POSTED: May 21st 2016

Richard McLaren named to Sochi Investigation team by WADA

(L-R) Richard McLaren, Richard Pound, and Gunter Younger © WADA
(L-R) Richard McLaren, Richard Pound, and Gunter Younger © WADA

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Professor Richard McLaren has been appointed as the independent person heading World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)'s Sochi investigation by WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie. Allegations were published by CBS 60 Minutes and The New York Times in relations to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

McLaren is a longstanding member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and brings vast experience from the world of international sports law. He was also a part of WADA's Independent Commission that was led by founding WADA President, Richard Pound. The Commission exposed the widespread doping that was being done by Russian Athletics.

McLaren will work on his own with support from WADA's multi-disciplinary team led by WADA's Investigation Manager, Mathieu Holz as they both investigate the 2014 Games.

This appointment comes following requests received by whistleblower, Vitaly Stepanov and former director of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov. The two expressed concerns regarding the independence of the investigation as WADA is funded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the allegations are related to the Sochi Olympics. They said evidence in their possession would only be given to an independent person.

"WADA is grateful to Richard McLaren who has, once again, agreed to join a WADA Investigation Team," expressed President Reedie.

He added, "As President of WADA, I felt that it was in the best interest of clean athletes that we obtain the evidence as quickly as possible...Given the sentiments expressed by many of a perceived conflict of interest, we did what's necessary to follow through on our commitment to get to the bottom of these allegations; while, seeing that impartiality and transparency prevail."

Director General of WADA, David Howman stated, "With the help of Professor McLaren, we will now gather and review all evidence to determine if there have been any violations of anti-doping rules, or any other rules or laws."

"Once the investigation is concluded, WADA will publish a full report and make available all pertinent evidence...If it is found that there have been violations of the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA will ensure that individuals or organizations concerned are dealt with in an appropriate fashion," commented Howman.

** 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 · IOC · Sochi · Sochi Olympics · doping

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