Mehrez Boussayene: Work in progress for ‘WADA sanctions to be lifted by end of next week’

Tunis: International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and president of the Tunisian National Olympic Committee (NOC) Mehrez Boussayene said that work and coordination is underway with the IOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to lift the sanctions imposed on Tunisia by the end of next week. In a statement to TAP on Sunday during the first edition of the annual Olympic Festival for Sustainable Sports in El Alaa, Kairouan governorate, Boussayane added that sanctions had been imposed and the national flag had not been flown at some sporting events following a decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency. 'There is a failure to deal with the issue," he said, calling for accountability. Commenting on the reason for the sanction imposed on Tunisia by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Mehrez Boussayane said that WADA requested the amendment of the law on the National Anti-Doping Agency, but the government decree to implement the law was not issued within the required tim eframe, he said. In this regard, he said that the World Anti-Doping Code was amended in 2021 and that the World Anti-Doping Committee asked all countries to update and amend their laws in accordance with the International Code, which was not done for the National Anti-Doping Agency in Tunisia. He noted that the Tunisian National Olympic Committee sent seven letters to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Anti-Doping Agency asking them to amend the law and meet the deadlines. Boussayane explained that now that the sanction has come into effect, the National Anti-Doping Agency must send an official communication to WADA informing them that the government decree has come into effect following its publication in the Tunisian Official Gazette, with the aim of convening a meeting to lift the sanction by the end of next week. Government Decree No. 235 of 2024 amending and supplementing Decree No. 187 of April 5, 2024 on the administrative and financial organisation of ANAD and its methods of operati on was published in the Tunisian Official Gazette on May 2. Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse