Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomes the second Report issued today by WADA’s Independent Commission into doping in international athletics. Specifically, the Report details the Commission’s findings on matters of a criminal nature that were contrary to the World Anti-Doping Code. The Report also explores allegations concerning the “leaked database” belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which contains more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012.
In its findings, the Independent Commission discovered behaviour at the IAAF that began with breaches of anti-doping rules and extended to criminal acts of conspiracy, corruption and bribery within the organization’s leadership. WADA is alarmed that this ultimately allowed doped athletes to evade punishment and sanctioning for a long period of time.
“It is hugely disturbing that individuals at the highest levels of the IAAF were abetting and covering up doping for their own financial gain,” said WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie.
“This flagrant disregard for the law and anti-doping rules undermines trust amongst clean athletes, and indeed the public, worldwide. Given their criminal nature, the actions of these individuals are now in the hands of the French justice system,” added Reedie.
The Report found that individuals at the governing body extorted athletes of money in exchange for covering up doping results — actions that ultimately kept athletes in competition that should have been sanctioned for doping.
Beyond anti-doping, the Report contains a number of important recommendations relating to governance and reform, which the IAAF should carry out to ensure that safeguards are put in place so that such actions cannot occur in the future. The Commission did not recommend, however, that the IAAF’s actions should lead to a declaration of their non-compliance by WADA. In fact, the Report states that the IAAF was among the most active Anti-Doping Organizations in the field.
In examining the leaked database – as first reported by German and British media in August 2015 – the Commission confirmed WADA’s view that the database was incomplete; and that, the “suspicious blood values” could not be considered as instances of doping.
“I would like to thank the courageous whistle-blowers and investigative journalists who brought this information to WADA; and, in turn, I would like to commend the Independent Commission for its thorough and impactful work of the past year,” said Reedie. “It is now important that the IAAF, under the leadership of Sebastian Coe, adopts the recommendations of the Report in full. For our part, WADA looks forward to working alongside the IAAF to strengthen its anti-doping activities and regain the confidence of its clean athletes worldwide.”
• This media release was originally published on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) internet site on 14 January 2016. To access the original, please click here.
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