World Anti-Doping Agency president Witold Banka said Friday he wants to work closely with the United States but renewed calls for more American sports to sign up to international doping rules.
Relations between WADA and US authorities have been strained in recent years, with the United States Anti-Doping Agency leading calls for reform of the global doping watchdog.
US officials argue WADA’s independence is compromised by the fact many of its members are sports federation officials and International Olympic Committee members.
On Wednesday Richard Baum, the White House coordinator for doping in sport told a Senate committee the US — WADA’s biggest contributor — was withholding $1.3 million (1.1 million Euros) of its $2.9 million annual WADA dues.
Banka, though, said he would like to see the US clean their own “backyard” by ensuring more of their athletes compete under the World Anti-Doping Code.
Major professional US sports leagues such as the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA and the National Hockey League are not signatories to the code.
“As I have said many times I am more than happy to work hand in hand with them,” Banka told AFP following a WADA press conference on the day of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.—APP