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WADA sanctions Tunisia for non-compliance with anti-doping code

Tunisia faces sanctions including a ban on flying its national flag at major sporting events after it was found to be non-compliant with the world anti-doping code.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed late Tuesday that the Tunisian National Anti-Doping Organization (ANAD) failed to fully implement the latest version of the code released in 2021 within its legal system.

Until this is addressed, Tunisia loses a number of WADA privileges, cannot host major sporting events and is barred from flying its flag at international sporting events including at the upcoming Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games in July and August.

The Tunisian Ministry of Youth and Sports reacted Wednesday saying it was keen to adhere to the world anti-doping code and other international standards in sports.

It reassured its public and organizers of sporting competitions that it would soon make the required revisions “in accordance with the provisions of the legislative and regulatory texts of the Tunisian State” in hopes that the sanctions will be lifted.

WADA noted in a news release that Tunisia had months to address its concerns, after WADA’s executive committee in November endorsed a compliance review committee’s findings of non-compliance.

ANAD at that time provided a “clear calendar” for the adoption of amendments required to bring Tunisia’s legal framework in line within the code within four months.

But as of April 6, it had yet to take corrective actions and the non-conformities remained unresolved, WADA said.

It added that ANAD had 21 days from the April 6 official notification to dispute WADA’s allegations of non-compliance but did not do so. And so the executive committee’s November ruling became “enforceable with immediate effect. ”

According to the Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency, Tunisia joins three other organizations that are non-compliant with its code, namely the Angola National Olympic Committee, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation.

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