SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- The world's top anti-doping body has declared North Korea "non-compliant" with its code, a decision that will limit opportunities for the country's athletes to compete at international events.
The Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced its decision with a statement on its website, dated Wednesday (local time). It said the non-compliant status with the World Anti-Doping Code is effective immediately.
At its Executive Committee meeting on Sept. 20 last year, WADA said it would declare North Korean non-compliant if it didn't address its problems related to the implementation of its testing program within four months.
The deadline passed on Jan. 21 this year without any action from North Korea. WADA said it sent North Korea's anti-doping committee a formal notice of non-compliance.
The North had 21 days in which to appeal the decision, but WADA said the country didn't dispute its assertion of non-compliance, making the formal notice final.
As a consequence, North Korea's anti-doping body will lose its WADA privileges until reinstatement, including WADA funding related to the development of anti-doping activities or participation in anti-doping programs.
Activities by the North Korean anti-doping committee will now be monitored by an approved third party. And that independent party will pay up to six visits a year to North Korea, all at the country's expense.
"Throughout this process, WADA will continue to provide guidance and support to (North Korea's) anti-doping committee to solve its non-conformities," WADA said.
WADA added it has been informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that this issue will be discussed during the IOC's meeting with the two Koreas at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday.