Newly-published figures show that Africa once again struggled last year to pay its World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) dues, with, for the second year running, less than 60 per cent of invoiced sums remitted by the end of the calendar year.
WADA’s 2015 annual report reveals that just 57.55 per cent of budgeted African contributions had been remitted as of December 31.
This represents only a very modest improvement from the remittance rate of 53.83 per cent recorded in the 2014 annual report and is in stark contrast with the performance of other continents, whose rates range from 96.81 to 100 per cent.
Happily, for the agency - currently enduring much the toughest year of its 17-year existence - these good rates achieved elsewhere enabled it to maintain its overall collection rate from public authorities at close to 99 per cent.
This figure also reflects the relatively small, almost symbolic, sums due to be collected from Africa in the first place: by December 31, the continent had remitted just under $40,000 (£30,000/€36,000) of the $68,712 (£51,654/€61,636) invoiced.
In 2013, Africa had managed a remittance rate of more than 90 per cent, as is routine on other continents.
The new report - which disclosed a deficit, attributed to the exchange rate impact, of $1.17 million (£879,000/€1.04 million), similar to 2014’s $1.14 million (£857,000/€1.02 million) - provided evidence of cost-cutting measures, notably in the area of executive pay.
Compensation paid to the Montreal-based agency’s 11 directors totalled $3.05 million (£2.2 million/€2.7 million), equivalent to nearly $277,500 (£209,000/€249,000) each, in 2015, down from fractionally below $3.8 million (£2.8 million/€3.4 million) in 2014.
WADA also appears to have clamped down on temps, with just $822 (£618/€737) attributed to temporary staff in 2015, down from not far off $100,000 (£75,000/€89,000) a year earlier.
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie acknowledged in his introductory message that “the public’s confidence in sport was shattered in 2015 like never before”.
The scandals unearthed during the year, he stated, “undermined faith in sport leadership and the trust placed in what should be shining examples of the custodians of clean sport”.