KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The World Anti-Doping Agency has reacted angrily to criticism by an investigating judge in Bolzano, Italy.

Also criticised was what is now World Athletics in a case concerning Alex Schwazer, a banned race walker.

Schwazer is serving an eight-year ban which prompted a criminal investigation however this has been wound up by the judge who judged the evidence provided by WADA to be unreliable at the least, deliberately manipulated at worst.

WADA hit back. It said it had “noted with grave concern comments made by a judge in Bolzano.”

The statement added: “While the decision is lengthy and will need to be assessed in full, WADA is appalled by the multiple reckless and groundless allegations made by the judge against the organization and other parties to this case.

“During the course of the proceedings, WADA provided overwhelming evidence that was corroborated by independent experts, which the judge rejected in favor of unsubstantiated theories.

“WADA was a civil party to these proceedings and was tasked with the role of assisting the court in reaching its decision. The agency stands by all the evidence it provided and rejects the defamatory criticism in the decision in the strongest terms.

“Once the full judgement has been analyzed, WADA will consider all options available, including what legal actions it may initiate.”