anti-doping agency and the International Federation of Fitness and Bodybuilding.

Sami Nemli / ECO Inspirations

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