The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomes the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) media release yesterday; in which, it published the first two decisions from its Oswald Disciplinary Commission Hearings that are being conducted in the context of the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic doping investigations. In July 2016, the IOC formed the Oswald Commission to investigate doping violations by individual Russian athletes that were first identified by WADA’s independent McLaren Investigation.
“WADA is encouraged by the Oswald Commissions’ decisions,” said Olivier Niggli, Director General, WADA. “In addition to validating Professor McLaren’s findings, they also send a powerful signal to athletes and others that, even years later, evidence can be unveiled to sanction athletes or others with anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).”
“The Agency anticipates the Oswald Commission’s timely completion of the remaining 26 hearings against Russian athletes; as well as, of the Schmid Commission that is addressing Russia’s institutionalized manipulation of the doping control process exposed by the McLaren Investigation,” said Craig Reedie, WADA President. “We are confident that the outcomes of these investigative processes combined will prove invaluable to defending athletes’ rights to clean competition.”
Since the McLaren Investigation Report Two came out in December 2016; which, identified the athletes that may have benefited from Russia’s institutionalized system, WADA has been supporting and monitoring International Federations (IFs), and other impacted organizations, as much as possible as it relates to whether or not they can assert ADRVs against athletes identified.
In fact, since November 2015, WADA has been working very hard to rebuild a credible, and sustainable, anti-doping program in Russia that will ensure the protection of clean athletes inside and outside of the country. In this regard, the Agency has been unwavering in pursuing completion of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA’s) Roadmap to Code Compliance, which outlines the reinstatement criteria that RUSADA must fulfill before WADA’s independent CRC would recommend, to WADA’s Board, that they be declared compliant again with the Code. On 24 October, the CRC met to discuss RUSADA’s status; and, on 16 November the WADA Foundation Board will discuss the matter at its meeting in Seoul, Korea.
In November 2015, WADA’s independent Pound Commission unveiled widespread doping in Russian athletics; and, among other actions, WADA’s Foundation Board declared RUSADA non-compliant with the Code.
In May 2016, WADA initiated the independent McLaren Investigation that, in July 2016, unveiled institutionalized manipulation of the doping control process in Russia; and, in December 2016, identified athletes that may have benefitted.