Tunisia and the Anti-Doping Agency…dangerous developments that portend the worst

The “Cold War” between Tunisia and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is likely to flare up, after serious developments emerged, sparked by the agency’s reaction to a Tunisian “sovereign” decision, which was taken following the visit of the country’s president, Kais Saied, to the Radès swimming pool, which witnessed the flag-hiding incident. Famous.

The incident of blocking the national flag occurred during an international sports competition Swimming At the Brades Olympic Pool, in implementation of WADA sanctions, which previously confirmed Tunisia’s non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

In response to this incident, the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced the dismissal of the Director General of the National Anti-Doping Agency and the Regional Representative for Youth and Sports in Ben Arous Governorate, as well as the dissolution of the Tunisian Swimming Federation office, and the appointment of a temporary office.

Tunisia receives a “threat” from the anti-doping agency “WADA”

The consequences of the incident of blocking the world did not stop at dismissals only, but also included arrests, as the Public Prosecution Office at the Court of First Instance in the Ben Arous Governorate in Tunisia authorized the agents of the Central Anti-Crime Division of the National Guard to place the Chairman of the Swimming Board of Directors, and a prominent employee of the National Anti-Doping Agency, under arrest. Pretrial detention pending judicial investigation.

A strict government decision aroused the ire of the international agency, which reacted to the issue with a “threatening” response, demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the detainees in the case.

The incident of blocking the Tunisian flag in a swimming tournament at the Radès swimming pool, in compliance with the sanctions of the World Anti-Doping Agency, caused widespread anger in Tunisia, requiring direct intervention from the President of the Republic. Republic of Tunisia Kais Saied.

In its first response to the incident, the World Anti-Doping Agency expressed its “deep concern” over the arrest of the director of the Tunisian Anti-Doping Agency, calling for his “immediate and unconditional release.”

This case erupted after the Tunisian flag was hidden with a piece of cloth during the Tunisian Masters Swimming Championship, in accordance with the sanctions of the World Anti-Doping Agency.WadaTunisian President Kais Saied ordered the dissolution of the Swimming Federation office, and the dismissal of officials, including the Director General of the National Anti-Doping Agency, after he made an “angry” visit to the swimming pool on Friday evening.

President of the Republic of Tunisia Kais Saied (facebook / Présidence Tunisie)

In statements reported by Agence France-Presse, the spokesman for the Ben Arous Prosecution, Mohamed Sadouk Jouini, explained that a total of nine people are being pursued in this case, including the two officials who have been arrested since Saturday, while seven other people were invited, on Monday, to appear before this prosecution located south of Tunis. .

The suspects face charges of “conspiracy against the internal security” of the state, “forming an (organized) gang to commit attacks and cause chaos,” and “harming the Tunisian flag,” Jouini added.

But the World Anti-Doping Agency, which is based in Montreal, Canada, regretted the suspensions “given the excellent progress that has been made,” with the aim of bringing Tunisia back into compliance with international anti-doping laws, indicating the possibility of lifting the imposed sanctions “in the near future.”

It is worth noting that the sanctions imposed by WADA on Tunisia, which is preparing to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics, included not allowing the country’s flag to be raised in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, until it returns to the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Agency, in addition to not hosting regional, continental or national championships. International.

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