WADA hands over findings of doping probe on 298 Russian athletes to international federations

Montreal [Canada], May 1 (ANI): The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has completed its investigation on 298 Russian athletes targeted in a doping probe and passed the findings onto international federations for further action on Thursday.

The WADA's independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) team has completed its investigation as part of its ongoing 'Operation LIMS'(1) and has provided detailed case packages to a total of 28 Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs), including 27 International Federations (IFs) and one Major Event Organization.

"The evidence available for each package is different, and the relevant organizations will have to decide in each case whether to bring it forward as an Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV) or not. WADA will review and discuss the facts with each ADO. WADA will also review the decisions rendered by the ADOs and appeal, if appropriate, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In addition, WADA has the option under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), where no decision is rendered in a reasonable timeframe, to bring cases directly to CAS," the WADA said in a statement.

Director of WADA I&I Gunter Younger said: "WADA's investigations team continues to make steady progress on this extremely challenging, long-running and multi-faceted investigation. We have built these case packages based on all available evidence and we will continue to provide assistance and advice to the relevant organizations as they assess whether they will bring them forward as doping cases."

153 of the 298 cases handed over to the 28 ADOs by WADA I&I are unaffected by the alleged manipulation that resulted in a non-compliance case being brought by WADA against RUSADA, which ultimately resulted in WADA's Executive Committee supporting on December 9, 2019 a recommendation from the Agency's independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to declare RUSADA non-compliant for a period of four years. That case is now pending before CAS.

As previously reported, the alleged manipulation of the data relates to the files of 145 athletes within the target group of 298, an impact of almost 50 per cent.

However, WADA has provided packages for all 298 targeted athletes, even the files of those 145. This will enable the relevant organizations to access and evaluate all available evidence.

"This has been the most complex enquiry in anti-doping history and WADA's investigations team has been doing an outstanding job. It has been a huge undertaking, involving thousands of samples, 24 terabytes of data(2), hundreds of athletes across 28 organizations, and it is delivering real results," WADA president Witold Banka said.

"This is not the end of the road. There is still more reanalysis of the samples retrieved from the former Moscow Laboratory that is ongoing. This reanalysis process, led by WADA, has already uncovered 57 cases that are in the results management phase," he added. (ANI)