WADA Suspends N.Korea Over Drug-Testing Irregularities

  • By Lee Soon-heung

    February 15, 2019 11:05

    The World Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday declared North Korea non-compliant with its anti-doping code. This could cast a cloud over a plan to field inter-Korean teams at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the proposed co-hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympics by Seoul and Pyongyang.

    The declaration came after the global body at its executive committee meeting on Sept. 20 last year decided to "assert [North Korea] as non-compliant with the code if [it] failed to meet a four-month deadline to correct non-conformities related to the implementation of its testing program."

    On Jan. 21, WADA sent North Korea a formal notice of the declaration and gave it 21 days -- until Wednesday -- to lodge an appeal, but North Korea did not respond in any way. WADA did not specify what violations the North was guilty of.

    As a result, North Korea will be banned from hosting any event "hosted or organized or co-hosted or co-organized by WADA" including Olympics and world championships.

    On Friday, South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jong-whan is due to hold talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Il-guk and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Should Pyongyang express its intent to comply with WADA's regulations, the North's reinstatement could come quickly. 

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