Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
• Athlete leaders cite earlier concerns raised over independence and transparency
• Additional information reveals several high-profile WADA Executive Committee members declined to participate in investigation citing concerns related to lack independence and no confidence in process
Today, Beckie Scott and Edwin Moses expressed their extreme disappointment in the report released today by The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) through their appointed law firm, Covington & Burling LLP, whitewashing complaints of harassment and intimidation. Despite both complainants and numerous witnesses declining to cooperate with the investigation due to concerns over independence and the manner in which the investigation was conducted, WADA proceeded with its investigation, without credibly addressing these concerns.
Ben Chew of Brown Rudnick, lawyer for both Ms. Scott and Mr. Moses, stated, “WADA is supposed to be committed to the athletes and fair play. Yet when Dr. Moses and Ms. Scott showed the courage to step forward and try to speak their truth in order to achieve reform, transparency and accountability, WADA made it impracticable.”
Bizarrely, when WADA concluded its first investigation into complaints of harassment and intimidation, released in November 2018, a similar tactic — whereby findings of the investigation were summarized and published without having conducted any interviews — was employed. The lack of due process, transparency and independence of both reports suggest a pattern of whitewashing and disdain for natural justice.
It has also emerged that a number of individuals approached to participate in the investigation declined to participate, citing similar concerns around lack of independence and rigour of process. Covington’s refusal to provide basic information such as scope, terms of reference and reporting protocols gave witnesses little confidence that the investigation was being conducted in a truly independent and objective manner.
These people include:
• Linda Hofstad Helleland, WADA Vice President
• Chiel Warners, WADA Athlete Committee Member
• Clayton Cosgrove, WADA Foundation Member and former Executive Committee Member
• Rune Andersen, International Anti-Doping Expert, from Norway
On 26 April 2019, Ben Chew of Brown Rudnick, legal Counsel for Ms. Scott and Dr. Moses, advised WADA that the reasons for their client’s withdrawal included the following:
1) The clear conflict of interest with the law firm commissioned to conduct the investigation given the firm’s long-standing client relationship with WADA, in addition to their current representation of WADA in a lawsuit involving a Russian sports agent.
2) The investigation has no terms of reference, scope, reporting requirements or public disclosure protocols.
3) A flawed and bizarrely sequenced process that has seen witness interviews conducted before hearing from Ms. Scott and Dr. Moses in order to understand the complaints.
Lawyers for Ms. Scott and Dr. Moses raised the above critical concerns throughout correspondence with WADA and its counsel over a six-month period beginning in November 2018. Not one concern was given a satisfactory response, in fact the concerns were cast aside.
As a result, and on advice from legal counsel, Ms. Scott and Dr. Moses declined participation in what they described as a “fatally flawed” process, the outcome of which could not be regarded as impartial or as having integrity or credibility. Dr. Moses and Ms. Scott will continue in their respective roles as Chairs of the WADA Athlete Committee (Scott) and the WADA Education Committee (Moses) and remain committed to fulfilling their mandate to work on behalf of athletes and their right to clean, fair, doping-free sport.
• This media release was sent via email on 16 May 2019
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