PSC seeks Palace help in resolving Wada issue

PSC chairman Richard "Dickie" Bachmann attends the PSA Forum. –PSA PHOTO

PSC chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann attends the PSA Forum. –PSA PHOTO

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chair Richard Bachmann received a call from Formia, Italy, where Filipino pole vault ace EJ Obiena sounded worried at the other end of the line.

Bachmann’s words of comfort soothed Obiena as he assured the bright Olympic gold medal hope that the Philippine flag will be flown in the 2024 Paris Games.

The PSC chief sat with Philippine National Anti-Doping Organization (Phinado) officer Nathan Vasquez in front of the media on Tuesday, both of them confident the brewing issue with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) will be threshed out soonest.

“With everybody helping out, I’m confident that we will be able to resolve this,’’ said Bachmann during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The Wada has placed the Philippines under the threat of suspension from international competitions for the country’s noncompliance of the Wada Code with the Paris Olympics on the horizon.

The Phinado was asked to address the outstanding nonconformities identified in the Wada Code Compliance Questionnaire or face the impending ban where Filipino athletes won’t be able to carry the national flag in Paris.

Noncompliance with the Montreal-based global doping agency will likewise prohibit the Philippines from hosting any regional, continental or world championship meets.

Empowering Phinado

“We are working with Malacañang with the legislative requirements of Wada. The help of Malacañang is greatly appreciated,’’ said Bachmann.

Bachmann is asking the Office of President Marcos to empower Phinado, which is obviously undermanned, and turn it into a fully independent and operational group with the personnel that could cater to the entire national team.“A perfect example is Indonesia, which was almost similar to our case back in 2021, forcing it to establish its own organization,’’ said Vasquez.

The Wada notified the PSC of the threat in a letter on Jan. 23, giving the country 21 days or until Feb. 13 to comply with the necessary requirements.

The issue was elevated to the Court of Arbitration in Sports after the Philippines appealed its case.

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Bachmann said they are moving to resolve the issue prior to the arrival of Wada representatives to the country next month. INQ