Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), has alleged that he was told to ‘shut up’ at the May Foundation Board meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). ‘It was only in May, at WADA’s last Foundation Board meeting, that I was told bluntly by various individuals not to speak’, writes Moses in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘I was told to shut up. This would be offensive if it weren’t so puzzling: why are some officials who purport to represent clean sport trying to muzzle the interventions of others with whom they disagree at international anti-doping meetings?’
Yesterday, Athletes Canada and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) supported calls for an independent inquiry into claims by Beckie Scott, Chair of WADA’s Athlete Committee, that she was bullied during the Executive Board meeting where the decision was taken to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). The call for an inquiry was originally made by David Sharpe, Chief Executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
Moses writes that it is ‘surprising’ that WADA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have yet to indicate whether they will investigate Scott’s claims, which she said involved members of the Olympic Movement that sit on WADA’s Executive Committee. Scott outlined that there was “laughter” from such members when she read out a list of athlete committees who had produced statements protesting that RUSADA should not be reinstated. Just over two weeks later, the IOC approved its own Athletes’ Declaration on Human Rights, which was panned by player unions.
The fact that Scott gave such a presentation appears to contradict claims made in a letter, signed by WADA President Sir Craig Reedie, which argued that athletes only expressed dissatisfaction with the reinstatement of RUSADA in public. ‘WADA Athlete Committee Chair Beckie Scott, who was previously a member of the CRC, participated fully throughout the elaboration of the proposal’, read the extraordinary letter of response (PDF below) to Victoria Aggar, another member of WADA’s Athlete Committee. ‘She agreed with the recommendation that was submitted by the CRC to WADA and to Russia back in June, before being approved by the WADA ExCo. As an experienced athlete representative, Ms. Scott was intimately involved in every step of the process. You too, as a member of the WADA Athlete Committee, had the opportunity to ask questions or express dissatisfaction to the CRC Chair, Jonathan Taylor, in a conference call organized for the WADA Athlete Committee following the CRC’s recommendation. Yet dissatisfaction has only ever been conveyed publicly.’
Scott doesn’t dispute that she initially supported the decision to reinstate RUSADA, but told the BBC that she changed her mind once she understood the ramifications of the decision. Aggar told ITV that WADA’s letter of response to her public letter of concern about the reinstatement of RUSADA was “patronising”.
Aggar was also critical of WADA for failing to publicly respond to the indictment of seven officers of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) for hacking into the world’s anti-doping systems. WADA claims that it did respond through a statement to the media, which is annexed to its letter. However, The Sports Integrity Initiative understands that statement was only provided to journalists who asked WADA for comment. It also doesn’t mention Russia once.
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