This independent commission of the AFLD explains having received, via the AFLD, a letter from the world anti-doping gendarme which "enjoins it to modify its behavior in the future under penalty of initiating a procedure of +non-compliance + with regard to the French agency, which could lead to sanctions against the France," according to a statement sent to AFP.

The commission has "taken note with astonishment of this unlikely attempt at pressure," she said.

In a letter dated July 28, the Montreal-based WADA refers to three recent decisions of the commission and accuses it of "not having been severe enough". WADA accuses him of taking "decisions +manifestly not in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the jurisprudence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport+", according to the statement.

Eleven months before the Paris Olympics, "this is a real blackmail since the world agency threatens to initiate a procedure that could lead to the prohibition for French athletes to participate in certain international competitions, including the Olympic Games, and the ban for the France to host such competitions," the statement added.

WADA may decide on non-compliance with the application of the Anti-Doping Code or the establishment of an anti-doping program. For example, the Gabonese National Committee for the Fight and Prevention of Doping has been declared non-compliant since November 18, 2022, in connection with the implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code.

Since 2018, the French anti-doping justice has been split in two with on one side the AFLD, which controls, conducts investigations and proposes sanctions for athletes suspected of having doped. But it is then the sanctions commission, an independent body of the AFLD and composed of eleven members, chaired by a State Councilor, which judges these cases and pronounces sanctions.

Since its creation, "the Sanctions Committee has taken several hundred decisions. WADA did not challenge any of them. Instead of taking the legal route by filing an appeal with the Council of State, she suddenly tries to rudely interfere in the functioning of the commission, "continues this commission, which applies the code of sport and the jurisprudence of the Council of State.

© 2023 AFP