Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) outlined its investigation approach regarding the recent doping allegations in relation to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which were published by CBS 60 Minutes and The New York Times on 8 and 12 May respectively. 60 Minutes featured allegations of doping misconduct by Russian athletes and entourage members at the Sochi Games; while, The New York Times article alleged that dozens of Russian athletes at the Games, including at least 15 medal winners, were part of a state-run doping program, according to the director of the country’s anti-doping laboratory at the time, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov.
“WADA is fully committed to investigating these additional allegations that were exposed by 60 Minutes and The New York Times; and, to publicly reporting its findings,” said Craig Reedie, President of WADA. “WADA has tackled this investigative work as a matter of priority for clean sport,” Reedie continued. “Today, we are outlining our approach and what can be expected by stakeholders going forward.”
According to 60 Minutes and The New York Times, Dr. Rodchenkov revealed that samples were manipulated during the Sochi Games by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), which enabled Russian athletes to dope and not be caught. Dr. Rodchenkov — along with American filmmaker, Bryan Fogel, who is working on a documentary that involves Dr. Rodchenkov — has publicly offered to cooperate with WADA’s investigation into these allegations by sharing all existing evidence that he possesses. Although there is no current suggestion that the Sochi laboratory allegations extended to the Moscow laboratory, WADA will inquire as part of its investigation.
Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “requested WADA to initiate a fully-fledged investigation into allegations that testing at the Sochi Laboratory was subverted. The IOC for its part will instruct the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory, where the Sochi samples are stored for ten years, to proceed in cooperation with WADA with their analysis in the most sophisticated and efficient way possible. Also, the IOC has already requested the Russian Olympic Committee to undertake all efforts to ensure the full cooperation of the Russian side in the WADA investigation. The IOC has put its Medical and Scientific Director, who himself is an Olympic Champion, at the disposal of the WADA investigation. Based on the result of this investigation the IOC will take swift action.”
“We thank the IOC for committing to full cooperation with the investigation; particularly, as it relates to the Sochi Games samples,” said Reedie. “Upon completion of the investigation, WADA will publish a full report and make available all pertinent evidence that would have been gathered.”
The Investigation Team will be led by WADA’s Investigations Manager, Mathieu Holz, who is a former Major of the French Gendarmerie and INTERPOL Agent. Mr. Holz will form a multi-disciplinary team of experts that will include leading independent scientists such as the Director of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Professor Christiane Ayotte.
Mathieu Holz will report to WADA’s Director General, David Howman; and, WADA’s Chief Operating Officer and Incoming Director General, Olivier Niggli. WADA will liaise with all its stakeholders; in particular, International Federations, if any evidence indicates that a disciplinary process would need to be instigated within their respective jurisdiction.
On 9 May, Mathieu Holz wrote Russian whistleblower, Vitaly Stepanov, to request a copy of the fifteen hour Skype recording that Mr. Stepanov referenced containing conversations between him and Dr. Rodchenkov. To date, Mr. Holz has not received an answer from Mr. Stepanov. Subsequently, WADA also wrote Dr. Rodchenkov to offer that WADA representatives travel immediately to Los Angeles to meet with him and Bryan Fogel. The request was acknowledged by Mr. Fogel and WADA is awaiting a proposed meeting date.
• This media release was originally published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 17 May 2016. To access the original, please click here.
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