|Author (Person)||Shelley, John|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.28, 12.7.01, p8|
SPORTS Commissioner Viviane Reding has dropped plans to pour up to €3 million into the fledgling World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), throwing the future of the body into doubt.
Reding says the Union executive has not been promised enough say in running the organisation even though the EU would contribute nearly half its funding.
WADA, which was set up to implement a unified doping policy across all sports, is currently running as a pilot project but is due to take on a permanent form from 2002. The aim is to end the disparities in punishments for doping violations across various sports.
The organisation, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, had been expecting the EU executive to contribute up to one-fifth of its budget, after Reding threw her weight behind the project last year. But the Luxembourg Commissioner now says she cannot authorise the spending for "political and legal" reasons.
Firstly she says it is unfair that Europe's overall contribution to the budget, including donations from professional sporting bodies, has been set at 47.57 while the US and Asian countries are each being asked to put in less than 307 each.
She says that if EU is to be the biggest contributor it should have the biggest say in running WADA. Under the current proposal Europe would have the same voting rights as the other two big blocs.
Secondly she argues that as WADA decides its own budget by a qualified majority vote of its members and not by unanimity, this could mean that the size of the Commission's grant could later be increased without permission. "If the EU gives money to WADA we have to have control over our contribution," said Reding's spokesman Christophe Forax. Privately, officials are furious with the Swedes for failing to secure the changes to WADA's rules of procedure during their Union presidency.
Stockholm did not hold a single meeting of European sports ministers, and as a result, insiders say, it was impossible to draw up a unified EU position on WADA. Starting in August the Union executive will sit on the WADA board and Reding hopes that once the institution has a direct say in its running it can renegotiate the terms and possibly fund the body from 2003. For next year the organisation will have to scrabble around between European member states in order to meet its budget. Forax said the Commission could still help out by agreeing to pay for specific projects - for example the training of doping inspectors.
Sports Commissioner Viviane Reding has dropped plans to pour up to €3 million into the fledgling World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), throwing the future of the body into doubt.
|Subject Categories||Culture, Education and Research, Health|