KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The World Anti-Doping Agency has refuted Thomas Bach’s criticism that, in effect, it sat on information about a state-led Russian doping cover-up and thus landed the Olympic movement with its current eve-of-Games crisis.
A three-person International Olympic Committee commission must yet review recommendations from a special Court of Arbitration for Sport panel into which Russian competitors should be permitted to compete at the Olympics which open in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
On Sunday a defiant Bach, president of the IOC, said that the agency had not followed up “information offered to the World Anti-Doping Agency a couple of years ago.” Hence he insisted that the IOC was not responsible for the chaos which has erupted “just a couple of days before the Games.”
In response, WADA has set out its own version of the timeline of information availability including the damning reports into the Russian system published by Richard Pound and then, only a fortnight ago, by Richard McLaren.
A statement said WADA wished to “factually clarify” that it launched its initial investigation only after the revelatory television documentary aired last November by the German ARD channel. However inquiry chair Pound had not found “concrete evidence to support State manipulation.”
The latter information was uncovered only a matter of weeks ago by the McLaren investigation which followed revelations by ex-Moscow laboratory chief Grigory Rodchenkov in an interview with The New York Times.
WADA president Sir Craig Reedie, one of Bach’s IOC vice-presidents, said that Rodchenkov had not volunteered his later allegations, about the level of Russia’s dope-test cheating at the Sochi Winter Olympics, to the Pound inquiry.
Reedie added: “WADA’s Executive Committee – composed in equal parts by representatives of the Olympic Movement and Governments of the world – supported Professor McLaren’s independent mandate, which was to obtain evidence as quickly as possible in the interest of clean athletes.
“While it is destabilising in the lead up to the Games, it is obvious, given the seriousness of the revelations that he uncovered, that they had to be published and acted upon without delay.”
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