World Anti-Doping Agency headquarters staying in Montreal until at least 2021
WADA director general Olivier Niggli delivers his speech during the opening day of the 2017 WADA annual symposium, at the Swiss Tech Convention Center, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday, March 13, 2017. The World Anti-Doping Agency says it is keeping its headquarters in Montreal until at least 2021. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP).
MONTREAL — The World Anti-Doping Agency says it is keeping its headquarters in Montreal until at least 2021.
WADA director general Olivier Niggli made the announcement in Lausanne on Tuesday.
There had been rumours the headquarters would move to Europe to be closer to those of the International Olympic Committee.
But WADA spokesman Ben Nichols said the anti-doping agency has a lease in Montreal that runs until 2021.
Discussion about the whereabouts of the headquarters beyond then is pure speculation, he said.
“We’re very happy to have been based in Montreal for many years now,” Nichols said.
“We have a lease that runs until 2020-21. We understand the concerns from the local authorities and find it encouraging that they wish for the agency to remain in Montreal.”
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who as the federal secretery of state for amateur sport helped bring WADA to the city, welcomed Tuesday’s announcement.
“I think it’s great news,” he told reporters.
Montreal La Presse reported last November that Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, a member of the International Olympic Committee, had demanded that WADA’s headquarters be relocated.
“When I reacted (last year), something was in the works,” Coderre said. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. A lot of people called me back then to say something was going on.”
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