World Anti-Doping Agency removes N. Korea from list of non-compliant countries

Samuel Wilson, Aug. 1, 2019, 9:19 a.m.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has removed North Korea from a list of non-compliant countries. The North's own anti-doping program apparently regained the trust of the global agency.

WADA said its decision stems from a recommendation by its Compliance Review Committee.

The agency said in September last year that it found evidence of violations in North Korea's anti-doping program and warned the North that it has four months to rectify procedures or be classified as a non-compliant country. WADA did not specify what the violations were.

North Korea did not respond to WADA's warning and was categorized as non-compliant on Feb. 13 and stripped of its WADA membership, making it no longer eligible to host or compete in international sporting events.

That led to projections that North Korean athletes would not compete in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, which would scupper hopes to field a unified team with South Korea.

But North Korea got help from China to regain its WADA membership. WADA said North Korea "has implemented corrective measures required to address its non-compliance in cooperation with the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency."

It added that the North "continues to work with CHINADA and WADA to further enhance its program."

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