India contributes $1m towards WADA's research efforts

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NEW DELHI: India has pledged $1 million to the World Anti-Doping Agency towards WADA's scientific research budget, which will allow the agency to develop innovative anti-doping testing and detection methods. 

The money will also be used to further strengthen WADA's independent Investigations and Intelligence Department.

India's contribution of $1 million is the highest among contributions made by other world governments including China, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The total contribution of all member nations will be matched by an equal sum by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to create a corpus of $10 million. The decision to build this corpus was made at WADA's Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport held in Katowice, Poland in 2019. This contribution is over and above the annual contribution made to WADA's core budget by India.

Writing to WADA president Witold Banka of the contribution, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said: "I am happy to share with you that the Government of India is pledging a "one-off" financial support of USD 1 million to this WADA Fund for scientific R&D and (I&I) with the hope that this contribution from India will boost the efforts to achieve the target of USD 10 million for this fund."

In a previous meeting with the WADA president, held on September 8 through video conference, Rijiju had stressed on the need for clean sport and the Indian government's commitment to strengthen the anti-doping programme globally. He had also assured India's support to WADA in the form of scientific expertise and resources.

Lauding the co-operation of member countries, WADA president Banka. in a press release. said: "This is a massive boost for WADA and for Clean Sport. The agency is grateful to the Government of China, Egypt, India and Saudi Arabia for supporting the protection of sport in this way."

"These generous contributions can be seen as a strong commitment from these nations and will be put to good use enhancing scientific research, as well as the work of WADA's independent (I&I) department. Both areas have delivered significant achievements in recent years and these additional resources will contribute greatly towards WADA's mission for doping-free sport," he added.