POSTED: May 20th 2016

WADA outlines investigation approach into Sochi allegations

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Following the recent doping allegations in relation to the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has outlined their investigation approach into the claims that were published by CBS 60 Minutes and The New York Times.

In the 60 Minutes report, doping misconduct by entourage members and Russian athletes at the Sochi Games were alleged. While The New York Times wrote an article that alleged Russian athletes were a part of a state-run doping program. The article included 15 medal winners in their list of Russian athletes that were involved in the program. This was according to information provided by Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov who was, at the time, the director of the country's anti-doping laboratory. Even though there has been no suggestion that allegations extend to the Moscow laboratory, WADA will still inquire.

"WADA is fully committed to investigating these additional allegations that were exposed by 60 Minutes and The New York Times; and, to publicly reporting its findings," expressed President of WADA, Craig Reedie.

He added, "WADA has tackled this investigative work as a matter of priority for clean sport."

"Today, we are outlining our approach and what can be expected by stakeholders going forward," commented WADA President Reedie.

It was revealed by Dr. Rodchenkov that samples obtained during the Sochi Games were manipulated by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), which allowed Russian athletes to dope without being caught. American filmmaker, Bryan Fogel, who is currently making a documentary that involves Dr. Rodchenkov has publicly offered to cooperate with WADA's ongoing investigation. Also, Dr. Rodchenkov has offered to share all the evidence he possesses with WADA.

In addition, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has, "requested WADA to initiate a fully-fledged investigation into allegations that testing at the Sochi Laboratory was subverted. The IOC for its part will instruct the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory, where the Sochi samples are stored for ten years, to proceed in cooperation with WADA with their analysis in the most sophisticated and efficient way possible. Also, the IOC has already requested the Russian Olympic Committee to undertake all efforts to ensure the full cooperation of the Russian side in the WADA investigation. The IOC has put its Medical and Scientific Director, who himself is an Olympic Champion, at the disposal of the WADA investigation. Based on the result of this investigation the IOC will take swift action." 

WADA President Reedie stated, "We thank the IOC for committing to full cooperation with the investigation; particularly, as it relates to the Sochi Games samples."

He went on to say, "Upon completion of the investigation, WADA will publish a full report and make available all pertinent evidence that would have been gathered."

WADA's Investigations Manager, Mathieu Holz will lead the Investigation Team. Holz is a former INTERPOL Agent and Major of the French Gendarmerie. He will put together a multi-disciplinary team of experts, including leading independent scientists like Christiane Ayotte, Director of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal. Holz will report all findings to WADA's Chief Operating Officer and Incoming Director General, Olivier Niggli and WADA's Director General, David Howman.

To date, Holz has written to Vitaly Stepanov, the Russian whistleblower, requesting a copy of the Skype recording that contains conversations between him and Dr. Rodchenkov. Stepanov has yet to respond. Also, WADA has requested a meeting with Fogel and Dr. Rodchenkov. Fogel has acknowledged the request and WADA is awaiting a meeting date proposal.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · WADA · Russian doping · Sochi · Sochi Olympics · IOC · doping · Russia doping

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