WADA Blow for North Korea

(ATR) As IOC chiefs prepare to meet North Korean sports officials, WADA declares the country non-compliant.

(ATR) As IOC chiefs prepare to meet North Korean sports officials, WADA has declared the country non-compliant with its code.

The decision comes ahead of IOC president Thomas Bach’s Friday talks with the sports ministers of North and South Korea and their NOC presidents in Lausanne. Staged primarily to discuss the countries joint 2032 Olympic bid plan, WADA’s announcement has now put anti-doping activities in North Korea on the discussion table.

WADA threatened to make North Korea non-compliant last September if it "failed to meet a four-month deadline to correct non-conformities related to the implementation of its testing program".

But North Korea failed to take action by the Jan. 21 deadline, triggering WADA’s formal notice of suspension on Thursday.

It means the DPRK Anti-Doping Committee will lose its WADA privileges until reinstatement, including funding relating to the development of specific activities or participation in specific programs.

Also, the North Korean anti-doping body’s activities related to testing will be subject to supervision by an approved third party, including up to six site visits a year. The DPRK committee and Chinese Anti-Doping Agency have signed an agreement to this effect.

Under the suspension, the DPRK Anti-Doping Committee’s representatives are also ineligible to sit as members of the boards, committees or other bodies of any signatory or association of signatories for a period of one year – or until reinstatement.

"Throughout this process, WADA will continue to provide guidance and support to the DPRK Anti-Doping Committee to solve its non-conformities," WADA said in a statement late Wednesday.

"The agency has also been informed by the IOC that this issue will be raised when they meet with the two Koreas at IOC headquarters on 15 February."

On Friday, South and North Korean delegations are expected to officially confirm their plans to jointly bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics when they meet Bach and IOC executives in Lausanne.

Following talks, the IOC is also expected to make an announcement that both Koreas will stage joint activities in the run-up to Tokyo 2020, with a plan to field some unified teams at next year’s Olympics. It follows the success of the unified women's ice hockey team at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.

Reported by Mark Bisson

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