By David Owen

World Anti_Doping_Agency_logoJune 17 - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is facing a race against time to raise income levels or be forced to scale back its activities.

The warning comes in the agency's newly-published annual report, which shows a deficit for 2011 of almost $476,000 (£303,000/€377,000) down from a deficit of $643,000 (£413,000/€514,000) the previous year.

The report says: "The cash reserves used to cover deficits are depleting.

"The result of this is that income will have to increase or activities will have to be reduced, since WADA's unallocated cash reserve will not meet deficits beyond the next 30 months."

The bulk of WADA's nearly $29 million (£18 million/€23 million) in annual income comes from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the one hand and public authorities/Governments on the other.

Persuading Governments of the need to increase contributions in the current fiscal climate is unlikely to be easy.

Then again, there is every indication that doping remains a major problem in sport, with one blood doping expert recently stating that he thinks it is "unlikely" that doped athletes will not claim medals at London 2012.

The report shows that while travel and personnel costs rose in 2011, most other expenditure items were down from year-earlier levels.

Research grants fell by more than $1million (£636,000/€791,000) to around $4.9 million (£3.1 million/€3.9 million), testing fees dropped from $1.62 million (£1.03 million/€1.28) to $1.44 million (916,000/€1.14million) and information/communication expenses were chopped from $300,000 (£191,000/€237,000) to just $179,500 (£114,000/€142,000).

Salaries and other personnel costs rose from $8.6 million (£5.4 million/€6.8 million) to $9.44 million (£6 million/€7.5 million).

This partly reflected an increase from 57 to 63 in the number of people employed.

This puts the average cost per employee at a touch under $150,000 (£95,000/€119,000), although social charges and other benefits make up more than 40 per cent of the overall personnel cost figure.

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