WADA update on its follow-up of McLaren investigation into the International Weightlifting Federation

Following its initial statement on 4 June, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirms that on 9 June it received some evidentiary information from the McLaren Independent Investigation Team, which recently completed an investigation into the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

WADA has since started to analyze the newly received information, which covers the period 2009-2014, to see what further action may be warranted in relation to anti-doping matters highlighted by the investigation. WADA is committed to ensuring that all athletes who are identified as having breached the rules, are brought to justice. The Agency has also made a request to the McLaren Investigation Team to share the remainder of the relevant information as described in Professor McLaren’s report published on 4 June, in particular so it can assess whether anything should be done from a compliance perspective.

In addition, WADA’s independent Intelligence & Investigations Department, which has collaborated with the McLaren team throughout, will continue its own ongoing investigation related to the sport of weightlifting.

WADA President, Witold Bańka, said: “WADA is appalled by the behavior exposed by the McLaren Investigation Team. The Agency condemns all interference with anti-doping procedures with the utmost vigor. These revelations are incredibly upsetting for clean athletes, for WADA and for all advocates of clean sport.

“As is recognized by the McLaren report, I am confident that recent strengthening of global anti-doping rules, and growing powers being afforded to WADA as the global anti-doping regulator, would ensure that, today, this kind of behavior could be dealt with as a matter of anti-doping organization compliance within much shorter timelines. Through the new International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories, which took effect in April 2018, WADA can now address delayed results management as a matter of compliance.

“Cheats must be brought to justice and WADA will continue to ensure all cases are properly followed up by World Anti-Doping Code Signatories. This strengthens my resolve to bolster WADA’s financial capacity so that the Agency has the resources it needs to bring cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport directly on a regular basis. We want to fully exercise the powers that we now have under anti-doping rules.”

Thanks to information obtained by the McLaren investigation team through access to IWF’s servers and other sources of evidence, the Agency wrote to the IWF on 12 June to request immediate action on all cases, with priority being given to those that are close to the statute of limitations. The IWF is the entity responsible to ensure that proper results management is conducted under the World Anti-Doping Code and WADA will monitor that process closely.