By David Owen

World Anti_Doping_Agency_logoMay 20 - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has received more than 90 official submissions as part of the process of revising the World Anti-Doping Code, which provides the framework for harmonised anti-doping policies.

WADA said these submissions comprised 1,366 individual comments.

A first draft of the revised code is set to be sent to WADA stakeholders on June 1, with a final draft to be tabled for approval at the World Conference on Doping in Sport to be held in Johannesburg in November 2013.

John Fahey, WADA President, said the body was "very encouraged" by the number of recommendations it had received.

"It is not WADA's Code, but that of the world's anti-doping community, and for it to best reflect their wishes and needs it must be as consultative as possible," Fahey said.

The process has been taking place against the backdrop of a row between WADA and the British Olympic Association (BOA) over the latter's recently dropped bylaw that prevented any athlete who had tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs from representing Britain at the Olympic Games.

The row has ended up reinforcing the case for worldwide harmonisation of anti-doping practice.

However, it also highlighted the strength of feeling among advocates of stiffer penalties for drug cheats, and it will be interesting to see how far such views are taken account of in proposed revisions to the Code.

WADA has now found that the BOA is compliant with the Code, removing any threat of possible sanctions as the countdown to London 2012 reaches its final phase.

Following top-level meetings in Montreal on Thursday and Friday (May 17 and 18), WADA said that a number of National Anti-Doping Organisations, including 10 from Africa, six from Asia, five from Europe and two each from the Americas and Oceania, had now had their compliance status ratified.

"We appreciate that it is not always easy to implement changes in the current economic climate, so we are delighted with the progress that has been made, especially in regions of the world that may have less resources to work with," Fahey said.

"Achieving full compliance of all signatories remains WADA's goal and we appreciate the ongoing efforts to enhance anti-doping rules and programmes worldwide."

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