Canada defends the maintenance of the WADA in Montreal

Sport 24 September, 2017

Photo: Marc Braibant Agence France-Presse
The world anti-doping Agency was created in 1999 and its montreal offices, where are today working 85 employees, have opened their doors in 2001.

A canadian delegation went to Paris to defend the retention of the world anti-doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, and this, until 2031.


The mission comes as the Agency executive committee meets in Paris and must receive the bids of countries wishing to host the international body. Canada must submit its own bid to keep the Agency in the metropolis.


“This is an organization in Montreal that is very important ; the Agency should remain in Montreal until at least 2031,” said Friday morning in Quebec city the minister of international Relations of Québec, Christine St-Pierre, which will be on the trip.


The federal minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and representatives of the agency Montréal international will also be at the executive committee meeting on Sunday to try to nip in the bud any attempt to move.


“Canada has always been recognized as a force in the anti-doping movement, and that is why, in part, that the Agency was installed here, said Mr. Garneau during a press conference in Montreal. There is no reason why it should be moved. “


The decision to send the ministers to support the canadian submission is in response to information that other countries are trying to wrest the body.


“We know that people ask that there is a call for tenders for the renewal of the place where the Agency will be established. […] There are cities like Lausanne that would like to have it, ” said Ms. St-Pierre.


The Agency was created in 1999 and its montreal offices, where are today working 85 employees, have opened their doors in 2001. At its inception, the headquarters were based in Lausanne, where the headquarters of the international olympic Committee, but he was quickly transferred to the metropolis, to the great displeasure of some european leaders who are not in their first grommellements about it.


“We always hear the bitching,” recalls the director of the doping control Laboratory of the INRS, dr. Christiane Ayotte. During a telephone interview with The canadian Press, she stressed that a part of the leaders of the AMA are from the olympic movement and based in Lausanne, where is located the headquarters of the international olympic Committee.


“For them, it is almost a crime of lese-majeste that the Agency world is located in the New World. These are not the people who would have discovered the Canada or America, ” sighs she.


“A slingshot “


The status of Montréal as a host city is renewable to ten years, and it is guaranteed until 2021. On Sunday, the executive committee will be seized of the bids for the location of the AMA until 2031.


A vote of two-thirds of the members would be required for the occurrence of a move. If the canadian submission was rejected, the committee could then recommend to the foundation board, the decision-making body supreme of the Agency, to launch a tender to find a new location.


“There’s probably going to have multiple submissions, but to make a change like that, it would take something exceptional,” says dr. Ayotte.


“There should be a sling — and I believe that there is no representative government that is hostile to the presence of the Agency in Montreal,” she adds.


The executive committee is composed of 12 members, of which half comes from the olympic movement and the other of the various governments. The board of trustees, which consists of 38 members, is also made up half-and-half of the members of the olympic movement and governments.


For Marc Garneau, a move would be a serious mistake. He argued that it would cost around $ 10 million and that there would be a significant risk of losing several employees who have developed very specific expertise over the years. It stresses, on the other hand, the distance is an advantage and not the contrary.


“From the point of view of transparency, it is especially important to have a certain gap between an agency that focuses on the issue of doping and the olympic Committee, which is in Europe,” he says.


Finally, as it would take between one and two years to achieve this commotion, the minister argued that it would be unwise to impose upon the Agency a ” significant interruption in the time where science continues to evolve on the anti-doping “.