Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed today that it has taken immediate action on key recommendations made by WADA’s 9 November Independent Commission Report. Specifically, on 10 November, WADA:
• Provisionally suspended the Moscow Laboratory and set up a disciplinary committee.
• Recommended to the Russian Ministry of Sport that the Moscow Laboratory Director, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, be permanently removed from his position. Dr. Rodchenkov immediately resigned.
• Requested the IAAF to declare its member organization, the All Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF), non-compliant. Today, the Council of the IAAF has provisionally suspended the ARAF as an IAAF Member with immediate effect.
• Initiated the process to assess the compliance of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) – the result of which will be considered by WADA’s Foundation Board on 18 November.
“WADA has acted quickly and firmly to the key recommendations outlined in the Independent Commission’s Report,” said Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President. “These are all necessary and powerful actions that will effect positive change for clean sport,” he continued. “We recognize however that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that, to truly tackle the scourge of doping, the anti-doping community must further improve the approach that has been employed to date; and, above all, the resources that are attributed to it.”
“WADA welcomes the momentum and stakeholder opinion that the Report is generating, which is constructively focused on protecting the clean athlete,” Reedie said. “While the Report recognizes WADA’s achievements over the past 16 years, it also rightly and clearly points out areas for improvement; in particular, regarding the compliance of National Anti-Doping Organizations and sports”, he continued. “There is no question that in its first 16 years WADA has punched well above its weight. However, what has been evident this week, and indeed encouraging, is to see the Independent Commission, WADA and its stakeholders united in the belief that the Agency is up to the challenge but requires greater resources.”
There are numerous other recommendations within the Report that WADA will discuss at its Executive Committee and Foundation Board meetings next week. As a matter of priority, the Agency will look at: strengthening its independent compliance and regulatory function that was implemented through the Independent Compliance Review Committee earlier this year; sufficiently resourcing its international investigations unit; and, enhancing its whistleblowing process so as to encourage, and offer greater protection to, anonymous sources that may be willing to come forward with valuable information.
In its Report, the Commission found that there was a systematic level of doping that had been perpetuated in part by unscrupulous athlete support personnel in Russia. The Commission cited a level of state influence in its findings, though it also expressly mentioned that Russia and athletics were not alone in their involvement with orchestrated doping in sport.
The Report points out that, 16 years since WADA’s formation, there’s been more than enough time for anti-doping organizations to develop compliant programs; and that, failure to do so, amounts to indifference to the protection of clean athletes.
About the WADA Independent Commission (IC)
On 11 December 2014, WADA launched the Independent Commission (IC) to investigate the validity of allegations of doping practices; corrupt practices around sample collection and results management; and, other ineffective administration of anti-doping processes that implicate Russia, the IAAF, athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and other members of athletes’ entourages; as well as, the accredited laboratory based in Moscow and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). As per the terms of its mandate, the IC was scheduled to deliver its report to WADA’s President Sir Craig Reedie by 31 December 2015.
The role of the IC was extended by WADA in August 2015 following the release of the documentary titled ‘Doping – Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics’, which contained new allegations regarding widespread doping in international athletics. The documentary alleged that ARD and The Sunday Times obtained a leaked database, belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012.
The IC has not yet reported on its findings from the August allegations, nor those portions relating to matters now under police investigation, because its investigation into these particular allegations is still ongoing. The IC expects to report on these findings before the end of the year.
• This media release was originally published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 13 November 2015. To access the original, please click here.
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