We have full confidence in WADA after Chinese swimmers’ report, IOC says

The International Olympic Committee on Thursday backed the World Anti-Doping Agency following an independent report that said the global anti-doping body had not mishandled the case of 23 Chinese swimmers who had tested positive for doping.

A report on Tuesday by Swiss prosecutor and lead investigator Eric Cottier found there was nothing in the file to suggest WADA in any way favoured the 23 swimmers.

They had tested positive for trimetazidine, a medication that increases blood flow to the heart, and were cleared to compete in the Tokyo Games held in 2021 by a Chinese investigation which said they were inadvertently exposed to the drug through contamination.

“Based on this report, the IOC reaffirms its full confidence in WADA and its leadership, who have implemented a number of initiatives that have strengthened the system in recent years,” the IOC said in a statement.

“The only remaining questions are therefore procedural ones. The IOC took note of the fact that WADA has already committed to addressing any such procedural recommendations that may be included in the final report.”

The report comes just weeks before the July 26 start of the Paris Olympics.

ALSO READ | WADA made reasonable decision in China doping case despite doubts of its own scientist, says probe

A more complete report is expected in the coming weeks and could include recommendations but WADA is confident it will not change the findings in the initial summary.

“The IOC appeals to all stakeholders to respect the supreme authority of WADA in the fight against doping. This respect forms the basis on which WADA was founded by the governments of the world and the Olympic Movement,” the IOC said.

“This respect is essential for any fair international competition,” it said.

The report has drawn a stinging rebuke from anti-doping groups FairSport and Global Athlete, which called the process “inherently flawed from the outset due to its limited scope and independence”.

Cottier’s findings also did not impress WADA’s fiercest critic, United States Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart, who stepped up his attack, questioning whether the global agency was able to “sanitise” the report prior to its release.

A U.S. House of Representatives committee in May asked the Department of Justice to launch inquiries into the Chinese doping cases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *