Pound seeks to shame defaulters

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New research programmes into drug testing have had to be put on hold due to the cashflow crisis afflicting the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Dick Pound, the head of WADA, revealed he has had to hold back $4m (£2.75m) earmarked for research into drugs because numerous governments have not fulfilled their funding promises.

Speaking at the International Olympic Committee session in Prague, Pound also said he would press ahead with plans to embarrass governments who had not paid. He wants the IOC to prevent the teams of countries who have not paid from marching behind their national flags at the Athens Olympics next year.

"We planned a research budget of $5m a year, but this year we have had to cut this to less than $1m," said Pound. "We actually face a cashflow crisis. I am not prepared to run WADA on a deficit basis. It's bad management and probably illegal.

"Doping is the biggest challenge faced by sport today," he added. "It is a huge concern for us. But until we get the money I am not prepared to commit it to research. It is very critical research, particularly new programmes into steroids, oxygen enhancers and even gen-etic manipulation."

The British Government paid the £380,000 it owes WADA for 2003 but many others have not, including the United States, France, Spain and Italy, leaving WADA around £6m short of their £14m annual budget. The problems have worsened with the IOC only matching the money as it comes in rather than paying its half up front.

"We will ask the IOC for measures that would embarrass the governments at Athens, such as no flags and no government accreditations for people such as the ministers of sport," said Pound.