Home Australia ‘WADA’s reputation is under attack’: Independent review to look into handling of Chinese swimmers’ positive doping tests

‘WADA’s reputation is under attack’: Independent review to look into handling of Chinese swimmers’ positive doping tests

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'WADA's reputation is under attack': Independent review to look into handling of Chinese swimmers' positive doping tests

The questioned World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has launched an independent review into its handling of a case that allowed 23 Chinese swimmers who tested positive for a banned substance to avoid punishment.

The investigation will be led by Swiss prosecutor Eric Cottier, who according to WADA will have access to all files and documents related to the case and will be free to consult independent experts.

Cottier will begin his work in the coming days and is expected to present his findings within two months.

“The integrity and reputation of WADA is under attack,” WADA president Witold Banka said in a statement.

“In recent days, WADA has been unfairly accused of bias in favor of China by not appealing the CHINADA case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“We continue to reject the false accusations and are pleased to be able to put these matters in the hands of an experienced, respected and independent prosecutor.”

Calls for an independent investigation have grown since a New York Times report on Saturday said 23 Chinese swimmers had tested positive for the banned drug trimetazidine (TMZ) months before the COVID-delayed Tokyo Olympics. in July 2021.

The swimmers avoided sanctions after an investigation by Chinese authorities determined that the adverse analytical findings, or AAF, were the result of being inadvertently exposed to the drug through contamination.

A report determined that all of the swimmers who tested positive were staying at the same hotel where traces of trimetazidine (TMZ), which is found in heart medications, were discovered in the kitchen.

WADA has defended its handling of the case, saying it had no evidence to challenge China’s conclusions and that outside counsel had advised against appealing.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has led the call for an independent investigation, along with a review of WADA to restore confidence in the global body ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

USADA chief Travis Tygart accused WADA of being involved in a “potential cover-up” and the world anti-doping body responded by threatening legal action.

In addition to the independent prosecutor, WADA said it would send a compliance audit team to China to assess the status of its anti-doping program and invite independent auditors from the broader anti-doping community to join the mission.

“While not a shred of evidence has been presented to support any of the allegations made against WADA, we wish to address the matter as quickly and thoroughly as possible so that it is properly handled prior to the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. Games “said WADA Director General Olivier Niggli.

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