Independent Prosecutor: WADA not biased in Chinese swimmers' contamination case

(Xinhua) 10:01, July 11, 2024

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) did not show "favoritism or deference, or in any way favoured" the 23 Chinese swimmers who tested positive for trimetazidine (TMZ) due to food contamination in 2021, an independent prosecutor report has said.

WADA held an online extraordinary Executive meeting on Tuesday in Montreal discussing the interim report delivered by Independent Prosecutor Eric Cottier, regarding his review of WADA's handling of the China Anti-Doping Agency's (CHINADA's) no-fault contamination case involving 23 swimmers from China in 2021.

In the report, Cottier concluded that WADA had been unbiased and reasonable in handling the case.

"There is nothing in the file - which is complete - to suggest that WADA showed favoritism or deference, or in any way favoured the 23 swimmers who tested positive for trimetazidine (TMZ) between 1 and 3 January 2021, when it proceeded to review CHINADA's decision to close the proceedings against them without further action," the report said.

"The Investigator did not find any evidence to suggest any interference or meddling in WADA's review, as described above, either within the Agency or externally, from any entity or institution, including CHINADA or the Chinese authorities.

"The investigation did not reveal any irregularities on the part of WADA in the review of CHINADA's decision; this review was detailed and covered all relevant issues in determining whether or not to appeal the decision," the report concluded.

As for WADA not to appeal CHINADA's decision not to bring forward Anti-Doping Rule Violations against the 23 Chinese swimmers, the report said: "All the elements taken into consideration by WADA, whether they come from the file produced by CHINADA with its decision or from the investigation procedures that it carried out, show the decision not to appeal to be reasonable, both from the point of view of the facts and the applicable rules."

"As the report captures, WADA reviewed this case with a healthy skepticism as it does in all such cases. It was very important that we set the record straight in this regard; and, in particular regarding these two fundamental questions in advance of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games," WADA president Witold Banka said.

WADA Senior Director, Science and Medicine, Olivier Rabin, said: "In this case, despite our skepticism, a thorough review of all the verifiable facts of the case revealed no evidence to challenge the contamination scenario. Rather, all the available evidence pointed towards no-fault contamination versus intentional ingestion. Ultimately, in his report today, the Independent Prosecutor has confirmed that our conclusions were reasonable, based on the evidence."

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


Related Stories