On Friday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) warned the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) of 'consequences' for allowing North Korea to fly its flag at the ongoing Asian Games in China.1
In 2021, WADA declared North Korea's National Anti-Doping Organization 'non-compliant' and banned the country's flag at any regional, continental, or world sporting event — excluding the Olympics and Paralympics.2
Despite the sanctions, North Korea carried the flag at the Asian Games opening ceremony on Sept. 23 and has repeatedly hoisted it every time its athletes win medals.3
WADA is reportedly considering a range of penalties for the OCA, including withdrawing International Olympic Committee funding.4
Meanwhile, the OCA has said that North Korea had written to WADA 'explaining their position' and that everyone should 'have the opportunity to participate.'5
WADA had sanctioned North Korea when international testing authorities couldn't enter the country following border closures post-COVID. Pyongyang recently reopened its borders and allowed the Agency to collect samples.1
Narrative A, as provided by The standard. It's unfair to threaten the OCA for violating sanctions imposed on North Korea through the pandemic. If the country is attending the Games and winning medals, its players have every right to celebrate the feat. North Korea's long hiatus from the global sporting stage must end.
Narrative B, as provided by Al Jazeera. WADA must continue sanctioning North Korea as Pyongyang has failed to implement an effective testing program and is still not fully compliant with its anti-doping code. The OCA must also be penalized for its failure to enforce its sanction.