The French anti-doping body’s disciplinary commission on Tuesday denounced what it termed “an attempt at pressure” by the World Anti-Doping Agency which has accused it of leniency.
The AFLD’s disciplinary commission says it has received a letter from WADA “ordering it to change its behaviour” or risk triggering a non-compliance procedure and possible sanctions, according to a statement sent to AFP.
The commission said it had “learned with amazement of this incredible attempt at pressure”.
In a letter last month WADA, world sport’s global doping policeman based in Montreal, identified three recent cases where it criticised the AFLD of “not being tough enough”.
WADA accused the French agency of taking decisions “clearly not conforming either to the world anti-doping code or to the case law of the Court of Arbitration for Sport”.
With the Paris-based Olympics just 11 months away the AFLD statement accused WADA of “real blackmail”.
“It is threatening to initiate proceedings which could result in French athletes being banned from participating in certain international competitions, including the Olympic Games, and to ban France from hosting such competitions,” the statement warned.
“Since its creation the disciplinary commission has taken several hundred decisions, none of which were contested by WADA,” the statement added.
In 2018 France’s anti-doping watchdog was split into two arms.
The AFLD controls and leads inquiries and proposes punishments for the athletes suspected of doping.
But it is left to its independent disciplinary commission to oversee these inquiries and deliver the sanctions.
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