Jakarta. One of the main issues between Indonesian sports authorities and the World Anti-Doping Agency has been unpaid laboratory cost that was immediately settled by the government following public uproar during the Thomas Cup tournament earlier this month.
Indonesia won the major men’s team badminton championship in Denmark but the red and white flag was not raised during the trophy presentation due to sanction from WADA, triggering public outrage at home.
An Indonesian Anti-Doping Agency (LADI) official said over the weekend the country has failed to pay the annual cost to WADA’s doping analysis laboratory in Qatar since 2017, totaling $21,220.
The debt was repaid immediately after the Thomas Cup but it was only a part of 24 “pending matters” that led to WADA’s sanction, said Rheza Maulana, the agency’s deputy chairman.
He blamed the previous management for causing the current problems with WADA, adding that his team only became aware of them after reviewing the MoU with the Qatar laboratory.
"Our debt to the doping analysis laboratory in Qatar has been paid off but the investigation is underway to find out why we didn’t pay the annual cost," Rheza said.
"We are working to improve LADI and make the agency more professional and independent. Right now we have an additional task of getting WADA’s sanctions lifted and making sure that the red and white flag can fly at international events,” he added.
The Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry has set a special task force led by National Olympic Committee Raja Sapta Oktohari to deal with the issue.
He has recently met with WADA President Witold Banka in Greece to reiterate Indonesia’s commitment to complying with the world anti-doping code and making corrective actions.
“In response, WADA said once we reach full compliance they will meet again and take appropriate actions for Indonesia,” Raja said upon his arrival in Indonesia.
Indonesia is sanctioned by the WADA for being non-compliant with the anti-doping code. According to the WADA website, the non-compliance “is a result of non-conformities in implementing an effective testing program” for 2020 and 2021.
In mid-September, Indonesia was given 21 days to clarify problems about its testing program to WADA, or the country is banned from hosting international sports events and from raising its national flag during overseas competitions.