Responding to a decision issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which stated that Indonesia did not comply with the applicable anti-doping enforcement standards, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Kemenpora) said that this was only due to a communication problem.
Speaking with the media crew on Friday (8/10) afternoon, Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali explained that the decision was made because WADA considered that Indonesia had not sent the appropriate number of doping samples in 2020. Amali said that the number of samples requested was not fulfilled due to competition. Domestic sports have stopped since the COVID-19 pandemic entered Indonesia in March 2020.
“In 2020 we are planning to provide samples (annually to WADA). But we didn’t expect that in March there would be COVID, so there were no sports activities for us to take as samples to WADA,” said Zainudin.
Zainudin, who is a politician from the Golkar Party (Golkar), added that his party immediately coordinated with the Indonesian Anti-Doping Agency (LADI) to follow up on the non-compliance title assigned by WADA. Indonesia has about 21 days to clarify the WADA decision.
However, it appears that the 21-day deadline given by WADA has passed. In the information listed on its official website, WADA stated that it had sent a letter of notification to a number of anti-doping agencies in eight countries that were included in the list of countries whose doping programs were deemed not to meet the standards on 15 September.
Of the eight countries, only Belgium, Montenegro and Romania provided a formal response and followed up on the WADA letter. The three countries are now given about four months to improve their anti-doping system.
Sanctions given to countries that are considered non-compliant include a ban on holding international sporting events as long as their non-compliance status has not changed. In addition, these countries will not receive the allocation of aid funds from WADA for their anti-doping programs
In the response letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, a copy of which was received by Mouab on Friday afternoon (8/10), the Ministry of Youth and Sports argued that the delay in responding to the letter from WADA was based on the busyness that had plagued LADI in its involvement in the 20th PON which was taking place in Papua.
The letter, which was signed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Gatot S. Dewabroto, also stated that Indonesia plans to send 700 doping samples obtained during the PON as part of the testing distribution plan (TDP) to WADA.
Contacted separately, the deputy chairman of LADI Reza Maulana said that his party would carry out internal improvements and would conduct an audit of the previous management so that there would be clarity in the transfer of management and the matter of responsibility.
“We will intensify relations between institutions and related stakeholders so that they are equally optimal in synergizing implementing and overseeing Indonesia’s anti-doping activities. So that we can prevent similar things from happening again in the future,” said Reza, who has served as deputy chairman of LADI since last June, told Mouab.
He added that LADI itself had sent a proposal for a sample test plan outside of sports competitions for next year to WADA as part of showing its seriousness in implementing an anti-doping program in the country.
Last year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports had stated that it would build an anti-doping laboratory in the country as an effort to show seriousness in dealing with doping issues. At that time, Menpora Zainudin said he would increase the annual budget for LADI by 500 percent in 2021 as part of efforts to build the laboratory. [rs/ab]