25 February 2017

WADA meets with Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) to discuss McLaren Investigation Report Part II

On 21 and 22 February 2017, representatives from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) met in Lausanne with International Federations (IFs), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and IF umbrella organizations [Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs)] to discuss follow-up on the independent McLaren Investigation Report Part II, which was issued on 9 December 2016. Part II of the Report reconfirmed institutionalized manipulation of the doping control process in Russia, which was first exposed via Report I released on 18 July 2016; and, identified a number of Russian athletes that may have benefited from such manipulation. Part II of the Report was accompanied by an Evidentiary Disclosure Package (EDP) Website, which contains non-confidential evidence that the Investigation team examined.

WADA’s objective for the Lausanne Meeting was to assist ADOs in finding all available evidence on the EDP website; and, deciding whether, and to what extent, Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) may be pursued, or not, under the anti-doping rules and regulations of the respective ADOs against athletes implicated by Part II of the Report. During the Meeting, WADA representatives took attendees through the following range of topics; and this, after having met with Professor McLaren and his team the week prior to ensure that WADA was fully apprised and able to best help ADOs with their Results Management:

  • The Evidence Disclosure Package (EDP) website to better understand the pieces of evidence;
  • How to exhaustively search the EDP website;
  • The ADRVs that could potentially be pursued, i.e., tampering or use;
  • Case studies drawn from Report Part II; and
  • Information regarding additional evidence that could be uncovered through further investigations.

WADA’s representatives also reinforced the following points:

  • The McLaren Investigation was initiated to determine what evidence there might be about the existence of an institutionalized process in Russia to manipulate doping control procedures and reporting; and, to identify any athlete that might have benefited from or been involved in the alleged manipulation to conceal positive doping tests. See Terms of Reference.
  • The Investigation was never intended to determine whether or not individual athletes identified had committed an ADRV.
  • The Investigation confirmed that the process operated systemically across a spectrum of sporting disciplines and throughout national and international competitions held in Russia and abroad; and that, a significant number of athletes could have benefited from, or been involved in, the alleged manipulation to conceal positive doping tests.
  • For many of the athletes identified by the McLaren Investigation, the only evidence available is what Professor McLaren could unveil.
  • Unfortunately, many samples were disposed of by the Moscow laboratory, which means that they could not be re-analyzed. As well, requests to Russian authorities by Professor McLaren for additional evidence went unanswered.
  • Together, this means that there simply may not be sufficient evidence required to sanction, with potential ADRVs, some of the individual athletes identified in the Report.

The anti-doping community must be clear on what it can and cannot achieve based on the evidence that Professor Richard McLaren was able to uncover. As per ADOs’ obligations under the World Anti-Doping Code, they shall now proceed to:

  • examine the evidence made available to them for each athlete from their respective sport or falling under their jurisdiction;
  • match the Investigation information with any information that they may have that would not have been known to the Investigation Team;
  • determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to pursue an ADRV or whether further investigation or target testing could be undertaken; and
  • inform WADA of the outcome of their work, i.e. their decisions regarding whether to pursue ADRVs or not relative to their respective athletes.

It should also be noted that as a result of the McLaren Report, the IOC initiated forensic analysis of the samples of 28 Russian athletes who competed at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and for which the McLaren Report indicated there was evidence of manipulation. In addition, information from the McLaren Report helped the IOC target its re-analysis program of samples from the 2008, 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games, which has resulted so far in sanctions against 38 Russian athletes.

WADA acknowledges that the Russian doping conspiracy, which the McLaren Investigation uncovered, has been destabilizing for most anti-doping stakeholders and extremely demanding for those that are managing its outcomes, in particular for those winter sports that are currently in the middle of their season. Accordingly, since publication of Part II of the Report, WADA has done, and will continue to do, its utmost to support ADOs with their Results Management.

• This media release was originally published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 25 February 2017. To access the original, please click here.

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