The trouble with Ostarine: Jimmy Wallhead’s
16th March 2018
Günter Younger, Director of Intelligence and Investigations for the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA), told its Executive Committee that his Department is covering less than 20% of cases referred to it, compared to the 12% outlined in an April 2018 audit. WADA has clarified that this doesn’t mean that doping cases are not being followed up, as most are referred back to national anti-doping agencies or sporting bodies to process.
An April 2018 annual audit of Younger’s Department (PDF below) revealed that it was able to process 12% of cases referred to it, but the remaining 88% of cases do not ‘consist exclusively of cases that should ideally be processed centrally’. While it outlines that many of these cases ‘can and must be processed by the International Federations and National Anti-Doping Organisations’, it also warns that ‘given the necessary prioritisation due to lack resources, the Department (and, by extension, WADA) runs the risk of being accused of focusing arbitrarily on predetermined targets’. It warns that ‘the organisation’s very credibility is at stake’.
On 20 September, Younger told WADA’s Executive Committee meeting in The Seychelles that his department is covering under 20% of cases referred to it. In the meeting Minutes (PDF below), Younger outlines that the mandate of his department could not be extended to cover match-fixing, as ‘at current staffing levels, WADA was covering less than 20% of reported doping cases’.
On 21 September, WADA published an 36-page document entitled ‘Progress of the Anti-Doping System in Light of the Russian Doping Crisis’ (PDF below). It details that at the end of 2017, Younger’s department had run one long-term project; ten sophisticated cases; one global operation in partnership with Interpol; and had received 214 cases, with ‘the majority having been sent to ADOs (anti-doping organisations) to follow up’. It said that the majority of these had come through WADA’s Speak Up! whistleblower programme, launched in May 2017, which had resulted in 209 reports by the end that year.
The 21 September document outlines that Younger’s Department has seven staff, and the April audit recommends the hiring of an additional staff member. On 28 November last year, WADA advertised that it is seeking to recruit an additional member of the Department. It is therefore unclear how the apparent improvement in the number of cases it is able to process has happened.
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