26 April 2019
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WADA statement on refusal of Beckie Scott and Edwin Moses to cooperate with independent investigation

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) notes with disappointment the decision of Beckie Scott and Edwin Moses to decline to cooperate with the independent investigation into Ms. Scott’s allegations of improper conduct by members of the Agency’s Executive Committee (ExCo) at its September 2018 meeting.

It is unfortunate that Ms. Scott and Mr. Moses, who continue to sit as Chairs of WADA’s Athlete Committee and Education Committee, respectively, have refused to cooperate with the very process they themselves called for.

While their refusal to explain their perspective on an issue they raised is regrettable and unusual, WADA has continued in good faith to ensure these serious allegations are investigated as thoroughly and as fairly as possible and expects that the investigation will conclude shortly.

Background:

Some weeks after the ExCo meeting in September 2018, Ms. Scott wrote to WADA President Sir Craig Reedie alleging improper conduct by two ExCo members. From the outset, WADA took the allegations seriously and commissioned a Canadian firm experienced in investigations of alleged bullying in the workplace to review both the recording and the transcript of the meeting. The complete minutes of the September 2018 ExCo meeting are available on the WADA website.

The findings from that initial review were presented at the ExCo’s subsequent meeting in November 2018 and an extensive discussion took place at that stage. While the initial findings did not conclude that bullying had taken place, the ExCo agreed that given the seriousness of the allegations, a second phase should be carried out to allow the dozens of people present at the September meeting to be interviewed so that the matter could be concluded satisfactorily.

After the November 2018 ExCo decision was taken, Ms. Scott and Mr. Moses, through a US lawyer, opposed the use of the same Canadian firm to conduct this second phase of the investigation, on the grounds that it was not independent enough. Their US-based law firm also threatened legal action against WADA if the same firm was re-appointed.

Given these circumstances, Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm, was appointed to conduct an independent investigation and submit its report to the ExCo in due course. The ExCo also agreed to extend the mandate of the investigation to include interviewing all witnesses and to examine any conduct outside the September 2018 meeting itself that would be relevant to Ms. Scott’s and Mr. Moses’ claims.

Covington was selected based on the strength of a distinguished track record for conducting such investigations thoroughly and fairly. It has previously been involved in a number of high-profile investigations, including recent cases involving Uber and the US television network, CBS. Covington has been conducting this investigation in a confidential manner, entirely independently of WADA and without any outside interference. WADA has not given Covington any orders or direction as to who it may or may not interview, what questions it may or may not ask of any individual, or what its conclusions should be. 

WADA understands that Covington is concluding its work and will present a report to the ExCo at its next meeting, which will take place in Montreal on 15 May.