Press releases 8th January 2019

Response to Open Letter from Sebastian Samuelsson

Dear Mr Samuelsson;

Thank you for your letter of 7 January 2019. I am sorry you think it appropriate to accuse me/the CRC of lacking principles, of being unethical, and of being dishonest. I don’t think those accusations are justified.

I agree that Russian doping is an enormous scandal. That is why I helped the IAAF and IPC take strong action to sanction it, then successfully defended that action at CAS.

I also agree that the absolute priority is to protect clean athletes from cheating. The only way to prove who has been cheated is to get the data.

I don’t agree with your criticism of the CRC’s recommendation in September to reinstate RUSADA, subject to two ‘Critical’ post-reinstatement conditions. We didn’t ‘secretly move the goalposts’. We did in September exactly what we had said in June (unanimously) that we would do. And doing that is what has got us all to a position where the Russian authorities either have to produce the data or face a ban.

You want an immediate ban. The CRC wants the data, or else a ban that will stand up in court. I have explained why an immediate ban would be subject to challenge for lack of due process/unequal treatment. That is not ‘seeking legal loopholes and excuses that most see as aiding the cheats’. It is about making sure that any ban stands up in court. I assume you would want that too.

If the data are provided, it will be up to the relevant anti-doping organisations to take appropriate action. I know, for example, that the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit is very anxious to get the data relating to track & field athletes, so it can do just that. If anyone fails to take the necessary follow-up action, they can and should be held to account.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Taylor QC
Chair, WADA Compliance Review Committee

• This Letter of Response, a copy of which is held by The Sports Integrity Initiative, was published on 8 January. It was written in response to a 7 January letter from Sebastian Samuelsson, which was written in response to a reply from Jonathan Taylor to a 3 January Open Letter.

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