WADA to hold athlete-focused video conference call on 21 May  
MONTREAL: On behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Athlete Council (AC), please find linked below a statement by the AC in relation to the case involving swimmers from China. 
 WADA Athlete Council Statement regarding Chinese swimming case and invitation to athlete video conference call
We would appreciate it if Anti-Doping Organizations would kindly share the statement with their respective athlete communities and encourage them to join an athlete-focused video conference call to be held on 21 May 2024 at 07:30 EDT. Please note that those who wish to attend the call must register in advance. Registration details can be found in the AC Statement.  

It should be noted that this statement can also be found in a dedicated section of WADA’s website along with all other communications that the Agency has issued to date regarding the case. The website is being updated as new communications are published.   

The statement:

Statement regarding Chinese swimming case and invitation to athlete video conference call
As many of you have seen, on 20 April, a story broke regarding a case in 2021 involving 23 Chinese swimmers,
which has since generated a lot of media reports. Soon after the story broke, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s
(WADA’s) Athlete Council (AC) asked to meet with WADA leadership to discuss the facts of the case, which we
did shortly thereafter. The AC asked their own questions and also shared questions they had received from other
athletes. Specifically, we were presented the chronology of events, the scientific, legal and intelligence &
investigations aspects of the case, as well as the rationale for WADA’s handling of the case.
The AC is committed to open communication, and welcomes WADA’s efforts to communicate the facts behind
the case, in providing information and in giving the media, Anti-Doping Organizations, and others the opportunity
to ask questions. The AC recognizes that this is a complex matter that has given rise to many questions from
the athlete community; and so, welcomes the additional information in WADA’s Fact Sheet / Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ) document that was issued on 29 April, which reflects our conversation with them.
We welcome WADA’s move to have an independent prosecutor conduct a thorough review of its handling of the
matter, and we look forward to having the opportunity to assess the findings of this review and work in partnership
with WADA should any areas of improvement be identified.
We acknowledge that the athlete community may feel frustrated by what they are reading and hearing, which
could lead to uncertainty about the case and the entire anti-doping framework. As members of the AC, we
understand these sentiments, especially for those who have personally experienced the impact of cheating in
their sports.
At the same time, we are concerned by the fact that athletes’ personal information, including their names and
photos, have been leaked to the media. This is a serious breach of athletes’ rights, including of minors, which
simply cannot be tolerated. As such, we have asked WADA to investigate what led to this information being
leaked to the media and whether any adjustments to rules, processes or procedures should be made to limit this
risk in the future, while maintaining protection of whistleblowers.
As an AC, tasked with representing, supporting, and promoting the voices of all athletes on anti-doping matters,
we take our role very seriously. Athletes deserve to have trust in the system and the organizations that, together,
are tasked with protecting them, such as: National Anti-Doping Organizations, International Federations, Major
Event Organizations and WADA.
We firmly believe that athletes who dope, which has not been asserted here, must be appropriately sanctioned
and that the global anti-doping system must be robust. We equally believe that the presumption of innocence
and the right to fair and due process, regardless of an athlete’s sport or country, must be at the core of the antidoping system.
The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and International Standards are currently under review, which offers a
perfect opportunity to look into any lessons learned from this case. As such, we will work closely with WADA to
identify any areas for improvements and how the Code and/or any International Standards can be further
strengthened. We invite all athletes to participate in this important work and share feedback with WADA. While
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information on this update process can be found here, we will work with WADA to identify how we can specifically
and proactively reach out to the athlete community to ensure that the athlete voice is heard.
Finally, to offer a platform for athletes to ask questions around this case, the AC suggested to WADA that they
organize an athlete-focused video conference call, which they were happy to do. Please note that this Zoom call
will take place on 21 May 2024 at 07:30 EDT.
We encourage athletes to register as soon as possible and no later than 12:00 EDT on 20 May 2024 using the
Zoom link.
We hope that you will join us on this call. In the meantime, should you have any questions or comments, please
do not hesitate to reach out via: athlete@wada-ama.org.