The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announces that it has engaged the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP to further investigate allegations of bullying and harassment within the organization, including allegations concerning conduct by members of the Agency’s Executive Committee (ExCo) during its meeting in the Seychelles in September 2018.
As communicated on 15 November 2018 following WADA’s ExCo and Foundation Board meetings in Azerbaijan, allegations of improper conduct by ExCo members during the Agency’s September 2018 meeting were discussed extensively by the ExCo in Azerbaijan; and, as part of that discussion, the initial findings of an external, independent review commissioned by WADA were presented.
The ExCo determined that, given the seriousness of the allegations, a further investigation should be carried out, and that WADA should seek legal advice to help in determining a path forward. Further to these decisions, Covington has been given the mandate to conduct a full and thorough investigation of allegations of bullying and harassment, including interviews of the relevant parties; and, to deliver unbiased and independent findings to the ExCo. Covington has a distinguished reputation for handling sensitive investigations, including those involving workplace conduct for a variety of entities ranging from multinational companies to educational institutions.
Covington’s advice is also being sought with respect to a broader, more general investigation of the organization’s culture, which was discussed by the ExCo in November 2018. While the ExCo did not conclude that it was merited at the time based on the information at its disposal, the ExCo determined that the Agency would seek legal advice on the matter.
WADA will provide a further update following the conclusion of the investigation.