WADA meets NADA in show of solidarity
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) met representatives of the German National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) in Frankfurt on Tuesday (July 3) and agreed on a co-ordinated approach to cases relating to the Erfurt Olympic training center and the issue of UV blood treatment.
Both parties were in agreement that in order to avoid further complications in how best to manage cases relating to UV blood treatment there would be better communication at all levels.
WADA Director General David Howman and WADA Legal Counsel Olivier Niggli met for two hours with NADA Chairperson Dr. Andrea Gotzmann, NADA Supervisory Council Head Professor Hans Georg Näder, and NADA Chief Counsel Dr. Lars Mortsiefer.
"This was a helpful and enlightening discussion - both WADA and NADA are now in a better position to move forward with cases involving UV blood treatment and in particular those that occurred at the Erfurt training centre,” explained Mr. Howman.
Mr. Howman’s comments were endorsed by Dr. Gotzmann, who informed Mr. Howman and Mr. Niggli in detail about NADA’s activities in the Erfurt case, and in particular the first arbitration proceedings for UV blood treatment initiated by NADA in August 2011, which last month delivered a decision.
The recent initiation of another arbitration procedure to achieve a decision regarding the use of UV blood treatment in the period before January 1, 2011 was also an issue of discussion.
"Constructive dialogue with WADA is the right way to deal with the Erfurt events, and we will continue to pursue this consistently in the interest of clean sports in future as well," said Dr. Gotzmann.
There was general agreement during the meeting that the letter sent to German NADA by WADA in April 2012 had given an incorrect opinion because it was based on information that was available to it at that time.
Mr. Howman explained that the List Committee had asked itself the wrong questions, and he accepted that NADA was not responsible for any breakdown in communication.
WADA has now been made aware of the information collected by the Prosecutor’s Office in Erfurt, and its jurisdiction. This has assisted in the remedying of any previous misunderstanding or miscommunication.
“We will learn lessons from how to deal with similar issues when they arise in the future, but the important thing for now is that the doctor that carried out these procedures is no longer working at the center,” added Mr. Howman.
“Athletes should also know that the letter outlining the opinion of the WADA List Committee will not prejudice any athletes, as the incorrect content of the opinion only related to treatments that had taken place prior to 2011.”
The spirit of co-operation between WADA and NADA was further emphasized by confirmation that WADA will support NADA in the case of German cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz.
NADA had already announced that it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) the decision of a court in Cologne to acquit Sinkewitz following a positive test for recombinant growth hormone (rhGH).