U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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Response to WADA’s Self-Serving Appointment of an “Independent” Prosecutor

USADA registered logo.“WADA’s latest statement exemplifies the problem with the current system. On its face, it sends the message that this is just a circle the wagons exercise to protect the system. It sends the message that the global regulator does not follow its own rules and then it gets to cherry pick an attorney from its own backyard without any independent athlete input or participation. The announcement also scares off whistleblowers from coming forward by threatening them. We know whistleblowers already came to WADA, and with this threat, WADA is jeopardizing any real opportunity to get to the truth.

By calling this an “independent” investigation, WADA leadership is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Instead of WADA’s hand-picked lawyer with a limited and self-serving scope of review, the world’s athletes deserve a truly independent review commission with a wide scope of review that is constituted with an independent athlete representative and impartial respected jurists with anti-doping experience appointed by government consensus.

A truly independent investigation also requires investigation of facts on the ground in China related to this case to include interviews of hotel staff, athletes, coaches, etc. (not just a compliance audit of CHINADA, which should have been done in 2021), immunity for whistleblowers to include WADA and CHINADA employees, full access to all internal emails from WADA and CHINADA, and raw data from the laboratory in China. All findings, and the documents upon which those findings are based, must also be published.

Anti-doping organizations around the world are regularly announcing no fault cases because the rules require it. Even in situations where USADA does not agree with the rules, we uphold them because that ensures every athlete worldwide is held to the same standard. And yet, WADA leadership is undermining that global agreement by giving free passes at its own discretion.”

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