By Duncan Mackay

Colin Moynihan_BOA_press_conference_November_16_2011November 17 - Colin Moynihan has come under attack from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after the British Olympic Association (BOA) referred its controversial doping bylaw to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), fiercely disputing his version of events which led to the decision.

The chairman of the BOA has launched a sustained attack on WADA this week, culminating yesterday in claiming that they were "letting athletes down" as he insisted that Britain had been asked by the Montreal-based organisation to drop its bylaw which prevents any athletes with a doping offence against their name from competing for TeamGB in the Olympics.

Now John Fahey, the chairman of WADA, has claimed that Moynihan has mis-represented the situation and that they have now asked the BOA to drop the bylaw, which has been in place since 1992.

"WADA has read with some concern the statement made by the chairman of the BOA following the BOA Executive Committee meeting yesterday," he said.

"Once again, Lord Moynihan makes comments without adherence to the facts.

"The factual position in relation to WADA's request of the BOA is relatively simple.

"Following the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in early October 2011, WADA initiated communications with the BOA, through its chairman, immediately."

WADA have provided details of the letters to insidethegames and a copy of the legal opinion which was provided by Michael Beloff, the Queen's Consul who represented Dwain Chambers in his original case after he tested positive for a cocktail of banned drugs eight years ago, which are available below.

The correspondence appears to demonstrate that it was WADA's idea for BOA to take the case to CAS, although they claim that they would leave that decision to Britain and would not have challenged it legally.

John Fahey_in_front_of_WADA_logo"No reply has yet been received by WADA in relation to this letter," said Fahey (pictured).

"Under its mandate, within the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code, to which the BOA is a signatory, WADA is obliged to publish, through its Foundation Board, a compliance report on the status of compliance of all of its signatories.

"The next report is due for consideration by the Foundation Board on Sunday 20 November 2011.

"In order to prepare for that meeting, and in the absence of any response from the BOA, WADA sought and obtained a legal opinion from eminent British Counsel, Michael Beloff QC.

"This opinion was obtained so that it could be tabled before the Foundation Board on Sunday.

"In the interest of fairness, WADA felt it appropriate to send a copy of it to the BOA immediately.

"This was done on Monday, November 14, and a copy of the opinion and accompanying letter is attached.

"The correspondence speaks for itself.

"Lord Moynihan suggests that this is an official request to the BOA to 'drop their rule'.

"It is not.

"Lord Moynihan claims that WADA's challenge came 'out of the blue'.

"It did not.

"Lord Moynihan claims that it is a 'remarkable challenge from WADA'.

"It is not.

"WADA has simply suggested that the BOA consider its rule in light of all the information available to it.

"WADA has made no decision in relation to the compliance of the BOA.

"That is for the Foundation Board to determine on Sunday,  November 20.

"WADA has not taken, and will not take, this matter to the CAS.

"WADA has suggested that the BOA consider its position in light of the implications of the decision from CAS in relation to the IOC rule, and the opinion that WADA has obtained.

"WADA would appreciate a proper reply to the correspondence.

"To date, that response has been through misinformed allegations in the media against WADA and the WADA process.

"The CAS, in the IOC case, made it quite plain that WADA is the body responsible for anti-doping rules globally.

"WADA has this responsibility as a result of unanimous support for the Agency and the World Anti-Doping Code, initially in Copenhagen when the Code was first approved - and where the BOA was one of the unanimous supporters of it - and subsequently in Madrid in 2007, when the revisions to the Code were again approved unanimously - and again the BOA was an attendee and supporter.

"The Code will undertake another review in the coming years, culminating in a further conference to be convened in Johannesburg in November 2013.

"The BOA will be invited to make submissions in relation to any revisions and of course will be invited to attend the Conference.

"In the meantime, the BOA, as a signatory to the Code, has agreed to accept and implement all of the provisions of the Code, including those relating to sanctions, and to abide by them.

"Any decisions as to whether they have been compliant or not in relation to that will be determined by the WADA Foundation Board on Sunday."

Full details of the correspondence can be found here:

WADA letter to BOA asking them to review bylaw

WADA letter to BOA telling them they are seeking legal advice

Legal opinion on BOA bylaw

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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